I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today on the show we are heading back to the WestEdge Design Fair from Dallas, Texas to talk about something on every creative’s mind these days. The Pivot. I started writing about the pivot in the first year of the pandemic. Through my conversations, a constant theme kept emerging. This idea that creatives must continually reinvent themselves to reflect both a working knowledge and fundamental understanding of where the design industry was going from both technological and preferential perspectives. We continue this conversation with some new voices, and I am really excited to share this with you.
How are you adapting to the design business changes over the past 3 years? Are you working harder than ever before? Checking on delivery dates, specifying and re-specifying due to repricing and discontinuations? Wondering how to capture a bigger audience in social media, upgrade your clientele? Are you wondering if this is the right time to scale back, scale up or merge with another firm? Are you concerned about how inflationary pressures or that threatened recession will become a reality?
Thought so. You’re not alone. These questions are on the mind of most if not every designer working today. Size doesn’t matter, scale does. Is this the time to scale down to find harmonious home/ life balance or scale up to increase revenues. While ultimately these are individual decisions, you will hear from designers who have scaled that mountain, some up and others down. You will learn from those who have experienced it and what they have learned from the experience. Is it working? Follow along as this distinguished group discuss these issues and others that directly affect the industry. Featuring Laura Umansky, Ann Jackson,and moderated by Sara Malek Barney.
Before I get to this episode of the show, I received a special delivery and I’m so happy to share it with you in this edition of BOOKLOOK featuring Intersection of Nature and Art, an absolutely glorious book celebrating those very things by James Doyle Design Associates. There are a few different styles for today’s design and architecture books. Some are used as a promotional piece for the designer or architect. A way to display their work in a weighted volume from which to share detailed ideas, almost like that of a text book while others create picture books full of their project images sans much editorial. Then of course there are various options between the two extremes. Then there are those who craft and construct their tome with the approach of a romance writer but weighted and balanced as to demonstrate how the copy could have served as the instructions for what would ultimately become the completed work. That narrative is then seen in the photos. There is enough art and sculpted landscape, which could also be defined as art in the project images, but there is also a great deal of work that looks to be there, not because a landscape designer placed it but because it just belongs there. That too is the feeling I had going through this monograph. It is complex yet simple in the idea that nature and art are inexplicably tied, but there is a completeness to the story being told in the work itself. I’ll share a secret with you. I am what you call an extroverted introvert. I have known this for a long time and that is one of the reasons why I think I love design as much as I do. I can appreciate the work and even draw energy from it. Going through a design book like this energizes me, provides me with an opportunity to lose myself in their work and focus exclusively on what is about the inanimate and the living working together without the need for people to activate it. Intersection of Nature and Art is a journey that takes you from a fun, elaborate tree house to the concrete exoskeleton that will be a retaining wall. Exquisitely sculpted gardens to nature-scapes that appear not to have been touched by human hands in decades yet they all share the same sense of scale, detail, scope and importance.
This book is being shared with you because it belongs in your library if what I previously mentioned are important to you. I love books, I love design and so my love for design books runs deep. This is a book I can see myself returning to often and because of that, if you share this passion, I think you will enjoy it as well. James Doyle Design Associates, well done.
Thank you Sara for grabbing the mic and taking this conversation on. Thank you Ann and Laura for your insight and expertise. Thank you for listening and subscribing to Convo By Design. The podcast, now in our 10th year was created for those in the design industry as well as those who simply love design, architecture, the arts and want the insider’s perspective.
Thank you ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware for your partnership and support of the show. Keep those email coming, I do love hearing your thoughts about the show, ways to provide you new ideas and those guest submissions. Love those. Until next week, be well and take today first.
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. After 10 years doing this show, I am still happy to say that I love doing it. If I’m being completely honest, it’s not because I am surprised and delighted by the design. I am, but that’s not why. I have grown accustomed to seeing extraordinary design and architecture. Spectacular new products, amazingly talented creatives doing the work. But it is the people and their stories that keep me in a childlike state of wonder. That is why I continue to love doing this show the way I do. And today’s episode is no different. This is part of a series called American Made By Hand and it features a friend, Brad Glock who turns wood into exquisite pieces of Americana. And you are about to hear his story.
