As mountains of trash grow and oceans swirl together new islands of disposable bottles, we can’t help but feel more and more trapped by the single-serving culture we’ve created. But there’s a way out. Founded on principles of honesty, beauty, and utility, designers like Farrah Sit are creating objects that prompt us to change with the simple message: “own less but own well.”
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Farrah began working on collections for large fashion and design houses where she learned the importance of design. But things began to change for her as the brands traded design for bottom line. “They were losing the importance of the object,” she said during our meeting at her Greenpoint studio. “The quality of the design and the final product was getting cheaper and cheaper. I didn’t want to be a part of that, so I left.” Striking out on her own, she started Light + Ladder, founding it on the principles of honest objects of beauty.
“I wanted to make things that helped give pause and slow people down, if even for a second. My hope was for that moment of pause to then pass on to other details in other parts of their lives.”
Exploring her well-appointed (and pottery-dust covered) studio, we were struck by the stunning beauty that intentioned design brought to simple objects like planters and pitchers. “We are here to inspire each other. Making things that are beautiful is my way of inspiring others.” Touring her studio, we could see how each object gently obscures its function to focus on form as beautiful and timeless as any classic sculpture. It’s truly about owning art and owning it well. As Farrah says, “it’s an orchestration of manipulation,” engrained into our beings. But it’s what we forge that determines where the story goes from here. Designers like Farrah are writing a new chapter in that story, re-teaching everyone, with beauty and utility, what it means to own well for life.