At Home in the Arts District with Amy Mazius & Davy Greenberg

Amy Mazius and Davy Greenberg are our Arts District neighbors and the people behind creative studio metahaiku. So, when they said they wanted to do something together, we couldn't say no. With time and conversation, we decided to do a small capsule of vintage camo tees and ball caps made from deadstock fabric to show love to the Arts District, a place we're lucky to call home.

We interviewed Amy and Davy about how metahaiku is an expression of themselves, their values, and their community here in the Arts District.

How did you two meet?

Like every modern romance, on the internet (we’ll never tell which app). 

What is metahaiku and how did it come to be?

metahaiku started as a shared place for us to work outside of our home. We wanted a space where we could freely express ideas, learn how to use power tools, host community, and take photos. It evolved into so much more.

The creative studio is also your home. Could you talk about what it means philosophically to open your home to others in a creative and professional context?

Opening our home to others, whether online or IRL, is a practice in community, co-creation, and letting go of the preciousness that often comes with design.

One thing we agree on is the value we place on comfort; we want to extend this feeling to others. This can meet on set, in our living room, or to empower people to feel comfortable in the imperfections of life and design.

How is metahaiku an expression of your values?

 In addition to comfort, we value making ethical choices about our consumption. It’s so easy to spend without considering the downstream effects. We’re happily vegan and try our best to vote with every dollar we spend, shopping local and vintage–something Amy’s been passionate about since childhood. 

I’ve read you describe yourselves as a “conduit for other people’s amazing creative ideas.” What does it take to be a successful conduit?

Saying yes - and connecting friends - opens all the doors. We like to be generous with our time and bring people together. Celebrating other people’s ideas lights us up.

Even in our earliest conversations about this collaboration, you expressed how much you didn’t want to introduce anything brand new into the world, which is why we used vintage shirts and deadstock fabric for the cap. What does sustainability mean to you and where does that value come from?

While we understand major change is only going to come from policy and global reformation, we still are driven by daily choices to contribute in a positive way. Every decision you make is contagious; if enough of us do our part, hopefully the bigger changes will happen. 

Everything we need is already here; creating a desire around reusing, rethinking, reworking is how we shift consumer behavior for the better. Also nothing is better than a perfectly worn-in t shirt. 

metahaiku is (famously) beautiful. Could you talk about what a well-designed space does for you creatively?

The space itself is the creative output in a lot of ways. It inspires us to get up in the morning, notice the way the sunlight hits, express gratitude, and slow down. It also leads us to constantly think and rethink what living in a space means, how we can reinvent ourselves on a daily basis. 

What has it been like to build a home in the Arts District?

We’re so excited about all the things going on in the Arts District. There are amazing artists living on every block and it’s a place where community is strongly encouraged. We each lived in Chicago and New York, both cities had the element of running into friends on every block – something not every Angeleno would say in describing the way they live in LA; for us, that IS the Arts District - a little family strewn across a few city blocks.

I’ve read you love to “get your hands dirty.” What does that mean?

We love imperfect details that reveal the handiwork. In this collaboration you’ll notice sewn “scribbles” and imperfectly stitched down tags give the shirts a feeling of warmth and humanity.

Getting your hands dirty means not being afraid to share the human element.

What are each of your 3 favorite places in the Arts District (at the moment)?

Hatchet Supply, of course!

We love the vegan slices and punk rock aesthetic of PizzaNista.

Hauser + Wirth is one of our favorite stops for art and the occasional martini.

Hennesy and Ingels has amazing out of print books and other printed matter we love. Epic magazine selection.

Interview by Storr Erickson

Photo: Angella Cho