I met Brad while learning to turn myself, something I have wanted to do for a very long time. After moving to Oklahoma to work on the design house, I had the chance to do that and Brad was one of the instructors. Turning is like any other passion or endeavor, you have to love doing it and the skill and art follow, as is the case with Brad. His work is amazing. As always, you can check the show notes for links to Brad’s work, but what is to follow is my conversation with Brad as part of a new series I’m starting called American Made By Hand. As the best designers know, if you’re accessorizing, clients want the story, the provenance, an understanding of the meaning behind products and materials they are bringing into their homes. Brad is an artist, and a craftsman. Years ago, you might recall me speaking with Rossoblu chef and restauranteur Steve Samson who explained that he was a craftsman, not an artist. He could make something you’ve eaten before in Northern Italy, and it would taste like his grandmother’s grandmother made it, but he doesn’t create new work. That left an indelible mark on my brain. It did. A desire not to create, but recreate with exactness… Amazing. But, Brad is an artist and a craftsman. He innovates using wood, a lathe and other items as they materialize.
I had an idea, I asked Brad to work with me to create a custom tableware set for the Tulsa Remote Design House Project. We ideated, designed it and he turned it. I did sand though, and I have a scar to prove it. That is a story for another day. I consider Brad a friend and I am thrilled, truly to share his story with you. This is Brad Glock on Convo By Design’s, American Made: By Hand.
Thank you, Brad. Love your work and I cannot wait to share images of this incredible tableware set. A side note, this collection is available for purchase, not this exact one, but one of your own, customized just for your project. Make sure to contact me directly. Message me @ConvoXDesign or email me at Convo By Design at Outlook dot com.
Thank you to my partners and sponsors ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware. You can find direct links to them and to Brad in the show notes. Thank you for listening and subscribing to the show. Remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. I appreciate you, I do this for you. Be well and until next week, take today first.
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a special episode for the holidays. Before I shut things down, stop thinking about the business, I want to encourage you to do the same for about an hour. Hang with the fam, binge the Hallmark Channel all week. But, before you do, give this episode a listen with some eggnog…. Which is always better with Fireball. Just saying.
For the holidays, I’m posting a throwback that has nothing to do with the business of design. A past chat with friend of the show, Peter Gurski. Peter is a multi-disciplinary creative who also was responsible for the look and feel of the smash TV hit, Will & Grace. Peter was episode 203 of Convo By Design and I thought you might enjoy hearing about the set design and then go hit Hulu and watch. As you do, you can find some of the accessories in the show, look at the paintings, the furniture and you will see what he is talking about.
I have a special treat for you. I received a package in the mail. A book. So this installment of BOOKLOOK features Together at the Table, Entertaining At Home With The Creators Of Juliska. Capucine De Wulf Gooding and David Gooding have crafted a book that celebrates being together in so many ways just as their home tableware brand Juliska does. This book is part how-to, part why-you-should and part inspiration for better living. The better living part is what captured my attention. It’s not about buying someone else’s life which is what social made seems to have been made for. This is a concise treatise for better living. As the Gooding’s like to say here, “Don’t overthink.” There is tremendous value in that alone but even Moreso when it is accompanied by visual examples, which is what you find here. Great work here, Goodings. “Architects of Togetherness”! I love that. Jacket design is fabulous. The book is available now through the usual channels I assume.
Enjoy and happy holidays form all of us at Convo By Design. We’ll get to Peter Gurski LIVE from the Set of Will & Grace.
Thank you Peter. I remember it like it was last week. Thank you for the tour and the fun look back. Thank you CXD partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your continued support. Thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to the show. Thank you for your emails and guest submissions. I love them, keep em coming. You are the reason I produce CXD. Designers, architects, set decorators, showroom managers, publicists, artists, makers…You make this world a better place. Remember why you do what you do. Be well. Until next week, take today first. -CXD
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo by Design featuring a one on one conversation with a modern design clarion. A design creative with exceptional vision and true perspective on who he is as a creative and what he wants his eponymous firm to be. This is Benjamin Johnston recorded live fat the WestEdge Design Fair’s first Texas edit in September 2022.
Architect and designer, Benjamin Johnston is the face of his namesake firm but he is not a one-man show. He is partner & Creative Director and seems extremely comfortable with the roles he has chosen for himself. That of creative to work the business but not necessarily CEO, president or other lofty titles because he has made the decision not to let the business work him. The true gift I receive from moderating these chats is a unique perspective that sometimes, really surprise me. This was one of those conversations and I am really pleased to present it to you for your enjoyment and edification.
