PerhapsLabs is dedicated to the pursuit of experimentation-driven design. Through trial and error, questioning the limits of form, and the willingness to play and explore, to fail and start over, the object takes shape. The story of making something should be as interesting as the object itself.

Want something you see here? Want something you have never seen?

My new site cottinghamstudio.com (a work in progress)

Contact: cottinghamstudio@gmail.com


Some prefer clean, controlled lines, rendering and mass production. Others create things slowly over time, allowing design to evolve, working with hands not computers, embracing forces of chance. Both methods are valid, and can produce stunning work. I have chosen the latter.

I had spent the better part of the year committed to exploring this method of design and making, focused on design by drip - a blend of chaos and control.

Inspired by the formation of stalactites, I set out on a experimental path and fell upon the idea of dripping and accumulation. This method would allow the drip to grow as if it had a life of its own outside of my control. As each drop of wax fell it would settle and harden as it pleased. It was more like a balancing act than my other work, and I was more an observer of the process. The end result was then cast in metal with almost no intervention to the shapes that gravity had made. The name Oroboros refers to the symbol of the snake eating its tail, both creation and destruction, an endless cycle of life and death. This name sums up both the why and the how that led to the making of this collection.

chair, 29" high, 29" deep, 22" wide
lamp, 38" long, 10" diameter
table, 14" tall, 18" diameter

Contact me, cottinghamstudio@gmail.com for inquiries.

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The Teen Art Park Project was done in conjunction with Design Matters as a proposal for a new after-school program for East Pasadena's underprivileged youth. Using an abandoned lot near the Learning Works school, my team developed a space to elevate street art using urban forms and billboard structures as a canvas for aerosol art. More can be seen here.

This project was a year-long endeavor: one part research, one part design. We started with "blue sky", big-picture, wish-list design. In our first iteration, we envisioned a "billboard graffiti
skateland." This borrowed heavily from the landscape that already served as the backdrop for our target group's lives, but this condensed version was just a bit twisted, like Alice's Wonderland.

The key difference in our design was that young voices were meant to be heard here. We liked what we had seen modeled in San Diego's "Writer'z Block" program, where young adults use graffiti and spoken word poetry to share with the world their burgeoning point of view. To do this teens need to feel safe and they need to know that while critique is welcome, judgement is not. With this in mind we centered our design around this idea of safe expression.

We targeted a "gray zone" in northeastern Pasadena where four different gangs butted up against each other but did not seem to lay claim to the area. This little cluster of residential homes and former warehouses was a green zone that had a small but thriving alternative middle/high school already in place.

Phase two was our follow-up where we took the original ideas and boiled them down to something that was more in reach of the available budget. To determine our direction, phase one was presented in a series of open-forum meetings with the teens who would ultimately use the things we made.

The final phase was a further distillation of one core concept into a product that was intended to be part of a kit that other communities could implement to whatever degree they could afford, and build on over time.


The plan is this: at some point when we can afford it, we will build our home on a nicely forested piece of land. I am studying now to become LEED certified, and I am learning about the construction methods of the American past.

This is a first draft, wood shingle-clad, tin roof, open-air studio. I have also started on a live/work solution that would be just as "off the grid" but have more of the creature comforts that we have become accustomed to.

I have been living a stones throw away from the Adirondacks now for about 4 months, so I have been exposed to a lot of what one might call "rustic" furniture that you don't see a lot in Los Angeles. That got me thinking about wood. Then in my usual blog pilfering I ran across a short documentary about Sam Maloof. So naturally I ran out and got myself some good ol' Douglas Fir and started carving. I plan on following this up with an endless series of ever evolving chairs, tables and lamps. I will update here as I go.

I am using these chairs in my dinning room, but I can see a chair like this easily fitting in the corner of most any room. Kind of an occasional chair, functioning as a table for those magazines you can't bring yourself to throw out, until that odd occasion when you suddenly have someone new in your space that takes your usual seat. They can be stained any shade you may desire and even painted if you are so inclined. Each chair takes about a week to complete.


Our new home lacks a proper work space. The shed is small, and the roof is too low for me to stand. I started to ponder the kind of building I could build myself that would utilize mostly reclaimed material.

This rendering was made with Podium and Photoshop. I have one other idea for the shed that may prove to be more affordable, but I do plan to use cord-wood construction at some point. It's just too pretty not to!