video debut: design by the book!

today i am thrilled and so proud to debut the first episode of design by the book– a collaboration between design*sponge and the new york public library. for the past few months i’ve been working with a fantastic team at the library to create a series that would highlight the amazing local design talent in nyc as well as the incredible creative resources the new york public library has to offer.

together we invited five brooklyn-based artists to come to the library, become inspired by its collections and have us film their entire creative process from the beginning to the final finished product, whatever that may be. in this episode we’re introducing the project and our designers: rebecca kutys of moontree press, john pomp of john pomp glass, julia rothman, mike perry and lorena barrezueta.

this has been an absolute joy to film so far and i can’t wait to see what the artists find in the library and end up creating throughout this process. please stay tuned for the next episode (date TBA) where we’ll follow the artists as they rummage through the library to find resources that inspire them. we’ll also meet with isaac mizrahi in the next episode and talk with him about inspiration and the creative process! thank you to all of the artists who are generously donating their time for this project and thank you to james murdock, amy azzarito, and jessica pigza at the nypl for making this series the highlight of my year. (and thanks to the clear tigers for the awesome music!)

[click here to check out the video on itunesU. click here to check it out on the nypl’s site and here to check it out on youtube]

  1. Mhari says:

    so good! I was completely absorbed watching that and looking forward to the next one, well done…

  2. Nini says:

    You’ve brought together two of favorite things in the world: libraries and inspiring design! I loved the video and look forward to the next episode. Congratulations.

  3. Alex says:

    I love to learn about an artist’s process. No one is exactly alike. Thanks for this presentation. Excited and ready to watch the next installment.

  4. Rebecca says:

    One of my favorite parts of the first episode was the MUSIC!!!! What fantastic and quirky, inspirational pieces.

    Your music selection most definitely put me in an inspired mood and set the tone for the whole project.

    I love what you are doing here! Thank you!

  5. Very creative! I will follow the series for sure. seen on

  6. Treacy says:

    Love, love, love this idea of being able to see the library as a source of inspiration for these artists. Can’t wait for the adventure!

  7. Lisa says:

    I couldn’t possibly love this project more!! I’m so excited to see the process unfold. Great group of artist, very interesting…

  8. Laura says:

    awesome video! can’t wait to see what the artists come up with :)

  9. Nada says:

    yay! such an exiting idea! can’t wait for next episode!

  10. Montserrat says:

    L O V E L Y I D E A!

  11. Candelyn says:

    Yipee! Can’t wait to get more!

  12. virginia says:

    that was so much fun to watch! i check julia’s book-by-the-cover at least 3 times/week.

    this is truly the new medium for communication…music choice was perfect.

  13. Amazing!! And so inspiring! I love it and agree that it should be on tv.

  14. maritess says:

    I’m really impress. i can’t wait to see the next episode. What a great idea!

  15. diana says:

    i love libraries! what a great project!

  16. apt 70 says:

    Oh Grace! I just love, love, love the video. It’s so simple yet so fresh. I can’t wait to see the next episode. Thanks so much for this great project!

  17. amy is the best! this is a great project!

  18. Jess says:

    I am so inspired! All the featured artists are amazing. Can’t wait to see the next video.


  19. Kelly E. says:

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to see the next installment! Congrats, Grace!

  20. lush bella says:

    such a fantastic project! i can’t wait to see what they all create.

  21. Amanda says:

    Grace, this is AMAZING! So inspiring, such an exciting range of artists and designers, and what an awesome new way to think about a library! Any library!

  22. Bess says:

    I just have to add my own inspired two cents, the film was really great! I will now bravely march in the National Library here in Austria and muddle my way through some sure to be interesting german pieces of history. Yay!

  23. Amanda says:

    Thanks Grace. Really enjoyed everything about this exciting project. Loved seeing the artists at work. Permanently hooked on design sponge.

  24. Lisa says:

    What a fantastic collaboration. Great job Grace, and I’m looking forward to following the artists on their journey.

  25. heather says:

    oh grace! i am so excited about this! i am off to link it on my blog now and i can’t wait for more episodes. i miss new york so much and it’s great to have this link back.

    i am so inspired by the collaborative artists i was already following and the ones i am being introduced to through this series.

    thank you for doing this!

  26. zarita says:

    love. it. looking forward to the whole series! also, taking note of what inspires me and how i can build off an idea.

  27. What a wonderful and inspiring idea – a unique collaboration of creative juices!
    Seeing this made me feel happy I live in the Two Thousands.
    Looking forward for more :-)

  28. fabi says:


  29. Clinton says:

    As someone who almost has their library degree, what a great project!

  30. Justine says:

    This was really awesome and inspiring to watch!

  31. Kristy says:

    This is great grace! can’t wait to see the next one!

  32. grace, you are amazing–and beautiful!

  33. recovergirl says:

    I can’t wait to see what they find at the library.

  34. Rose says:

    This is so great! I’m a library school student and am really interested in how artists can be inspired by libraries and archives. Looking forward to the next video!

  35. brilliant! i’m very eager to see what comes next. thanks for inspiring my weekend ahead!

  36. Monique says:

    I love this collaboration. I live in New York and it’s common knowledge that the main NY Public Library branch is beautiful and filled with books, but now I can more easily associate it with design. I just never thought about it. What a great way for everyone to gain exposure (you and the other designers included of course). So impressed with how Design*Sponge evolves!

  37. Vanessa says:

    I love it! Can’t wait for the next episode!! :-)

  38. CathysWraps says:

    Very inspiring! Looking forward to learning how the artists research and apply the libraries visual resources.

  39. Niq says:

    This is fantastic Grace and I can’t wait for the next instalment! Thanks so much for all of your hard work with design*sponge – its always very inspiring!

  40. ana paula says:

    nice idea! congrats!
    and where are the next episodes?


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