Before we get to Benjamin, I received a special delivery recently and that warrants another BOOKLOOK. I don’t review every book I receive, but the specials ones do get special treatment. This is one such occurrence.
During the early days of the pandemic, I started a new series called Designing for Disaster™. During the series, I met Thomas Kligerman. He shared his story during the lockdown and it was a very cool episode of the show. Check the show notes, if I remember…there will be a link to that episode. So when Thomas wrote a book, I was certainly going to tell you about it.The book, Shingle and Stone Thomas Kligerman Houses is extraordinary for a number of reasons. This is a reflection on his years of work it’s also a lovingly tender notice to the architecture and design community that the band is breaking up in pursuit of solo careers. Thomas lays out his point of view and the manner in which he, Joel and John have their own interests both personally and professionally to pursue. For Kilgerman, it’s the announcement of his first solo enterprise, Kligerman Architecture + Design. This 275+ page announcementcomes complete with a well-defined narrative. Every Louvre, shingle, elevation is uniquely Thomas Kligerman and as he even points out, it’s not that he did everything by himself, it is a team joined together by a vision. That vision is uniquely Kligerman’s. Thomas is not only an architect but an artist who uses what architects use, elevation, space, material… But, his vision for taking shingle and bending it to angles and joints that create something new is mesmerizing as one turns from page to page. This book is one for the library because it represents timeless work with singular vision and artistry.
Since we are talking about a design and architecture book, I will tell you that the book is solid in construction and beautiful to look at when closed which means it is also a perfect specimen for accessorizing. When you open this book, the experience of turning pages is as much a journey as it is an exercise in surprise and delight. BOOKLOOK has turned into a a really cool segment for me and it has also received some very positive feedback. I would tell you that I only review design books that I can touch, hold and feel because I believe that is how books are meant to be enjoyed. I don’t review pdf’s because I want you to know what the experience was like for me so you can factor that not the calculus when deciding if or if not to get a copy for yourself. I spend aver an hour paging through, flipping, turning and reading Thomas’ thoughts.
As much as it is a “mirror” as Kligerman describes it, he envisages things to come. With that, I am also anxiously awaiting the next book that will showcase the work he does from here on out. Between now and then, this book is a keeper. Godspeed Thomas.
Thank you Benjamin. Amazing. Thank you WestEdge Design Fair for allowing me once again to take over the stage and present panels and conversations like these. I view it as a gift. A chance to challenge both myself and the design community with ideas and programming that is different, inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you to CXD partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener, Moya Living and Article Furniture for your continued support. I would ask that if you enjoy the show, you support these companies by giving them a chance to earn your design business. Thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to the show. Thank you for your emails and guest submissions. I love them, keep em coming. You are the reason I produce CXD. Designers, architects, set decorators, showroom managers, publicists, artists, makers…You make this world a better place. Remember why you do what you do. Be well. Until next week, take today first. -CXD
I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design and today we are taking a look back at some previously incredible design events. We’re getting in the way-back machine and going to 2016, the Pacific Design Center for a conversation about design rebellion.
This is a look back at a conversation recorded live in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California in 2016. It’s a very strange experience for me to rerun past episodes will including the original open. My voice changes every year, just like yours does, and while I have gotten comfortable with the recorded sound of my voice, strange cadence and often tangential leaps, it is very odd hearing these older episodes. But, I do it because I started recording these conversations in 2012 for a 2013 Convo BY Design launch. I did it because, believe it or not, when CXD began, I was the only one there to record these events like this one featuring Patrick Tighe, Cliff Fong and Eric Chang, moderated by Erika Heet. I’m glad I did, I hope you are as well. We’ll get right to it right after this.
Thank you to this distinguished group. Loved it even more now than I did then. Like wine, art and architecture, a good conversation only gets better with age and I am so happy that I could share it with you.
Thank you to CXD partners and sponsors; ThermaSol, Article Furniture, Moya Living, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener. Please make sure to check the show notes for links to each of these remarkable companies.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to subscribe and listen to the show. I appreciate you. Until next week, remember why you do what you do and take today first. CXD
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design featuring another conversation form the WestEdge Design Fair’s 1st edition in Dallas, Texas from September 2022. This conversation is about Wellness in Design and features a strong panel covering ideas to consider right now for the near future and long term applications.
