Meet Andrea Toscano
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
Almost every morning, I wake up with a song stuck in my head, which helps me get my day going. I’m also usually late, so while I’m zipping up my pants I’m also brushing my teeth, amongst other strange time saving techniques.
on growing up
My father is an architect and my mother is an interior designer, so art and design has always acted like an unspoken language that my whole family is fluent in.
I’ve been painting ever since I was young. I’ve recently started to practice it a bit more seriously. Usually I get an urge to paint that comes from feeling a need to work with color. I then very shyly add paint to a canvas, and gradually I start to get a bit more cocky and this is usually where I ruin it. Then I go into another room and grunt over what I’ve done for a bit. Then I come back and try to save it. I think what I'm exploring through painting is finding a balance between being very selective and being completely uninhibited.
on her philoshophy
Charles Eames has a philosophy called "The Banana Leaf Parable," which I really agree with and try to think about in my own work. He talks about how in Southern India, the most basic eating utensil is the banana leaf, something natural and readily available to all. He then goes on to explain which utensils are used in each economic level from the people with very little means to the extremely wealthy.
The utensils gradually become fancier and more refined as the economic level increases until there is a tipping point, which Eames describes as “the people who not only have the means, but have some amount of knowledge and understanding,” who eat off a banana leaf. To me, this means that if the wealthy and the poor are using the same design, money is not the discerning factor of what makes good design, It's simply how well the object functions.
on her process
I prefer to start designing without really knowing where I will end up. I try to prolong the creative process as long as I can, even through the execution phase to keep things interesting. Working on this project for Chairlift has allowed me to translate a feeling from music into a physical form which is really fun. I get to think about a piece of music in terms of textures, colors and how it would move through space.
on her favorite tools
Tools are very important to me because they allow me to transform materials. They are beautiful just as objects, but also because each one performs a specific function. My scissors, Fiskars Gingher 8 Inch Gold Handle Knife Edge Bent Trimmers, are my most used tool. I think there is really nothing better than a sharp pair of scissors.
on home decor
Most of my furniture is from my parents. I feel very comfortable around these pieces because I grew up with them in my childhood home. I’m constantly rearranging the furniture which gives me a fresh look on my environment and creates space in my brain. I’ve recently decided that I want to try and pursue furniture design, so I have started to try and make things for my house. I’m having a bit of an urban lumberjack moment.
On HER self-care
I cut my hair short about three years ago, partially because of aesthetics, but also because I liked the idea of not having a "beauty routine" in a typical sense. I love the idea of hygiene being genderless.
The products that I use are in some way linked to nature because I can relate to that and it feels more organic. I use Bumble and bumble Surf Spray, Bumble & Bumble Seaweed shampoo, Beauty RX Maximum Exfoliating Therapy Gel, Kate's Magik Cedarwood Himalayan Essential Oil, and Maybelline Volum' Express The Mega Plush Waterproof Mascara.
andrea's favorite books
Polynesian Instant Geography by Berend Hoekstra et Hilarius Hofstede, Tools by Cara McCarty, Draw It With Your Eyes Closed by n+1, 100 Chairs in 100 Days and Its 100 Ways by Martino Gamper and More, Eames: Beautiful Details by Eames Demetrios, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, Shopping in Jail: Ideas, Essays, and Stories for the Increasingly Real 21st Century by Douglas Coupland
andrea's favorite records
andrea's favorite places in nyc
Variety Cafe for the best cappuccino