tellmewhy—the first 24 months of a New York design studio is the story of our beginnings: Two young, wide-eyed designers who started up their own studio without any clients, in the midst of a recession, in a city brimming with world-renowned designers.

    It was published in 2003 by Princeton Architectural Press. We conceived it as an anti-monograph, a chaotic and comical counterpoint to the high-gloss, celebratory publications that designers back then published to present themselves in the best possible light. With the help of the great writer Clare Jacobson, we openly shared all the ups and downs, successes and failures of our back-then brand-new endeavor. It was meant as an informative and entertaining way to honestly capture a moment in time: The birth of a studio, before it falters or leaves its mark, and before bad memories fade and leave behind a clean, perfect past. It sold out quickly and became a fairly well-known design book around the world, helping our studio on its way to stay afloat and push forward.

    "I was looking for tips and advice on how to run a design firm, and for that I was very disappointed. Of the 200+ pages in this book, less than 20% is text--the rest is just pictures of their work. And their main advice seems to be, 'have the right girlfriend'."
    Amazon customer review (one star)
    Audio CommentaryJan and Hjalti reminisce about the project
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