The concept of ‘healthy design’ is a constantly evolving idea as new technology comes to market and the ideas behind living healthy change. In years past, it was low off-gassing materials and VOC paints, then sleep chambers crafted for a high quality sleeping experience. As the pandemic continues to change the way we live, so has the idea that defines what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. Crafting luxury living both inside and out has become a universal goal to capture as much usable space while exploring ways to make that space perform in new ways. This conversation featuring Shelly Rosenberg, Philip Vanderford and Christina GarciaModerated by Brenda Houston. It is coming right after this.
Thank you Shelly, Christina, Phillipand Brenda for guiding us through this fantastic chat. Thank you WestEdge Design Fair and to all of you who came to the show. Thank you to CXD sponsors and partners, ThermaSol, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Moya Living and Franz Viegener for your continued support. Of course, thank you for downloading, subscribing and listening to the show. Thank you for the emails of support and the guest submissions. I love them and it has allowed me to find some amazing talent to showcase. Please remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Designers, architects, artists, product designers, showroom managers, publicists, magazine editors, publishers, set decorators and everyone else that makes our industry stronger by the day, this show is for you. That’s why I do it. Thanks for listening. Be well, and take today first. |
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design remembering a friend, someone with whom I have collaborated since this show began 10 years ago either as a publicist that was booking her clients or as a contributor. We are remembering public relations pro, loyal friend, industry advocate and a truly wonderful person, Christine Anderson.
When I started Convo By Design, one of my first collaborators was Christine Anderson. She was working with Snyder Diamond, the shows first sponsor. Like everyone else in the design industry in 2013, Christine wasn’t really sure what a podcast was but that didn’t stop her from asking me how she could help or recognizing that this could be a tremendous platform for her clients. Since then, I had the privilege of getting to know Christine and while I really cannot imagine what the Southern California design and architecture community will be without her, I’m thankful that I got the opportunity to know and work with her.
Christine was, as I mentioned, a staunch advocate for her clients and more than that, she was a partner that brought new ideas, fresh perspective and always had a kind word when sometimes, that was what was really necessary.
In 2015, I was working with the WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica and had a huge install. A stage, sponsorship, designers, parties and I remember how Christine calmly worked with the whole team to make sure things went off with out a hitch. And they did. That was one of the things I will always remember about her was her willingness to jump in, roll up her sleeves and get to work.
I also mentioned that Christine was a show contributor. I think what I want to do is share those conversations with you so you can hear from Christine one last time. Her story. Her words. Her voice. I met Christine around 2009 and after starting the podcast, I thought she would make a perfect guest for the show. I was right. This episode 4 of the show, featuring Christine. You’ll hear from Christine , right after this.
After hearing Christine and getting a feel for her style, I wondered how her interview style might differ from mine? It differed greatly…which is why she made three subsequent appearances on the show.
This is Christine’s conversation with another great friend of the show and frequent guest, Laurie Haefele.
Finally, this is another one of Christine’s conversations with her good friend, Franchesca Garcia Marquez.
Christine just disappeared like a flash but her legacy lives on in the friends she’s made over the years and the work she’s done on behalf of her clients, her business partners and the relationships with friends. My hope is that those who didn’t get a chance to know Christine, well, now you do, a little bit. And for those who knew her, I hope hearing her voice, her laugh somehow brings you some solace and eases your pain if even for a few minutes. To her friends, co-workers, and I call them that even though she was the boss, I always thought of her as one of the team.. and family, I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for listening to the show. Thank you for allowing me a forum to share my grief and providing a place to celebrate Christine. Thank you to CXD partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living, Franz Viegener, Article Furniture and York Wallcoverings for making this show possible. Now, more than ever, remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Be well, and until next week, take today first.
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are going back to the WestEdge Design Fair in Dallas, Texas with designer, Sherry Hayslip.
