Classical Architecture Presented with A Sensible Modernity, It’s About Balance | 359 | Peter Pennoyer

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. This episode features writer, speaker and architect, Peter Pennoyer. We are talking about classic architecture from a French Modern Townhouse to a rural Farm House, a log cabin in the Adirondacks. That is a broad stretch, so much to talk about.

We are two weeks into 2022 and dealing with Omicron,  the next variant of this seemingly endless pandemic. I bring it up not to tell you what you already know, but because architecture and design are just as important to getting through this as vaccines and protective procedures. This is not a political statement, but one of empirical data. Interior designers are making our homes more functional and architects are crafting new concepts into homes of today to address these issues when something like this happens again.

Peter Pennoyer is the founder of his namesake firm, Peter Pennoyer Architects. Peter is president of the Whiting Foundation, a nonprofit that supports scholars and writers. He has served on the board ion the Institute of Classical Architecture and his formal training in past architecture has influenced how he crafts for the future. Peter has been recognized and awarded far too often to mention them here. Awards follow the work, as form follows function. We discuss more about that and review some projects over the next hour. Enjoy this conversation with architect, Peter Pennoyer.

But first, if you listened to last weeks episode you know, I made a very special announcement…Convo By Design presents the 2022 Remote Design House | Tulsa. A unique idea around an equally unique show house. I have been wanting to do another design house project for many years now, but the right opportunity had not presented itself. Sure, there were projects, but none were right for me. Then, the pandemic hit. Here I was, producing a podcast for 8 years and all of a sudden, the entire industry stops working in an office and trying to figure out what the future of design is even going to look like. I am going to go a bit further down that rabbit hole in future episodes. Right now, I want to tell you where this is all going. In the first 200 days of the pandemic, I recorded over 100 interviews, conversations and panels. Like you probably did, I dived into the work, for two reasons. The first was to keep myself from going crazy with a family of four in a small house, trying to keep everyone calm and not lose my cool in the face of something scary and unknown. The second part was a strong belief at the time that our industry was on the precipice of something amazing. I had no idea that the product would be in short supply until the summer of 2020. I was on a run in Manhattan Beach, California on day, unable to run along the Strand, I was forced into a neighboring alley and noticed all of the boxes awaiting trash pickup. I started counting and identifying the boxes which became a hobby and way on passing the miles while running through mostly empty streets and alleys. The boxes were TV’s, appliances, office furniture and equipment. There were fitness equipment boxes and all kinds of design materials and product. I remember the “a-ha” moment for me was later in the Fall. I had completed recording and airing a series called, “Designing for Disaster.” You can still find these episodes in the CXD stream.

Designers architects were telling me that, of their clients, the ones that could were escaping to mountain, beach and more remote locations to live this out and using the opportunity to remodel both homes. Designers and architects, you know this… You have been busy ever since. Part of this new professional reality meant that embracing the new technology like Zoom, Slack, Base Camp, Microsoft Office and Google Drive was now a mandatory part of their jobs. This also meant that they would be required to design from a distance. That is something that represents the most revolutionary element for the design trade. How can you continue to work with your clients, now on the move and do what you do which traditionally was almost all in person and face to face.

I wanted to find out and so here we are in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a really special project house that is going to be reimagined by some of the world’s most talented creatives, none of whom are from Tulsa, this house is real and and the design is completely remote, the meets are all virtual and the work is being completed locally by local craftsmen, artisans and tradesmen. I haven’t seen a project like this before, so I really don’t have anything with which to compare it. So, we will learn together. Episodes featuring the designers and design partners are coming soon. 

York Wallcoverings: Wallpaper is having a moment, a well deserved moment that is allowing designers to craft and create in new and amazing ways. Convo By Design has a new partner this year. This partnership includes participation in our Remote Design House | Tulsa project of which you will be hearing a lot about this year. I have been working closely with an exclusive group of partners and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with York Wallcoverings. This company has been crafting exquisite wall coverings for over a century with an archive that dates back to the early 18th century. This deeply rich history provides inspiration for the future, and the designs available through the York Wallcoverings Studio have long been lauded for their authenticity and craftsmanship. This art, artistry and history combined with a commitment to continually reimagining the manufacturing process allows York Wallcoverings to provide a consistently exquisite product. For options and inspiration, find them online, York Wallcoverings dot com. You can also find their store locator tool for a location near you.

Thank you, Peter. Not much makes me happier than deep dives like this! Thank you Walker Zanger for presenting Convo By Design. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership. You are remarkable partners and amazing allies for the trade. And, thank you for listening, remember why you do what you do and that the business of design is about making better the lives of those we serve. Until next week. Be well and take today first.