MICHAEL WOODCOCK

the designer

LARA APPONYI

the artist


Work + Sea is an interdisciplinary design studio - an artist-designer duo who apply suggestions of narrative to their design of objects and environments - inspired by their interactions with, and unfiltered responses to, the world.

Lara and Michael met in an architecture design firm in NYC, they shared a strong and instant creative connection. Work + Sea was formed on a warm summer night in a Brooklyn backyard as they dreamed up a world together: inspired by vegetation creeping up the brickwork, the interplay of light and dark seeping out of the urban environment, and the suggestions of the other worlds they saw in shadowed corners, the duo conjured designs for their first wallpaper collection.

Lara is formally trained in fine art and Michael in architecture. Lara’s affinity with the phenomenological and interest in the unmapped worlds of possibility that exist within the unknown, paired with Michael’s linear drive to investigate the enigma behind why something "works", alongside his fascination with structure in all its forms, are the contrasting perspectives which provide the creative spark behind Work + Sea.


Work + Sea Design Principles & Processes:

  • Design is art with function
  • We appreciate innovation but shy from technology for its own sake
  • The highest level of craft is essential and non-negotiable
  • Design should be the start of a conversation, not the end
  • Design calls for attention and interaction - like theater, it requires a third party
  • We strive for a sense of context, of time and place and history, while looking towards the future
  • Good design treads the narrow path between controlled and uncontrolled expression
  • Design must always celebrate personality and connections
  • We strive to distill the creative spirit with which we work into everything we make - elements from our dream world are infused into the interiors we design
  • We create spaces for conversations, romance, wit and memories - we believe there is always room for all these elements no matter the size of the project
  • We aspire to design objects, interiors and surfaces which enrich their environment or reveal the unexpected
  • We ask what is the inherent character of every object and the space it inhabits, and what are the relationships existing within this space: there are dialogues, hierarchies, harmonies and values which we ascribe to all components
  •  We explore the dynamics between spaces, surfaces and objects' design through the narrative arc of story telling.