Design Industry

Father's Day with T! by Raji Radhakrishnan

My husband says reading The New York Times daily is like going to university for current affairs. If that is the case, I think the NYT's T mag is the consummate bible every design lover worth their salt should read. It's the pleasant joy of reading something and smiling, very knowingly. The ensuing conversations are a pleasure and knowing every time that there are thinkers and dreamers just like you in the same wavelength is bliss. As much as one might argue that editorial written words construing no more than a page or two is not literature, I'm here to tell you T, and I mean every article in every issue of T, is contemporary literature at its finest. Take that Bembridge scholars! T mag today is like an art book - one with the intellectual rigor perfect for the instagram age we live in. Nothing about it feels like traditional journalism and in that it's akin to parts of Vogue

The difference is T will take a banal subject like eyebrows and with a chock-full of historical reference make even the most reluctant of us pause and seriously think about the role of eyebrows not just on a face but in life. Did you ever think that your brows could be very much a part of your branding? Damn it, I saw Vermeer's girl with the pearl earring again just last week and never really thought about her blond eyebrows! Thanks to Emma Straub who has made it abundantly clear that brows are an aspect of beauty that is indeed very thought provoking. 

Their column on social media - the genesis of technology today - and it's effects on daily life of different generations of people and a look at this very point of time in history is entirely worth reading and reflecting even if for just confirming your own suspicions. Of Charlotte Moss' recount of her interview with Bunny Mellon I have only one thing to say - I've rarely swelled up looking at interior photographs and reading about the person who inhabited them. There's something very kind and giving about people who enjoy gardening. A kindred spirit I'm very happy to know through Charlotte's eyes.

If you are anything like me, you will want to catch the next flight to Paris as you read about Louis Benech's re-imagination of the Water Theatre in Versailles. Poignant. And discovering Jean-Michel Othoniel  - his work a perfect complement to Benach's plans yet modern and innovative enough. The opposite of which is discussed in prime detail by yet another T critique. This time about architecture by Witold Rybczynski - Starchitecture vs Locatecture. It is the same way I feel about interiors and the difference between being dramatic vs being gimmicky. A very fine line but one that is worth exploring and honing.

Reading about Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby is another one of those resonating moments - heart pounding encounters narrated in the most deeply afflicting manner. In the end though, what is really beautiful about T mag is the actual editing, every article every issue. Edit baby edit as we say in design. And so, massive kudos to the editors at T. This morning at breakfast it felt like we had a full round table discussion on contemporary life! Thanks to T's editors and writers, you made our Father's Day that much more sweeter!

All iphone photos are of the pages in today's issue of T.

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

Contact us to learn more about our work

Inspired Monday Morning: Deborah Needleman's T Magazine by Raji Radhakrishnan

These days every time I get T Mag's Style or Travel issues I want to post about it. I've always enjoyed the T magazine even before Ms. Deborah Needleman took over as the head of Editorial. Although I can't quite put a finger on what it was about the magazine in its previous incarnation that I liked or remember specific sections except recall the very modern focus of the design articles and that T always had a page devoted for it's iconic "T" monogram and type which was reinterpreted by an artist in his or her own way. That was a favorite. The fact that I can't recall any other favorites or specifics on the older version of the mag has got nothing to do with the previous editors and everything to do with the current team.

That's me telling you that each issue of T, since Ms. Needleman took over, is perfect and fully packed with stories that whisk you away to a corner of the world you are yet to explore or re-discover. In the process, I find that T has now mastered the way to showcase traditional, fussy and even folksy styles in such a modern and stylish way that no other magazine (most with a strong design style focus) gets it. It definitely has an international focus which is a welcome relief from any other design/style/lifestyle editorials which are mostly focused on the domestic PR agenda (and let's be honest it's usally content from New York and occasionally LA, SF, DC, et al). Not that anything is wrong with the editorial focused on our own country but with dozens of editorials already focused on the domestic radar, an American view of the International scene is most welcoming. Read it. And make sure it's more than just one issue. You'll know exactly what I mean when I say il est juste ma tasse de thé!

Photo via Tumblr and T magazine

The old T logo and believed to be a type specially developed for the magazine.

Artists' T versions which I still think was a very cool feature especially when compared to the current "substance-less" T logo.

More artists' T versions

A fabulous spread on the women of the Ferragamo house in yesterday's Travel issue

Raji RM & Associates | Interior Designer & Decorator

Washington DC | New York

Contact us to learn more about our work