Musings with Rebecca Lee
a Collaboration with Rebecca Lee
Working with Rebecca for this second collaboration is an extension of two of our constant sources of inspiration, architecture and nature. Her series for RUS focus around the movement and softness of the knits and how they interact with an imaginary setting, exploring the most ceremonial and surreal aspects of “The Ritual”.
Rebecca works as a spatial designer for her own studio creating fictional spaces where the mysticism of the arches and architectural elements blend with the textures created by light and wind. We felt immediately drawn to her creative universe and her ability to capture those moments of effortlessness and lightness and wanted to know more about her life, work and passions.
You’ve lived in so many different places, where’s home for you?
That’s a difficult question for me. I lived in many places but have never settled in a place for more than five years. I grew up in Korea and the US but I’m currently living in Cape Town, South Africa for a year.
How did you start being interested in architecture?
I always had a fascination for architecture growing up. But it was solidified when I went to Naoshima in 2012. It’s a small island town in Japan well known for its museums and artists’ installations. I was completely mesmerized by the relationship between art and architecture and how much influence a built environment can have on human experience.
What led you to start working with digital art?
I used to work as a store designer and used 3D rendering as a tool to visualize my designs. I fell in love with the process and I started using it to create surreal spaces. It was a way for me to break away from conventional retail design and to explore the tool as an art form.
What sort of things do you find inspiring? Where do you find them?
Color, architecture, nature. I find inspiration everywhere around me. Recently I’ve been inspired by the wind and the movement it creates.
Could you describe how’s your process for starting a new project? Do you prefer solitude or crowded places to concentrate?
I always start by gathering inspiration whether it be images or a specific atmosphere I want to create. Then I start sketching before I build things in 3D. I work best by myself, but I can also go into a very deep focus in a crowded place.
Real or digital?
Real. Even though I work in digital, I always imagine it being IRL.
What’s the inspiration behind the renderings created for “The Ritual”?
I loved your approach to ‘The Ritual’ as something ceremonial and almost surreal. I was inspired by the material of knit too. I wanted to create a surreal environment where RUS textiles interact with nature in an architectural setting.
What sort of spaces do you feel more attracted to?
I’m attracted spaces that create experience and engage people. It could be a museum, a place of worship, or even a retail space.
Do you have any ritual that can transform your mood in an instant?
Doing facial masks always lift my mood. I like to put on a mask at the end of a long day and listen to an audiobook or a podcast. It always feels like a treat.
How would you describe RUS universe in three words?
Feminine, tactile, and timeless.
How’s your typical day?
I wake up, make some coffee and start journaling. I try to write out my thoughts to make them more clear. I go for a short run and shower to start the day. You can usually find me working at a café. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer so I make sure to get a seat where I have a good view of the outside.
What do you appreciate most in a person?
Name three artists/ creatives that inspire you.
Mark Rothko, Tadao Ando, and James Turrell.
Do you have a personal motto/ favorite quote?
I don’t have a favorite quote or motto, but my faith is what guides me.
Do you have any ritual to get dressed in the mornings? How do you decide what to wear?
Comfort is the most important thing for me when getting dressed. It has to be simple and easy. I usually have a few things that I wear on rotation each season.
A book currently in your nightstand?
I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
How do you like to spend your time at home?
I like experimenting with new recipes and making my husband taste them. He loves it, I swear!
Do you have any garment you’ve loved for a long time? What makes it special?
A Barbour jacket that I got with my first paycheck. It brings me back to fall of 2011 when I was fresh out of college, working in NYC full of dreams and possibilities.
Less is more? Name three clothing items always present in your luggage
Definitely. Black jeans, a t-shirt, a knitted turtleneck.
What’s your favourite season to get dressed?
Fall, I love sweaters and jackets.
What rituals do you follow to relax and disconnect?
I like going for a hike or a surf. Being in nature gives me a perspective that I am a part of something much bigger than myself. It helps me relieve my day to day stress and anxiety.
What are your favorite places in the world? What sort of place comes to mind when you think of paradise?
I love New York for its energy and people. It truly is a city that never sleeps; it’s impossible to press pause in NYC. Cape Town is a beautiful place to be in if you want to take things slowly, away from everything else. For vacation, I love Spain and would love to visit the Basque Country next.
What’s next for you in the following months?
I have a lot of traveling this year. I’m going to be in Cape Town for a few months before heading to Seoul, LA, then New York. I am working on a few collaborations that I’m really excited about.