Ayako Aratani, 34, and Evan Fay, 29, are studio partners determined to go their own ways.

Button Up Chair.

Aratani’s Roommate lamp, which has a cloud-like shade of bent wire, and Fay’s Lawless sofa, a rigid framework woven with foam ribbons, aren’t obvious companions. But when the designers met at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, they discovered they had similar interests despite stylistic differences: a desire to break from the rigors of industrial design, make things by hand, and celebrate incongruities. Since graduating in 2016, they’ve shared a Detroit-area studio and resources while maintaining individual authorship of their creations. 

We asked the breakout designers about who inspires them, their most treasured possessions, and what daily rituals get them in the zone. Read the answers below.

"All production for our pieces is done by both of us, and we show together under the name Aratani Fay,

“All production for our pieces is done by both of us, and we show together under the name Aratani Fay,” says Fay. “But our products are different.” 

Photo Courtesy of Aratani Fay

Hometown: 

Aratani: Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Fay: Traverse City, Michigan

Current location: 

Pontiac, Michigan

Something you always carry with you: 

A: Pen and notebook.

First childhood memory related to design: 

F: Building blanket forts.

The Lawless sofa, designed by Evan Fay.

Lawless Sofa, designed by Evan Fay.

Photo Courtesy of Aratani Fay

Daily ritual to get into a creative space: 

A: See the nature, feel the wind outside.

Musical artist or album that inspires you: 

F: “We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” by A Tribe Called Quest.

The Roommate lamp, designed by Ayoko Aratani.

Roommate Lamp, designed by Ayako Aratani.

Photo Courtesy of Aratani Fay

See the full story on Dwell.com: Dwell 24: Ayako Aratani and Evan Fay

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