Monday, November 1, 2010

Hero of the Week: DBA

Our Hero of the Week is DBA, a New York based company founded in 2008 with the aim to develop products with a strong focus on design and rigorous ecological practices. DBA’s wares are distinguished by an honest simplicity and a heightened sensitivity to user needs. Furthermore, DBA is committed to the awareness and application of responsible materials, efficient construction and intelligent packaging.

We asked DBA five questions in the style of the Proust Questionnaire. Here are their answers:

Where do you go when you need to gather your thoughts?
Our office is pretty hectic and it's difficult to get away for long - so when we need space to think we usually go into headphone land. Everyone's taste at DBA are pretty eclectic though - lately we've been circulating Neu! and Memory Tapes. The Atlas Sound mixes are a perennial favorite also.

Describe your favorite smell.
Quite possibly one of the most interesting aspects of developing our line of pens has been working with the ink chemists. It's a rarefied field and they can be very eccentric - much more than you would expect. It is sort of how you might imagine a 19th century alchemist to be: secretive, super intelligent, and a bit paranoid. We get new ink formulation samples on a weekly bases and every time we open one the smell is amazing. The black ink has an intensely earthy smell that is difficult to describe. Musty and dark, but somehow very fresh… a little bit like pine forest peat.

Describe a time that you could see the most stars in the sky.
The lack of stars is definitely one of the bigger downfalls with living in the city. But like anyone who tracks the ecological news we've become a bit paranoid… which means we're working on our escape plan! So whether the doomsdayers are scaring us with theories of the peak oil crash or that the future of Manhattan might be underwater, it's got us fantasizing about living off the grid. We've got our eyes on an abandoned farm on a hill upstate, way above the water line. By that point, at least, we'll be able to see a lot more stars.

What was your favorite toy growing up?
In no particular order: the game Risk, paper airplanes, early DEC Rainbow personal computer, Sycamore 'propeller' seeds, Lasertag.

Can you share a significant line from a song or book that you remember?
Phil: Do you know what today is?
Rita: No, what?
Phil: Today is tomorrow. It happened.
- Groundhog Day

Learn more at