Friday Five with Mischa Couvrette

Friday Five with Mischa Couvrette

We first noticed the work of hollis+morris in 2015 at ICFF and then featured new work they launched last year. The Toronto-based brand may only be a few years old but they quickly found their ground thanks to their founder and designer, Mischa Couvrette. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, he discovered a love of design through some friends who were on the way to becoming architects. He began making furniture, which led to renovating a boat with a friend that he went on to sail for a year to Guatemala. After settling in Toronto, hollis+morris was born. This week’s Friday Five gives insight into Couvrette’s continuous sources of inspiration, plus a fun way he’s discovered to blow off steam.

Photo by Mischa Couvrette

1. Halifax
The seaside city and the capital of Nova Scotia, Canada, has been both a major inspiration and home away from home for me. I moved to Halifax for my undergrad with a yearning to be close to an ocean. My intuition proved to be correct, I fell in love with the landscape and I stayed there long after the completion of my degree. hollis+morris itself is named after a local intersection where the company began. Certain designs take literal inspiration from Halifax but all are inspired by the simple beauty of maritime life.

Photo by Mischa Couvrette

2. Ships
Design is always a play between form and function and I am continuously awed by the beauty and complexity of some of the largest manmade moving structures. My respect for naval architecture led me to overhaul a sailboat with a friend as a way of understanding more about how these vessels worked. Eventually curiosity and a sense of adventure led us to sailing our boat from Halifax to Guatemala. It was, in every sense, the trip of a lifetime.

Photo by Robert Frerck/Getty Images

3. Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca has an incredible emerging art scene. It is home to thousands of artisans, and a place with remarkable creative spirit and rich indigenous history. It is also the place where most Mescals are made – delicious – and is often regarded as the culinary capital of Mexico – more delicious. I could go on and on but feel I run the risk of being scouted by Lonely Planet. All in all it is a favourite, and truly inspiring place.

Courtesy of Ilford

4. Sebastião Salgado
An influential photography teacher put me on to the work of Sebastião Selgado feeling I would connect with his imagery. In particular, Salgado’s “Workers: Archeology of the Industrial Age,” a stunning series portraying workers around the world, revealed to me his revolutionary way of working with light. He provides a rare perspective on the hardship of these daily lives.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

5. Ping Pong
A recent passion of mine and a great way to blow off some steam. I am currently looking for the right place to set up a table in the office much to the dismay of my employees who have little interest in playing ping pong with me.


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