When most design firms change offices, they set up an address forward. But when Stefan Sagmeister & Jessica Walsh of the eponymous Sagmeister & Walsh were finally driven out of their New York offices by vermin and cockroaches, they set up shop in the Flatiron district and announced the change of address with their own eccentric panache: stripping down naked, getting dirty, and covering themselves in bugs.
We decided to reach out to Stefan & Jessica and ask them a few questions about the move.
So how bad was your old place really? Give us the nitty gritty.
Sagmeister: Well, there were mice. And a happy ending massage parlor downstairs. With table showers.
Walsh: We tried to make our old studio look nicer a few years ago by painting everything white. It looked good in photos but after a few years the paint was chipping off and furniture started falling apart. The floors were uneven which was giving us all back pain. There was also a family of mice that would hang out in the studio even during the day. We had roach infestations which would not go away even when we sprayed for them. I think the tipping point was earlier this year when our ceiling caved in from a toilet leak and a gas leak that filled the studio with carbon monoxide. It was definitely time to move on!
And how does it compare with the new office?
Walsh: It’s twice the size of the old space. We’ve been doing a lot of photo-based work so we built out a photo studio as well as a larger conference room. It’s not super fancy, but it’s nice enough to bring a client now.
Who took the photos? And how many of those cockroaches are real?
Sagmeister: Our old friend Henry Hargreaves took the pictures. All cockroaches are real. Some of them are not so alive during photo taking.
When I saw your moving announcement, I remarked to my editor that I’d never seen a designer naked before. (I was not aware that nude staff photos are a long and proud tradition at Sagmeister & Walsh.) He responded: “Sagmeister & Walsh are the horniest people in design, bless them.” What do you think of that label?
Sagmeister: Unbeknownst to your editor, there is an actual difference between naked and horny.
Check out Sagmeister & Walsh’s one of a kind moving announcement here.