Newsworthy: Remix by Jeanine Hays & Bryan Mason

I've been so busy teaching my abnormal psychology class this semester that it left me little time to do extra reading. But when my copy of Jeanine Hays' and Bryan Mason's Remix book came in the mail, I knew it was time to take a study break and indulge in some great design!

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You may remember I wrote a post on Jeanine Hays some time ago. She is the founder and Creative Director of Aphrochic, a lifestyle blog and textile company that focuses on incoporating culture into modern design.

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The thing I love about the Aphrochic brand is that it doesn't present cultural design in a conspicuous way. There are no hokey vacation souvenirs or awkward, "This is culture!" details.

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Recall those grade school moments during Black History month when culture was treated as something other than "normal" and the minority kid (that would be me) was somehow expected to be the expert on all things cultural. While  the Aphrochic brand celebrates culture, it also presents it as a natural part of the decor that appeals to anyone.

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Remix fittingly captures the Aphrochic design sensibility. It is divided into two parts. The first part, "Elements", looks at the details that make up a culturally inspired space such as color, pattern, original art, and global pieces. And the second part, "Modern Soulful Homes", features really cool black people (he-he!) with really cool, culturally inspired  homes.

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In this book, culture is defined in a broad sense, and includes American culture as well. Oftentimes during discussions of (ethnic) culture here in the United States, we don't consider American culture, and tend to view it as "normal." But American culture is foreign to other parts of the world, and the rise of globalization makes this clearer to us than ever before.

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Remix invites everyone to consider how culture, others or one's own, can be used to add soul and meaning to our spaces. This is quite consistent with the philosophy of design psychology, a branch of psychology that focuses on creating spaces that trigger positive emotions. What better way to do this than by adding cultural elements that speak to us, and give us a sense of pride.

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As I begin to decorate a new home, I've been considering how I can seamlessly  incorporate culture and soul into my space. There was a time when I only thought of cultural spaces in a trendy way.

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I remember when I was really into Morrocan style, and bought a whole bunch of Morrocan furnishings. Then I fell for modern design and didn't know how to incorporate both. In fact, I thought I had to do away with all my Morrocan furniture.

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As my style has evolved, I now more fully understand eclectism. Our spaces can be informed by multiple designs and cultural influences, and still remain relevant or with a sense of what Jeanine and Bryan refer to as the "eternal now."

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So what do you think of the Remix aesthetic? Do you incorporate culture into your space?

{images by Fun}