Todd Selby//The Selby

A picture of a chair made out of orange-and-white-striped wooden safety barriers that we saw on The Selby led us to discovering Tom Sachs. He’s an artist who makes elaborate recreations of modern icons: masterpieces of engineering and design of one kind or another, from Knoll office furniture to Prada to NASA (like this hilarious video). The all-seams-showing recreations are made out of ordinary stuff like phone books and Foamcoare welded together with duct tape or a glue gun. As it is clear from The Selby’s pictures of Sach’s living/studio space, the work of this imaginative inventor/artist holds ideas for our own more modest creations…

Although we don’t know what it says, we’re crazy about Sach’s bedspread, and the idea of writing on our own…

….not to mention the wonderful chair…

Todd Selby/The Selby

…we never thought of using safety barriers (already painted)…

Todd Selby/The Selby

…The bio on his website describes Sachs’ liberating philosophy of making:

“All the steps that led up to the end result are always on display. On a practical level, this means that all seams, joints, screws or for that matter anything holding stuff together, like foamcore and plywood, are left exposed. Nothing is erased, sanded away, or rendered invisible. On a more philosophical level, this means that nothing Sachs makes is ever finished. Like any good engineering project, everything can always be stripped down, stripped out, redesigned and improved.

The reward for work is more work”.     –Mark van de Walle


Check out the inspiring tour of Sachs’ place on The Selby.

We love this workstation Sachs devised…

Todd Selby/The Selby

…As he does at the end of all his shoots, Todd Selby published a handwritten interview with his subject. Here’s part of Sachs’ cryptic answer to “What are the ten rules of your studio?”:

Todd Selby/The Selby

Thanks for the inspriation Tom Sachs! Thanks The Selby for showing us the way in!

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

One thought on “tom sachs’ philosophy of making

  1. Hi, Don’t know if it’s you or me but when I tried to link to the video, I got the video screen but a message saying an error occurred, please try again later. This also happens to me from other sites so it may be my side rather than yours. E Rocco

    PS I love the website – it’s the first message I open!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *