Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason E.C. Wright.
Jason, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been incredibly passionate about sharing the stories, reverence, + contexts surrounding the artful craft of design for much of my adult life.
Having a started with a passion for retail design specifically + commercial spaces in general, this branched into an interest in interior design, which led to a fascination with architecture + wayfinding interests, which fed into curiosities around urban planning, which grew into seeing how design just seeps into every part of a thriving ecosystem, of both nature + on an interplanetary level.
After twenty years in the retail industry, from merchandising to buying, to creative direction to retail consulting, I’ve realized: our worlds are all so inter-connected, yet the best design feels like almost no design at all. And that’s the brilliance I love to get at, to explore, that exists on a palpable, tactile level.
Which is where commercial spaces became my chosen framework for all of this: it is in these places that grand design concepts + ecosystem mechanisms can be translated down to scale, into touchable, wearable, livable designs + objects, existing in concert with one another in varied contexts.
This is the work. Finding those intertwining strings, plucking them, following them down, expanding upon them, exploring every rabbit hole, seeking greater reverence through reference points + perspective of the process. This was the impetus for founding the Burntsienna Research Society.
That said, having a dedicated research library to deepen the history + context of things simply enhances the experience of these interests. In this manner, through this lends, it all comes together: informed respect for what has been, to inform a path of what could be, all while walking alongside the river of what currently just, is.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been so many instances where I thought I ‘knew’ what I was doing, what I was ‘meant’ to do, only to be revealed as simply another lesson. But that became the lesson within itself: that every experience is merely a lesson preparing you for what’s next to come; like levels in a video game, you need the trials in order to reveal the tools to take down the bosses at the end of each board.
And just when it seems you’ve mastered something, you have! Because it starts all over again, you graduated; now, you’re back to being a student. But you just leveled up. So you’re a new student but on a higher level.
It’s been this mentality that kept me buoyant through all hardships, moments of financial ruin, desperation, despair, + the veritable dark night of the soul. But I never gave up. And it was in moments alone in my room, staring listlessly at my inspiration + reference library that the light ‘clicked.’
And here we are.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Burntsienna Research Society story. Tell us more about the business.
Burntsienna Research Society is a consortium for aesthetic research. Fueled by a deeper academic, pedantic passion for the stories behind certain design + aesthetics, we hold three core tenets: Everything designed deserves a certain reverence, has a story, + exists in context.
So we explore the story, through developing case studies + programming; reverence through producing academic galleries installations, + context through bringing out our Burntsienna Research Library.
So, in that vein some context: the idea for a community-engaging design research library originates from my fascination with the Library of Alexandria; a space from antiquity that was a meeting place for scholars + philosophers the world over to share ideas, challenge, + build a better world.
For similar context: in my visits to the Getty Center, I noted they have a fantastic research library that is open to the public (vetted of course) but focused to the Getty Trust’s niche of researching European Art + Classic Masters.
But where is the resource for those actively engaged in the design community? We have co-working spaces, public libraries (which don’t stock rare or expensive books), as well as great design bookstores (which you can’t exactly pitch up inside + study without purchase). But I couldn’t find a middle ground.
So, I created it.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is the intersection of opportunity meeting preparation; gratefully, I’m a midwestern native, so being prepared before ever present anything has long been coded into my DNA. With that, the situations I have been prepared for, I have been able to make some amazing things happen.
Like when my designer friend Chaz A. Jordan returned stateside with his collection from Paris + was looking to launch here in the states, I offered my artist collective space to host an installation. Because I had space, I had ideas. Because I had ideas, I was prepared to execute on a vision for him. As a result, it became an immersive success, + he was quite pleased.
Other examples have been less overt. Like any situation, I’ve ignored the signs to walk away from a client or project because my ego was too deeply tied into ‘helping’ (read: saving) them, from themselves. And it was always some manner of luck that really was grace in good timing that helped me finally wake up + see my exit, pushing me towards the door before everything went catastrophically bad.
So all in all, I’m very well aware that I’m guided + being looked out for. Just working on listening better. The first time. That’s my luck: the luck that comes with intuitive action.
- Website: burntsienna.org
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @jasonecwright
- Other: @burntsiennaresearchsociety
Naska Demini, Gustavo Alvarado, The Vanishing Gallerie., Chaz A. Jordan, Chaz A. Jordan, Chaz A. Jordan, Allen Daniel