Dwell

Todd Oldham

You’ve worked in fashion, interiors, photography, crafts, book publishing, and more. Through it all, one constant has been a focus on modern design. What does “modern” mean to you?

Modern is a filter. It’s not a fabric. It’s about serving others rather than yourself. Alexander Girard felt he was there to make everyone’s life better. He sincerely knew he could do it, and he was right. It was like presents. He offered you presents.

You edited the definitive book on Girard’s career, as well as several books related to the artist Charley Harper. What was it like getting to know these two giants of American design so intimately through their life’s work?

These brilliant men, whom It ignited in me a love of nature, science, and biology, but also a color sense that completely shaped and informed what I do. Basically everything I know about color was from Charley by osmosis.

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