Dear Human originated from the mutual desire to create joy through unexpected moments in everyday environments. Though it began as an urban intervention practice, this desire has carried through as we’ve continued to explore new materials and forms, drifting from fine art into design concepts and back again.
The result is a collection that resides somewhere between the two disciplines.
Since our beginning, we have been dedicated to thoughtful material use, and projects often begin with playful experimentation with industrial castoffs and scrap materials to see where they can go. Our works are designed and made by us in our Montreal studio, and occasionally by other local makers. We enjoy collaborating with architects, artists, interior designers, and industrial designers to realize our projects.
Dear Human is focused on creating unusual, sustainable and functional objects and experiences.
Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O’Connell
Before meeting at an artist residency in Denmark in 2008, Jasna and Noel lived varied lives in other worlds. Jasna grew up in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. When war broke out in the 1990s, her studies in architecture were interrupted and led to her immigration to Canada. There, she took the opportunity to change course and studied fine arts, graduating from Emily Carr University.
Noel left his native United States after university to study in Thailand and China, where he immersed himself in Asian cultures and became fluent in Thai and Mandarin. After several years, he returned to the U.S. to complete his MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, with a focus in ceramics and sculpture.
While working on their individual fine art practices, Noel and Jasna began experimenting together on collaborative urban-interventions, public art, and design-oriented projects. As their collaborative work gained momentum, it quickly became their primary focus and Dear Human was born.