It's been a weird few weeks for Kanye West. The rapper and fashion designer has alienated fans and friends alike by speaking out via Twitter and in interviews about everything from slavery to his apparent love for Donald Trump. And while he failed to make it to the Met Gala last night, on Sunday, he tweeted that he's seeking architects and designers who want to "make the world better" for a project called Yeezy Home.
It's a little unclear from West's tweet what, exactly, Yeezy Home would do. Would it be a boutique architecture firm? Would it design ultra-minimalist furniture? Is this just about him being jealous of pal Virgil Abloh's IKEA collab? As with so many things Kanye these days, it's a mystery wrapped in a tweet.
Should the project come to fruition, though, we imagine it might echo the aesthetic of the Yeezy fashion line, which West debuted in 2015 to surprisingly positive reviews from industry experts. Since then, he's continued to churn out monochromatic, athleisure-inspired looks that have been, in lieu of traditional ad campaigns, publicised via paparazzi and Instagram photos of wife Kim Kardashian and other influencers. Whether you love it or hate it, Kanye's design aesthetic is the epitome of Calabasas cool, and were it to be translated into home design and/or decor, it's easy to see some people going nuts for it.
West is no stranger to the world of architecture and design. He's an avid art collector who also runs a creative collective called DONDA, named for his late mother, through which he has collaborated with everyone from artist George Condo to fashion house Maison Martin Margiela to filmmaker Steve McQueen. He announced the creation of DONDA in 2012 via a tweet.
He has also expressed interest in architecture as far back as 2013, saying in an interview with BBC: "I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing but water bottle design, architecture... I make music but I shouldn't be limited to once place of creativity."
Later that same year, he told a group of students at Harvard's Graduate School of Design: "I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be 'architected.'... I believe that utopia is actually possible — but we're led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political."
All that being said, it's not only hard to take Kanye seriously these days, it's also hard to support him. His comments in an interview with TMZ that 400 years of slavery were "a choice" have been condemned by pretty much everyone (with the unfortunate exception of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones), and for good reason. It was an incredibly damaging and offensive statement to make. Sure, some people have posited that this whole thing is just elaborate performance art (we hope so!), but unless there's serious truth to that explanation, our feelings towards Kanye right now are complicated to say the least.