Cultural Anthropology +
Holistic Design + Wellness = Mizugiri
March Studio, started by husband and wife Todd and Sherry in 1998 is a design studio located in Santa Monica, California. They’ve done work for the likes of Vice, HBO, and Fred Segal, but what makes March Studio special is “branded architecture with purpose” at the center of its operations. In this way, the studio is very much a reflection of its founders. Todd, a trained architect and Sherry, a brand strategist, have actively married their individual skills and training to bring about an incredibly conscious, unique, and effective five-step business model I’m currently digging. Really digging.
Designer and thinker Bruce Mau said at the close of the “What Design Can Do” conference that “We cannot afford the luxury of cynicism.” No truer words were spoken in regards to the critical importance of dialogue and action in our times. Stonewalling gets us nowhere; healthy communication gets us everywhere. Sorry, America, but there’s no red velvet cupcake in the the world to ease our pain. Our only hope is to openly discuss, pull ourselves up by our cowboy bootstraps, and go to work.
What happens when you combine the diverse passions of a hip hop mogul turned yogi like Simmons? Don't tell the most traditional of Indian gurus this, but you get totally amazing "Let's Get it On" yoga. It's raw; it's fun; it's sensual; it's playful; and it doesn't take itself that seriously. People gyrate. People vibe. People laugh. People are loose. It was one of the least "serious" yoga classes I've been to well, ever, making it one of the most refreshing yoga classes I've been to well, ever.
I think the cultural zeitgeist is best summed up by Migos and the "Bad and Boujee" music video, which is all over the place these days. It's time to pop champagne and get money money. Even if we're just new money. Who cares? We may eat Cup O' Noodles and fried chicken at fast food joints, but we roll in with gold bottles of champagne, wear every piece of gold jewelry we own on our person, and wipe our lips with Versace scarves; we may eat cheap Chinese but our Chinese take-out boxes are Chanel; we may be rapping outside of a building in the projects, but we pulled up in a BMW SUV, rock shoulder-padded women's power suits, and will whip you senseless with a Moschino belt if you question us. We're bad. We're boujee. And we want everyone to know it.
The Katayama designs speak for themselves. And this is brilliant advertising for Lexus, obviously.
But beyond that, I think it's a sign of what's to come as more and more brands will likely do this kind of interdisciplinary design and advertising in the future. In this case, auto design meets interior design meets product design meets cafe meets chill-out space meets big cities meets urban consumers. Rigid lines between distinct design and commerce arenas will continue to disintegrate, and boundaries will blur as we move deeper and deeper into post-modernity. That's my prediction. And not just mine, I'm sure. Be on the look-out.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to pick up this financial book is that it wasn't written by a wolf of Wall Street; it was written by Andy. He describes himself as "dyslexic and a poor student," emphasizing that his book is about creating a new belief system: "Financial empowerment is not a mythological dragon with two heads, nor is it only for the top 1% of the world. Look, if I can do it, anyone can do it. You can be working at Starbucks, have your parents paying for your insurance, and you can still be a millionaire in ten years."