Maryana Grinshpun

Cues and Views

Architect and interior designer Maryana Grinshpun, in brief.

Maryana Grinshpun

Home: Brooklyn, New York.  Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine (then, USSR).  Profession: Architectural and interior designer.  Organization: MAMMOTH Projects.  Title: Founder.  Languages spoken: English and Russian.  Embarrassing Spanish, French and Danish.

Current project: Redesigning design.  Last book read: Mythos, by Stephen Fry.   Recently viewed and recommended: Robert Sapolsky’s Intro to Human Behavioral Biology course at Stanford, on YouTube.  Recent unique acquisition: An original Pollock office chair.  A client, now friend, rescued it from being loaded into some liquidating company van during a Covid-office closing (Thanks, Jeff!).

Personality profile: All of them.  Moral compass: Weirdly incorruptible.  How do you define a perfect friendship?  Honest.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Honest.  What is your greatest joy? Surprise.  What is your greatest fear? Monotony.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Science, research and medicine.

What book have you repeatedly read? Chaos, by James Gleick.  What’s featured prominently on your office wall? Fresh paint.  What is the best advice you received growing up? Potential doesn't count.  I was 25, but wish I’d heard it sooner.  What is your go-to source of news and information? The Financial Times, print edition.  I peruse the pink pages with an affected English accent.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Research of every kind.  I like digging.

What is your big idea? Social media algorithms have built the framework for a golden age of modularity in design and construction.  Our wants have finally converged.  What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Making space feel custom, without being custom.

As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? Middle class.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Playing fetch with Yuri, my dog.  What advice would you give your younger self? Explore more, fear less.  What day in your life would you like to re-live? My first day in “The West”.  I was  seven; it was Rome.

Personal mission: Leave the world a more beautiful place than I found it.  Personal motto: Fear nothing.  Favorite quote: Change is the only evidence of life.  Desired epitaph: Worm food.

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