When Matt Chase finished work on our wonderful map of Copenhagen we asked him to tell us a bit more about himself. We knew we’d like what he had to say after reading his bio, and his love of barbecue only confirmed it.

What is your favourite journey?
I’m thankful to have logged a few notable voyages, but the journey home is always the best, I think. Home being where you’re from, originally. It’s funny how that word changes as you get older, too — when you’re a kid, it just means a house on a street somewhere. It’s where you wait for the school bus, it’s where your basketball goal is, where your mom force-feeds you vegetables. Then you hit a certain age, where suddenly you’re moving around every few years, and it becomes more of a feeling than a real place. It’s nice to get a taste of that every once in awhile.

Clockwise from top left: Mykonos; UCSB campus; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Hammerpress; downtown KC; Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue

Tell us your three favourite places?
1. Mykonos, Greece. When I was in high school, our art teacher arranged for a small group of us to travel abroad for two weeks—we snaked through Italy, Greece and Turkey and spent a few days on a boat in the Aegean. Really incredible experience, but of all the places we stopped, I distinctly remember a night in Mykonos, sitting outside of this little bar (we may have circumvented the school’s drinking policy once or twice or thirteen nights in a row), watching rickety sailboats float in and out of the marina and thinking, “I could live totally live here forever.”

2. Santa Barbara, California. Last November my buddy and I toured the coast, driving Highway One from San Diego up north to Monterey. He was checking out grad schools so we spent a day on the UCSB campus, which is tucked right in between the hills and the ocean. It’s one of those rare places where you could hike a mountain in the morning and surf in the afternoon, with just a bicycle to get you around.

3. Kansas City, Missouri. You heard me correctly, yes. I can’t really explain it, but it’s always kept me in some kind of mystically alluring grasp. I lived there a few summers between university semesters and, try as I might, I simply can’t recall ever having a bad time. A lot of people don’t realize it, but the arts district of Kansas City has more galleries per square mile than any other neighborhood of any city in the country. For a midwestern city especially, there’s a hugely progressive cultural movement, great music, and lauded barbeque joints lurking around every corner.

Where would you most like to live?
I’d settle for any of the above. But assuming for the sake of this question that those are off-limits, I might pick Florence, Italy. It was my second-favorite of the stops we made on the high school trip. The architecture is overwhelming—it sort of feels like you’ve stepped back in time.

Who are your design heroes?
In no particular order or chronology: Rodrigo Corral (& his sometimes-partner-in-crime Ben Wiseman), Hey!, the team at AnagramaJames JoyceStudio8Saul BassPaula Scher.


Above: a selection of Saul Bass’ movie poster graphics 

Worst advice you’ve ever received?
I had a creative director try to tell me once that collaboration doesn’t yield ideas, that working alone off in a corner somewhere is the only way you’ll ever do good work. Had a tough time subscribing to that.

Worst advice you’ve ever given?
Whilst playing GoldenEye 007: “Just use the Klobb.”

What’s your least favourite smell?
Cat urine is pretty foul. There are some alleys in New York that rank up there, but I can only assume that’s because they are full of cat piss.

What would you never do again?
When I was about eight, I attempted a back handspring off my parents’ couch and broke three of my fingers. So I guess that.

See more of Matt’s wonderful work at chasematt.com.

Published 1 February 2017

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