A perfect day trip to escape New York City: Manitoga, the 75-acre eco-sensitive Modernist home and studio of American industrial designer Russel Wright. Located 50 miles north of New York City, it was an abandoned quarry that Wright spent his entire life designing into an extensive woodland.
After the death of his wife, Mary Small Einstein (who was the business mind behind Wright) he created an oasis for him to raise their only daughter. By moving large boulders on his property, Wright was able to reroute a natural spring to fill the quarry to create a swimming hole in front of the house. He spent years curating the grounds and composing what he called “outdoor rooms” where he would host parties. Throughout his design process at Manitoga, he wanted to hide the hand of man. So even though he spent countless years designing the 75-acre woodland estate, he wanted it to feel naturally formed.
Wright Is best known for his American modern dinnerware which he sold over 250,000 pieces of during his lifetime. His design philosophy was about simple living, which him and his wife wrote about in their 1950 book Guide to Easier Living. The book described how to reduce housework and increase leisure time through efficient design and management. I resonate with his design philosophy of living simply, designing to appeal to all five senses and I will continue to draw inspiration from my visit to Manitoga.