I have been working with the WestEdge Design Fair since I think 2015. I have been producing the panels and conversations since 2016 and as is the case every year it gets more challenging because I push myself to bring you designers you know, creators you don’t and topics that force you to think about the business and how it affects you and your impact on the business of design. I speak with creators who come from all walks of life and creative thought. Today, you are going to hear from my conversation with Sherry Hayslip, one of the most cerebral designers I know. By this, I mean that she puts more thought into the context of the design as it affects those who will be living with it. I would also say that she is also one of the most under-appreciated designers I know. She is an international talent, she is award-winning, she has Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, she works on a wide array of projects and styles and there is no shortage of press-coverage but in my opinion, she is in the conversation for one of America’s greatest talents. Hear her approach and you recognize that she is a special creative.
Thank you Sherry, WestEdge Design Fair and to all of you who came to the show. Thank you to CXD sponsors and partners, ThermaSol, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Moya Living and Franz Viegener for your continued support. Of course, thank you for downloading, subscribing and listening to the show. Thank you for the emails of support and the guest submissions. I love them and it has allowed me to find some amazing talent to showcase. Please remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Designers, architects, artists, product designers, showroom managers, publicists, magazine editors, publishers, set decorators and everyone else that makes our industry stronger by the day, this show is for you. That’s why I do it. Thanks for listening. Be well, and take today first.
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are going back to the WestEdge Design Fair in Dallas, Texas with designer, Chad Dorsey.
I started Convo By Design in response to a complete lack of design focused content prior to 2012. When I started this show, it was to purposefully and thoughtfully transport you everywhere design was happening. That was even true until March 13, 2020. But since then, everyone with the latest smartphone provides some sort of coverage from every event known to man. My priority since day one was to bring this to you, packaged so you felt in some small way that you were actually there, experiencing it first hand. That is my commitment to you, I will keep doing that. And because of this, I have had to continually up my game because every day, there is a new podcast, digital video outlet or e-design platform producing more and more design focused content. I appreciate the challenge, it keeps me motivated. Is that weird?
Anyhow, I started a new extension of the show called Perspectives, featuring creatives who are doing things differently. This is one such conversation from the WestEdge Design Fair’s first edition in Dallas Texas in September 2022. This conversation is with interiors and product designer, Chad Dorsey.Chad has been on the show previously, back in 2019 when we caught up with him and his Lacienega Design Quarter, Legends installation. We reminisce a bit about that. This was so much fun.
For those interested in seeing some of Chad’s work or the video from this conversation, check the show notes for links. Enjoy, that is coming up right after this.
Thank you Chad, WestEdge Design Fair and to all of you who came to the show. Thank you to CXD sponsors and partners, ThermaSOl, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Moya Living and Franz Viegener for your continued support. Of course, thank you for downloading, subscribing and listening to the show. Thank you for the emails of support and the guest submissions. I love them and it has allowed me to find some amazing talent to showcase. Please remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Designers, architects, artists, product designers, showroom managers, publicists, magazine editors, publishers, set decorators and everyone else that makes our industry stronger by the day, this show is for you. That’s why I do it. Be well, and take today first.
I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. I’m starting to get a bit more reflective than I have been in the past. At the end of 2022, I will have been hosting and producing Convo By Design for 10 years. No, really. And this is a very special episode. #400
These 10 years have really flown by. In part because this is my second career. My first was in broadcasting, for those who have been listening to the show for a while, I will spare you from having to hear the story again. Suffice it to say, a lot has happened in design and architecture since 2013. I think the industry looks and feels very different now than it did then.
Obviously, the last 3 years have been transformative, but even before the pandemic, the business was changing. In this episode, I want to share some of the incredibly talented people who have been on the show. I want to reshape some of their thoughts and ideas, share some of the places we’ve been over the past 10 years and take a look at the next 10. What will that look like for our business? So this is going to be a longer than usual episode because a lot has happened over the past 10 years and while I can’t cover it all here, I would like to share these ideas and excerpts from a few select interviews along the way. In no particular order and I don’t wish to leave anyone out, following are some of the things that really stuck with me along the way.
Before we get to some of the design talent, some thoughts on the future of the design business.
Remote Design – The pandemic sealed it. Remote design is a permanent part of the industry. That is not going to change. Designers are not realtors. Realtors work a “farm” or a specific territory. Designers and architects need not do that and because of that, should be looking beyond the traditional borders and boundaries to develop a new clientele. As we have been discussing and exploring through the Remote Design House – Tulsa, the future of remote and virtual design is rife with opportunity and peril alike.
Stellar Customer Service or Suffer the Consequences
New Product Discovery – Specification and re-specification has fundamentally changed.
