Designer Adi Goodrich says she named her small-batch furniture company “Sing Thing” because the furniture “would dance if it could.” Hefty, playful, and surreal, the brand draws inspiration from Goodrich’s childhood, which she spent working alongside her father in his architectural restoration and antique business. She says it’s “inspired by and made for artists” in the spirit of Italian designer Enzo Mari, who sought to craft elevated designs for a wide variety of people using easily accessible materials like pre-milled pine boards and plywood.
Goodrich built each piece in her small 8-by-10 foot wood shop in Los Angeles using pre-cut 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood (no easy feat in such a tight space). She wanted the furniture to be beautiful and interesting, but also affordable for creative types on a budget. To that end, each Sing Thing piece has a little bit of an edge but remains sturdy and practical. The debut collection includes two tables, a dining chair, floor lamp, pendant light, side table, mirror, reading chair, and vase produced in collaboration with ceramacist Becki Chernoff of bX Ceramics.
“Beaming with confidence and joy, Sing Thing’s debut collection ‘The Frunchroom’ is a heartfelt homage to the silhouettes, materials, and character of Adi Goodrich’s most treasured influences from the French L’Esprit Nouveau movement to Lina, the beloved northern Italian woman that taught Goodrich how to live. A tip of the hat to Chicago, the collection’s namesake is a playful reference to the south-side word, ‘frunchroom,’ loosely defined as the front room in someone’s home that houses all of the family’s best moments, most prized possessions, and happiest times.”
Most of Goodrich’s career has been dedicated to large-scale set designs and interiors. She has a keen eye for layering different shapes to create imaginative compositions, and that talent shines through in her furniture designs. Her signature punches of color, circles, arches, and wavy lines intersect with the raw materiality of the wood, which she first fell in love with in her father’s wood shop and associated trips to lumber mills. She says “The Frunchroom” is “an offbeat celebration of anti-capitalist objects that are just as alive as you are.”
Prior to her foray into furniture, Goodrich built a reputation for attention-grabbing scenery as a spatial designer. She studied with the Chicago Imagists at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and La Sorbonne in Paris, and she’s currently studying interior architecture at UCLA. Goodrich co-founded Los Angeles-based creative studio Sing-Sing with her partner Sean Pecknold, which created an oversized art installation at Instagram’s headquarters and the set design of the Fleet Foxes 2022 tour.
If Goodrich’s reference to Enzo Mari piqued your interest, be sure to check out his famous 1974 book Autoprogettazione. The revolutionary Italian industrial designer and modernist artist combined arts and crafts techniques with the ideals of communism, with a strong personal philosophy that opposed the idea that good design is only for the wealthy.
The book offers instructions for building simple wooden furniture made of the simplest of materials. Mari distributed it for free, and although the book was later formally published, he donated the rights to reproduce the furniture in the book to German charity CUCULA, which supports African refugees. The book can still be found for free online in PDF form.