December 8, 2010

An A-List Interview: Jenny Argie and Andrew Thornton

You know how people always like to talk about balance? I believe one of the most important steps in attempting to achieve a work-life balance is to figure out how to integrate the two. And this week’s A-List interview is with two people who give work-life integration a whole new meaning: Jenny Argie and Andrew Thornton, husband and wife, parents of three and cofounders of Argington Modern Children’s Furniture. We love their designs – and the two of them clearly make a great team!

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Jenny Argie:
Design Follows Nature, and Natural By Design.

AW: What inspires you?
JA:
Our three children’s inspire us the most.  Their needs and wants in terms of their interaction with the world really make us think.  Their little lives are always present in our creative process.
 We are inspired by the human body’s relationship to both the natural world and architecture; it can be felt throughout each of our designs.
Architecture that has inspired us can range from art nouveau to Post modernism.
We gravitate towards such sculptors as Noguchi and Alexander Calder, and in the fine arts world, we enjoy the approach of Agnes Martin to Cezanne in the way they convey space and light.

AW: What color are you loving right now?
JA:
All shades of green.

AW: What are you currently reading?
JA:
Andrew and I are revisiting, Towards A New Architecture by Le Corbusier.

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
JA: One of our favorite cities is Rome.  The city is built around the architecture rather than a city implanting the architecture when needed.  Layer by layer, new is integrated with the old.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
JA:
We have a wide range of likes in music, but if there was one style that we had to listen to for the rest of our lives it would be jazz and blues — Andrew jazz and Jenny the blues.  We jive to the sounds of Dizzy Gillespie, Robert Johnson, Nina Simone, Wes Montgomery, Dave Brubeck, and John Coltrane.

AW: What is the most favorite baby gift you received?
JA:
A favorite gift wasn’t so much for babies, however it was a great present that still lends hours of fun and creativity — it was a simple wood block set.

AW: What baby product could you not live without?
JA: Shamefully, it was a not so eco-friendly exersaucer. We think that the modern baby world could definitely uses a modern version of one of these!

And please complete the following:

…make(s) me laugh.

Our children make us laugh.  At the moment our oldest son’s sense of humor makes us really laugh. He told us a joke the other day without skipping a beat….

“A lady noticed a penguin walking down the street the other day. She asked a nearby policeman what to do, so he told her to take the penguin to the zoo. 

The next day the policeman saw the lady walking down the street with the penguin and
he asked her why she didn’t take the penguin to the zoo?  She replied with ‘I did, but we had so much fun that we’ve decided to go to the movies!’”

My proudest moment in parenting was…

Watching our 7-year-old son playing piano at this year’s school talent show. He expectedly played a couple songs on the piano, but after he finished those songs, he asked for the microphone. He unexpectedly sang a song that he had just learned, and he sang it beautifully and with such sweet confidence.

Several years ago, Eils, our 5-year-old son, took it upon himself to calm a distraught 2 year old having separation anxiety, by hand feeding her raisins until she eventually stopped crying. Eils is passionate and gentle.

Addy, our 2 ½-year-old daughter, has potty trained herself – overnight – wow! The independence she has makes us very proud parents.

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