Monthly Archives: November 2019

Thinking Local and Global Design | 248 | Scott Utterstrom



Scott Utterstrom, Principal at XTEN Architecture in Los Angeles. Scott was born in Portland, Oregon, graduated with a BA in Architecture from Cal Poly and spent a year in Copenhagen studying architecture. He got his Masters in Architecture from UCLA and, as mentioned, since 2007, he has been with XTEN Architecture working with previous Convo By Design guest, XTEN President, Monica Haefelfinger.

If you are new to the podcast, welcome. Those who have been subscribing for a while know, I only speak with guests whose work I admire. I started the podcast because I am a huge fan of design and architecture so it would be odd for me to speak with a guest whose work doesn’t move me. This being said, I spoke with Monika and Scott at different times because while the firm appears clear and comfortable in its direction, both Monika and Scott have different views on the work. I really enjoy that part of these conversations and my hope is that you do too.

When I try to imagine what design and architecture firms will be “of note” and studied, I consider XTEN to be one of those. Swiss roots, clean lines, minimal and modern but not stark. I like their work so much because I love LA and have always admired work that allows itself to be noticed yet compliments the beauty of Southern California. They do that.

Before we hear from Scott and get into this episode of the podcast, I want to thank you for downloading and subscribing to Convo By Design. Did you know that there are other ways to get the show. Let’s say you’re in the car, driving and don’t want to look at your phone. Ask your smart device to get it for you, say, “Hey Google, play Convo By Design.” You can also ask Siri. We are available through every smart device and on just about every podcast platform. Okay, this is XTEN Architecture’s, Scott Utterstrom.


What Every Interior Design Trade Professional Needs to Know | 247 | The Design Influencer Group



In 2019 I started the Design Influencer and Innovation Group. This is a series of trade only events at Southern California. This gathering was held at the Ornare showroom on Beverly Blvd in West Hollywood.

First up is Rozita Nazarian with the benefits and challenges of design showcase houses. 

Gary Gibson is unique in that he is a designer with his own showroom so he has to be cognizant of what other designers really want as well. Gary also talks about industry events and the challenges of  expanding into new categories.

Leslie Shapiro Joyal has a unique view on the up cropping of designer workrooms allowing for creators to settle in a space that allows them to craft their own product. She talks about her workroom, her showroom and how she uses this experience to, in turn provide that experience to other designers. She describes it as a “circle in which the ecosystem thrives.” This is Leslie Shapiro Joyal.

Josh Borris with Core Development Group addresses the fundamental issue. How can the industry help busy design and architecture professionals. How can companies provide marketing and sales materials to help you along the way. Josh hits some really interesting points.

Longtime friend of the show, architect Takashi Yanai. Takashi opened the firm’s San Francisco office. He talks a bit about opening new territories. This is critical for design and architecture firms.

Julia Wong talks about design shows and the importance of support for design professionals.

Aaron B. Duke shares his thoughts about something that comes up all the time…. The pivot. What happens when you figure out that you need to change the carrier direction to accommodate for live direction? You don’t hear many talk about it in raw, honest terms.

Back to the issue of trade shows and inspiration, Nicolette Akiko from Studio Akiko has some strong opinions. I have had the pleasure of working with Nicolette and I value her perspective on establishing a local base for the firm and expanding outward, I think you will too.

Laurie Haefele, she is clear on what she needs and wants from the industry. Hey, design trade shows, manufacturers and showrooms… Do you want to know what design pros want from you…. here you go.

Wrapping this up is an outsider, for very good reason. Alex Abramian is a freelance journalist who has covered the design and architecture industry for quite some time. This is where trade editorial and design trade meet. And sometimes that meeting is a violent collision. Want a smooth transition? Listen to this from journalist, Alex Abramian.

That’s a wrap on this episode of Convo By Design featuring the Design Influencer and Innovator group. A collection of Southern California’s best and brightest in design and architecture. Thank you Rozita, Gary, Laurie, Julia, Josh, Aaron, Takashi, Nicolette and Alex. Thank you Cynthia and the Ornare showroom staff for making us feel so at home in your amazing space. Thank you Snyder Diamond, Vondom, SubZero, Wolf and Cove for your generous support and most of all, thank you for listening, downloading each episode, rating the podcast on iTunes and engaging in social media. You are the absolute best and I truly appreciate you. 

That is a wrap on this episode of Convo By Design and until next week, keep creating.


Inimitable Style From Inside Out | 246 | Alison Palevsky



Alison Palevsky, interior designer and art consultant spoke with me about the career reboot, the pivot. She started her career as a talent agent trainee, for three years before realizing that was not what she wanted to do with her life. Alison shares her experience working with and for Trip Haenisch, Oliver Furth and Martyn Lawrence Bullard. This is more than a coming into ones own in the industry. This is about a focus on what one truly wants to be and then going out and getting it.

This is about the reboot, refocused energy and attention on what you really want to be and then going and getting it. This is Alison Palevsky.

#Palevsky #ConvoByDesign #Design #Architecture #LosAngeles


Crafting Style and Becoming One of the World’s Greatest | 245 | Jamie Bush



Jamie Bush, born in Long Island, to a family of dairy farmers, photographers, artists and designers. He studied art and architecture in New Orleans and Italy. Received his Masters of Architecture from Tulane University and then, of course he headed to LA to put it all into practice.

Jamie Bush is among the distinguished AD 100 and Elle Decor’s A-List. But, you already know that. What you probably haven’t heard are the stories of discovery, trial, failure, experience and ultimately finding the joy in design and architecture that propels Bush to strive for his look, his style, the feeling he looks for in a space and then crafting that space to match the way he feels it should look. This is about finding ones pace in the world and that magical skill of helping others determine what it is they want in a space and finding congruent between those two things. And we are going to talk about the boat, the house, I can’t do this justice so I am going to let him do it. This is architect, designer and incredible talent, Jamie Bush.

#interiorDesign #ConvoByDesign #Architecture #JamieBush