[8 Things] Fundamental Berlin
Fundamental Berlin's co-founder Steve Molloy told us 8 Things.
1. What's the last thing that inspired you?
I follow a French architect/artist on Instagram called Marie Passa. I know nothing about her, but this summer she has mainly been posting 2 types of content, formal experiments or high-concept postwar weekend houses, usually in black and white with plans and sections. If I had to choose between the entire rest of Instagram and her feed, I would take hers. The archive material that she posts says so much about a time and place, an intellectual approach, and an attitude to pleasure, joy and the good life.
2. How would you describe your aesthetic?
Rule-based, playful and chic.
3. What does your daily routine look like?
I like to read the FT and a local Berlin newspaper in bed with a good cup of filter coffee. I head downstairs to the office. I'm lucky enough to live in the same building as our studio & showroom, so the commute is just a lot of stairs. I always try to get into the studio before anyone else shows up, for that early morning calm. I like to clear my inbox and deal with requests by 11am, when I break for CrossFit, which is a good way to discharge the inevitable frustration that an inbox can provide. After that I return to the studio, we often have a team lunch together, and I spend the afternoon, on design work and whatever else didn't get finished in the morning. I'm never in the office past 7, over-work is a sort of mental incontinence. I like to keep my evenings unpredictable, there is no routine there.
4. What are two hidden gems in your city?
Our office is in Berlin, a city that I have loved since I moved here in 2003 from London (originally a Dubliner). Hidden gems? A city is nothing more and nothing less than the people that live there, and I have always loved Berliners. They take their culture, their pleasures and their freedoms seriously, even if they aren't always the friendliest bunch. Apart from that, I would say that the most often overlooked aspect of Berlin, at least by visitors, are the lakes that surround the city. You are never more than half an hour from some clean swimmable water, and if you care to invest an hour, you can be totally alone in nature. That means everything. I try to stretch the swimming season a little beyond the natural boundaries of mid April to mid October, as my father would say, "it puts hairs on yer chest."
5. What is your favorite item in your closet right now?
I have a pair of Nike Space Hippies 04, in beige and sky blue terrazzo. They are made from recycled materials, but they don't lead with that aesthetically. Futuristic and cozy, they mysteriously go with everything.
6. What is the last thing you bought for your home?
A huge, quality rice cooker. It revolutionizes cooking for larger groups, I now understand why no Asian family is without one. You can use them for quinoa, buckwheat, lentils and even to lightly steam greens. You can focus on the main dish, knowing all the sides are being taken care of by one easy-to-wash gadget.
7. Did you pick up a new hobby or interest during quarantine?
I started making ice cream, which it turns out was something of a cliché - I've met quite a few other recent enthusiasts. The best flavors were vanilla (it's amazing how much awesomeness is left on the table by conventional manufacturers) and right, sweet, expensive and potent saffron.
8. Do you have a secret talent?
Decluttering. I'm super jealous that Mari Kondo made a career out of it, but she really came at it from the right angle. It's all about the joy of the things you love, and the dead-weight opportunity cost of the crap that you don't.
Steve Molloy provided the images above. Collected and taken by him in the last few months they represent his lifestyle, his inspiration, and his travels.