Meet Jeremy Joo, a furniture designer with an eye for nature's beauty, context, and balance. For him, design is an optimistic art form that brings abstract ideas to life, shaping physical space into something tangible and meaningful. When he's not crafting masterpieces, you can find him juggling like a pro or trying to put out the fire in his mouth from some spicy cuisine.
Our 22-question series had him in the hot seat, answering rapid-fire inquiries.
1. What is your definition of design?
A friend shared with me a quote by TWBTA that also applies to design. “We see architecture as an act of profound optimism.”
2. Describe your work in three words.
Context and proportions.
3. Where do you create? Does your location inspire you?
Outside of the studio is where the most creation happens, and yes, surrounding environments change everything.
4. What part of designing excites you the most?
I love that an emotion or thought can change an idea from nothing to a drawing to a physical object that takes up real space in the world.
5. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
There were so many things, but being a furniture designer was definitely not one of them.
7. What is your favourite carnival game?
Eating way too much food and taking a nap.
8. Where are you happiest?
Probably Paris and Asia.
9. How do you pass the time on a long flight?
Mostly nap and wake up when the drinks come around. And a film or two stretched out between sleeps.
10. What's the one thing you can't live without?
11. If you could time warp yourself to any point in history, when would it be, who would you hang out with?
It would be cool to kick it with Judd in the NYC 80s.
12. Which living person do you most admire?
13. If you were on the run, where would you hide out?
If I tell you, they’ll find me.
14. What surprises people about you?
15. What do you have an irrational fear of?
I fear all the old crafts and traditional skills will all die off. But I guess that’s not irrational.
16. What is the first thing on your to-do list
Yesterday’s to-do list.
17. What’s the best compliment you have ever received?
I was told by a chef friend that I have a complex palate.
18. What one meal could resurrect you from the dead?
Banh cuon would get my heart thumping any day.
19. One strange food quirk you think everyone should try?
Eat as many chilies as you can handle every meal.
20. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The master artisan I learned from told me, “Sacco vuoto non sta in piedi,” which means an empty bag can’t stand up straight. Make sure you eat to do the job right!
21. What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my library.
22. What was the last thing you learned?
I learned that Montreal has really beautiful rooftop views.