Its so much fun to find new products. For me, that is the feel I get when I speak to new creatives. That is, those I have not yet spoken with. This first clip was from my conversation withJulian Lennon, who has entered a new chapter in his life with a new album and a new collection of photographs that are offered at RH through General Public, Portia de Rossi’s company that represents emerging artists. I really loved my chat with Lennon, here is what that sounded like.
I wanted to share another Lennon connection with you. This time, with art furniture designer, Dakota Jackson. Jackson has an incredible backstory starting with his family, who were magicians and this is Dakota telling the story of a desk he was commissioned to build for John Lennon by Yoko Ono.
Back to some lessons learned along the way…
You Must Market Your Brand – Take this to mean whatever you want, I have learned over time that since people hear what they want to hear, sometimes it is difficult to come to a universal conclusion. But I will be clear, if you want new or better clients, you must advertise or market your brand in better ways. Otherwise, and you are right in that ‘word of mouth’ can work, but if you are being shared client to potential client, you are still dealing with many of the same clients you wish to upgrade. Gone are the days when designers should be utilized for their knowledge base and trade discount. Designers are both creatives and futurists who solve the issues that most directly and deeply affect their clients. This is important. This is essential. This is valuable and requires proper compensation. There are virtual design services online that can provide designed spaces for $40 and there are “decorators” on Fiverr starting at $5. If this doesn’t concern you, it should. I’ll tell you a story, back in my broadcast days, I watched the radio and record industries lose control over the power to move music. First it was Napster, then social media, then Apple. Now, you can buy music online. When was the last time you bought an entire album? Unless you are into Vinyl, it has probably been well over a decade. The design business is no different. If a virtual design company can change the thought process as it relates to design from crafting curated and purposeful spaces to a simple space plan with furnishings that fit and in the right color palate, where does it end? It ends in devaluing the designer and I do this because I love what you do. Marketing you and your brand is crucial to the long term health of your design business and that of the industry.
Some designers who have paved their own way. Created a world around the design they create. One of those designers is the incomparable, Bunny Williams. Williams was always very clear in her focus and what her work and that of her firm means. She has always been crystal clear in her views on learning from others, I’ll let Bunny explain it.
From Bunny to another icon, Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I caught up with Bullard at the Lacienega Design Quarter Legends event in 2019. Martyn and his team were designing their showroom window to honor Tony Duquette. This provided him with an opportunity to get back to his theatrical roots and craft, in spectacular fashion. Fearless and fabulous. Listen.
Trade Groups, Media, Trade Shows, Manufacturers and Showrooms… Step Up – The past three years have been draining on all of us, but that is no excuse to stop trying to elevate. I conduct many post-conversation interviews after I stop recording for the show. I ask designers, artists, architects what they see in the business, what the experience has been like, day to day and what they need from industry resources. The number one response is better customer service. Sending out samples does not constitute customer service. Nor does calling on designers to see what projects they are working on. Customer service is answering the phone, returning an email within 24 hours, dropping a less important activity to find out where that chair is and when it will be delivered. Customer service is following up, proactively on damaged merchandise and if it can’t be fixed, replace it quickly, if it was discontinued, offer a suitable replacement or provide credit, again….proactively not reactively because designers don’t have the time to chase you down. Trade groups and trade shows, I get that it is about the per foot display, ticket and advertising revenue. And it should be, but I would challenge you to offer a deeper engagement, a better experience for those attending. There are some that do it right. Salone, Maison, WestEdge… But there are others who don’t put a great deal of pride into the experience of those who attend your events and I think there is a tremendous opportunity here. And media, ours is a billion dollar industry and as such, deserves a far more robust media platform. I have had a very good working relationship with the shelter publications over the years. It pains me to say this but it is time for you to step up your game. This is not directed at everyone… Bring back the contributors and editors. You can’t cover a diverse industry like ours with a handful of writers covering everything with fewer word and images on fewer pages of edit. Paper costs have caused some publishers to make difficult choices, cutting editorial staff and circulation. I encourage you to learn from radio and don’t allow digital to take all of your readers and advertisers. I am a tactile person, I love design magazines, I want you to be around for a very long time.
