Nice Modernists

Ron GreenI've said it before, and I'll say it again. One of the absolutely most rewarding things about starting this little blog has been the opportunities it has given me to meet some truly amazing people and do some truly amazing things. Point in case. I wrote an article in this months Dwell magazine about my good friend and amazing shop owner Ron Green of The Green Ant. Dwell magazine used to do a regular feature every month about a "Nice Modernist". If it wasn't for a whole bunch of nice modernists, I would never have gotten this great opportunity.

Looking back, it's interesting to see the chain of events that lead up to this opportunity. It started a year ago when Corian was nice enough to fly me back to Chicago to see a new collaboration that they were doing with DIRTT. I wrote about it here


amanda dameron

Amanda Dameron image via Inhabitat

While I was in Chicago I had the opportunity to meet the now Editor in Chief of Dwell magazine Amanda Dameron. At the time I knew she worked for Dwell but had no idea she was next in line for the top editorial position. I met her after a few beers, and I'm pretty sure my first words to her were something along the lines of "You work for Dwell? I've got a bone to pick with you." Over the next few hours she was nice enough to let me rant about how I thought that Dwell was unfairly pushing prefab as an affordable modern housing solution, how Dwell has turned its back on the Fruit Bowl Manifesto, and how they screwed over their online community when they axed their original forums. The nice thing about stepping out from behind your computer and having real conversations with real people is that it makes it much easier to see both sides of the issue.

By the end of the night she had me convinced that Allison Arieff (former Editor in Chief of Dwell) pushing prefab was no different than John Entenza pushing case study houses, and that Dwell was just as focused on the little guy today as it ever was. One thing in particular that she said really stuck in my head. She referred to Dwell as "scrappy". It's easy to think of Dwell as a giant powerhouse and poke fun of it, but the reality is it really is made up of a small group of passionate employees. Sure they aren't perfect, but they try. 


gilgal gardens

Later that year when Dwell was in Salt Lake City for Sundance I had the opportunity of showing the lovely Aaron Brit and Alex Polier around town. I took them to some of my favorite local places like The Green Ant, Beckett and Robb, Eva's, the new Natural History Museum of Utah and even the wacky Gilgal sculpture garden (shown above). I assume that they were suitably impressed by The Green Ant that they contacted me in the spring of 2012 and asked me to do an interview with Ron. 

The rest is as they say, history. 

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...