August 24, 2009


Ghostly friends David Boira and Zoe Boira Coombes, co-founders of the multidisciplinary design studio Commonwealth, produce fine art, architecture, and homewares that combine advanced programming and a human touch. David and Zoe imbue every design with a degree of sensuality, ornament, and voluptuousness of form—just look at their Lard Series and Fleshless Flooring, two creations that deftly straddle the line between the organic and the digital. We asked these birds of a feather to answer our Five Questions, and here’s what they had to say…

What sets your work apart from the rest of the pack?

D: It has to be our obsession with what you might call the “tactility of topological sensuality,” which, for better or worse, doesn’t quite fit in with the expected norm.
Z: We really try to make very personal, very fleshy matter come out of our studio. I’m not sure if the work would look the way it does if we weren’t so in love…

What design object can’t you live without?

D: My Radius Scuba toothbrush. It’s oversized and it makes the user look like he’s practicing how to give a proper blow job, but it also gives me a perfect tooth polish and cleanup all in one. Please, don’t watch me while I’m working it, thank you!
Z: Hmm… The best design object must be our 11-cup, stainless-steel Cuisinart. We’ve become really hippy with our food. We use the Cuisinart to make our own hemp (aka marijuana) milk in the morning.

What song should play every time you enter a room?

D: Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice theme song . To be surrounded by the visuals wouldn’t hurt either. I am serious about this. Seriously.
Z: David is so ‘80s… It is true though, that Miami Vice is kind of like a fantasy life we can imagine living. I think my ideal soundtrack would be more from the 2006 movie of Miami Vice—like the song ‘One of These Mornings’ by Moby and Patti Labelle, which would make me feel like David was driving me to Havana at 300mph in a stolen boat. Awesome.

What are you working on at this exact moment?

D: A discreetly perforated outdoor marble table and lamp set.
Z: Ditto. We work together.

How about a piece of sage advice for the younger generation?

D: Get a real job! Avoid jumping the gun too fast because it hurts.