Name: emmanuel olunqua
Hometown: Los Angeles
Now lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood.
claim to fame: Mr. Olunkwa is a filmmaker, freelance magazine editor and furniture designer who was recently named as the new editor of Pin-Up Magazine. he sees his cross-disciplinary exercises In keeping with the mantra of communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, who taught that “the medium is the message.” “I belong to the Tumblr generation,” he said. “I’ve always been able to curate my own world.”
big break: Growing up in Los Angeles, Mr. Olunkwa first showed an interest in design by taking a critical look at his hometown real estate. “I was always intrigued by who built friends’ houses or what extensive renovations were done,” he said.
He moved to New York in 2014 to study race and architecture at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School. In 2019, he . enrolled in A prestigious, multidisciplinary program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.
During this he also inspected November magazine, a cerebral “publishing and programming effort” he helped found in 2020, and was an editor for Broadcasting, a virtual publication by Pioneer Works Gallery. “Everything went much better for me than last year,” he said.
Latest Project: This month, he took over as editor of pin up, a cheeky biennial architecture publication based in New York. (Felix Burrichter, the magazine’s founder and former editor, moves into the new role of creative director.) “Pin-Up prides itself on its staunch optimism, so I’m going to complicate what this idea of ’architectural entertainment’ might mean. I want to continue,” he said.
next thing: As a furniture designer, Mr. Olunkwa is known for flower-shaped side tables and sculptural chairs made from high-grade plywood (starting at $650 and sold out eandko.com, and at picture room in Brooklyn). A new capsule of furniture will be sold by the collection sense this fall. “When I started living alone last year, I started making furniture because I wanted my space to reflect itself for the first time,” he said.
Deep Play: For his undergraduate thesis at Columbia University (he graduated in May with a Master of Science degree), he “dissected the spatiality of”slave gameJeremy O., about racism and sexism. A Tony-nominated production by Harris. “This is a really important work that allows people to examine how we see ourselves as spectators of art and identity,” he said.