Leon Ransmeier is the Creative Director of DBA, a New York-based design company founded in 2008 that develops products combining technical innovation and honest simplicity with ecologically effective principles. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ransmeier was previously based in Rotterdam, where he founded Ransmeier Industrial Design in 2003. He was featured in the 2006 National Design Triennial: Design Life Now at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and was chosen as a “Design Tastemaker” by Forbes magazine. In 2010, the Cooper-Hewitt included several of Ransmeier’s designs for DBA in its National Design Triennial: Why Design? His work has been included in numerous design publications including Phaidon Press’s &Fork and several editions of the International Design Yearbook as well as Vogue Hommes Japan, Interview, Nowness and ID Magazine, and has been exhibited at events ranging from Salone Del Mobile to Maison & Objet, IMM Cologne, Design Mai and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
What’s hot right now?
My close friend Alistair Banks Griffin just returned from Cannes where he debuted his first feature film, Two Gates Of Sleep. It’s meticulous, slow moving and dark. My taste is really diverse. Still, I’m drawn to a strong attention to detail—whether it’s the casual but tailored profiles in Patrik Ervell‘s new collection, the rambling psychological analysis of Javier Marías in Your Face Tomorrow or the mechanical femininity of Inga Sempé‘s new lamp for Wästberg.
What are the sustainability trends in fashion or design at the moment?
Not much of the work I am attracted to in design or fashion is geared towards ecology. The majority of companies that are contributing to “sustainability trends” are are more focused on the marketing of their wares as being ecologically correct than they are in pushing interesting or beautiful design—and this is the problem. An ideal world is one in which excellent designers pursue access to materials and processes that accomplish their creative goals without a negative impact.
What are the chicest sustainable items in the market?
Of course, I am biased towards DBA—I think we have a really unique voice. Beyond us, I recently discovered a company named Wasara. They are situated right next to our products in the 2010 Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. They produce a minimal, sculptural series of compostable tableware that is really seductive. I’m also a huge fan of Manufactum, many of their products are produced in small family owned factories in Europe and the designs haven’t changed in decades.