Diversity in Design, Cultural Recognition and Creative Attribution Is Inextricably Tied to the Business of Design… And that’s a good thing. It’s more work, it is. Knowing the back story of all the materials used in the work is a significant amount of work to document but it also provides an incredible opportunity to elevate the narrative of the work and the byproducts that make the sum of its parts.
In 2019, I produced a conversation at the WestEdge Design Fair. This was a fantastic conversation. Here’s a bit from that encounter. First you will hear from Brian Pinkett of Landry Design Group, then Brigid Coulter, Ron Woodson and Breegan Jane closing it out.
Rise of The Work Room. They are here to stay.
Wellness is the Most Important Function- It has become and inextricable part of design since March 13, 2020. It’s both incredible and stunning to attribute a major movement to a specific day, but the entirety of the US and the world can look back at the day the US closed. What happened next was a terrifying, confusing and disruptive time during which the pandemic taught all of us that our homes were not designed to function in times of universal turmoil. Following that, the creative community does what it always does and looks for ways to fix problems. These fixes came in the way of functional redesigns, rethinking what “home” is and how it can better serve those living there. Wellness in design… Air, water, sound, experience. These four concepts represent a wholesale change in design thinking, and location thinking as well.
In Southern California, it was March 13, a Friday and I thought if this is going to happen, might as well get it all down to see what we can learn from it. I started a series called, Designing for Disaster. The next two clips feature guests form that series. First up is
Thomas Kliggerman who shares a personal story of being locked down while in the midst of designing his own personal new home.
Joe Berkowitz joined me for an episode of Designing for Disaster and shares some truly valuable design advice about space planning and ways to keep everything in scale.
It would be a mistake not to mention that while all this is going on, we were all worried about catching this new virus. Worried about our friends and family dying from it and this podcast kept me connected to the design industry. My friends, old and new. Being confined to a small beach bungalow in Southern California wasn’t completely horrible. As a matter of fact, the connection with my family during this time is something I will forever cherish. The uncertainty was awful. But, I was home with my family and through this show I was able to keep the conversation going. I hope it was useful for you too.
Throughout the pandemic, actually before and most certainly after, wellness has been at the top of every priority list. Because of that and because I so appreciate my partnership with ThermaSol, I want you to hear from Mitch Altman,
DIEM – 2014 with Roman Alonso partner with Commune Design and Mayer Rus, West Coast Editor of AD talking about the creative freedom that California, and more specifically Los Angeles offer creatives. Moderated by Mallery Roberts Morgan. This conversation was a simple creative comparison between New York and Los Angeles. What is so interesting about this, to me, is that as you listen, it is a binary conversation about cultural and artistic relevance in the United States. I enjoyed listening back to this conversation from 2014 and I hope you do as well. A look back at the halcyon days between the turmoil of the great recession and civil war. Before a global pandemic and record setting financial and business disruption. A time when we could afford to have a simple conversation about who does it better.
Loved listening back to that but at the same time, while it seems so long ago, it really wasn’t. But some things have changed. The design fly-overs have emerged as a place where some factors have converged at an important time. Designers who are doing incredible things in Oklahoma, Colorado, Kentucky and Texas. Speaking of Texas, I was so fortunate to have a conversation with friend Kyle Bunting who invited some of his friends, Lauren Rottet, Jan Showers and Fern Santini for a really fun conversation about design in the lone star state. Here is what that sounded like.
Susan Ferrier… On achieving the shared desires of her clients. She first wants to understand desire and then listens to gain nuance.
The Architects… I have had the opportunity to speak with some of the greatest architecture minds working today. Here are just a few, Roger Seifter from Robert AM Sterns Architects talking about aSouthern California John L. Woolf home and the thoughtful, loving restorative process that goes into all their projects. This is a distinguished list and in no particular order, except that their ideas are exquisite and their work is the physical manifestation of this ideas for all to see and a lucky few to enjoy. They include, Paul McClean, Dan Brunn, Woods & Dangaran and Jamie Bush
Thank you, All as well as those not included in this episode for taking some of your time to share your story. Your stories are what make American design and architecture true art form.Special thanks to CXD sponsors and partners ThermaSol, Moya Living, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegenr and Article Furniture. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to listen to Convo By Design. I produce this show for you. Those in the design industry to hear what others are doing and hopefully provide you with some inspiration to do that thing you do. Remember why and for whom you craft and create. Please subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode, you can find us everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. Thank you, have a great week and take today first. -CXD