A Spring Back to the Pacific Design Center in 2015 | 377 | The Capitals of Style

Hello Creatives, If you’re new, welcome, if not, welcome back to Convo By Design. This journey of ours in search of amazing design, architecture, furnishings and art is in its 9th year now and I am so happy that you’re joining me for another episode. A special episode, a throw back if you will.

Every so often, I try to bring back past conversations so you can hear them again and this one is special. It was recorded live at the Pacific Design Center in 2015. It was called Capitals of Style and featured, Jane Hallworth, Ashley Hicks and Vincente Wolf. Moderated by Dan Rubenstein,  with a forward by Jeff Sampson, then VP of Marketing for the PDC and whom many of us in the SoCal design community miss dearly.

I wanted to republish this one because while travel has always been a top influencer of designers, travel is now so hot again it is time for both discovery and re-discovery. It’s time to recharge the batteries. It’s time to get out and while you’re at it, to go and see some world class design and architecture. Something tells me this conversation from 7 years ago holds as true today as it did then. Enjoy.

Thank you, Jane,Dan, Vincente and Ashley for participating in this conversation.Thank you to the Pacific Design Center for your many years of partnership and collavboration. Thank you Jeff for putting this panel together and casting it so masterfully. You are missed. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your partnership and support. You are remarkable partners and amazing allies for the trade. 

And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. I know you already know this, but… there are literally hundreds of past episodes of Convo By Design that you probably haven’t heard, especially if you are new to the show, so go check them out.

The Lost Interview with Bernardo Puccio | 375 | Stories From LA’s Golden Age of Design

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation that should have aired on the podcast almost three years ago. I found this and I am really happy to share it with you, the incomparable Bernardo Puccio.

So, it’s tru, the following conversation was recently found on a drive in a my studio and this was recorded around October 2019. Bernardo Puccio has been in design for over a half century and has amazing stories to tell about the glory days of Hollywood, designing for his celebrity clientele or his activism with Elizabeth Taylor.

Thank you, Bernardo. I loved our time together. Your story is amazing. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your partnership and support. You are remarkable partners and amazing allies for the trade. 

And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. I know you already know this, but… there are literally hundreds of past episodes of Convo By Design that you probably haven’t heard, especially if you are new to the show, so go check them out. 

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.

This is How Architecture, Historic Preservation and Product Design Comes Together | 374 | It Takes A Visionary Like David Khouri

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation that spans architecture, historic preservation and product design with David Khouri of KGBL.

Let’s add the tag multi-disciplinary creative to this episode because that is what you are getting with David Khouri. A master’s degree in both Architecture and Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and then after years of travel and self-discovery, starts developing furniture. Now, Design Director at KGBL, where he has been creating for over 13 years. This conversation covers far more than just design, we talk about stunning American made furnishings that speak to the need for both unique product and domestic production. Modern furniture, and a story that begins by starting a company during one of the worst financial times in recent memory. 

Thank you, David. I appreciate the time and I am a huge fan of your work. The story is amazing. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your partnership and support. 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.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

The Collectors | 373 | A Deep Dive into Designing for Highly-Curated Collections and the Spaces that House Them for the People Who Love Them

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversations from WestEdge Design Fair, circa 2019 that I have been holding onto for a number of reason, not the least of which is that with everything that has been happening, talking about designing around collected things seemed off to me. But now, let’s get back to collecting, shall we…

Seriously, with the office/ classroom/ yoga studio and trying to make those things work, it seemed a little tone deaf to try and talk passionately about designing around collected things. But the time is right again to start thinking about these things again.Collections make us happy. And in 2019, as I was crafting panels for WestEdge in the Convo by Design Programming Lounge, here was the inspiration.

The Collectors: Collected Clutter Made Impeccably Designed Collections

Many if not most of us have gathered and keep “treasures.” These collections represent the curiosity and vitality of life adventures and are, at least we hope, to be incorporated into our living spaces. Today’s ensemble of creatives have achieved mastery incorporating treasures into the design of their clients’ dreams. Learn strategies that make for a smoother process when showcasing collections.

Moderated by: George Smart, Host of US Modernist Radio
Featuring: Kevin Isbell, Kevin Isbell Interiors; Laura Muller, Four Point Design Build;  Jules Wilson, Jules Wilson Design Studio

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Thank you George, Kevin, Laura and Jules. I loved this!

And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. I know you already know this, but… there are literally hundreds of past episodes of Convo By Design that you probably haven’t heard, especially if you are new to the show, so go check them out. 

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.

A Look Back to the Future | 372 | The Sustainable, High Tech Home of the Future from the 1950’s and Today

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design and we are going back to the 1950’s for a look back at the future… That’s right.

I recently came across a video that was made in the 1950s by Westinghouse called the Total Electric Home. It is a fascinating film hosted by Betty Furness. She was an actress, consumer advocate and special assistant in consumer affairs to the Johnson administration.  Furness past away in 1994 and she was really interesting. She turned a less than stellar acting career into a significant role as consumer advocate and saleswoman. Furness hosted this remarkable film that was created by and featuring the products made by Westinghouse Electric.

Westinghouse was founded in 1886 by George Westinghouse who years earlier, in 1865 patented the first rotary steam engine. In 1869, he patented an air braking system for use on the railroad. In 1888 Nikola Tesla patented the alternating current motor and goes to work for Westinghouse. In 1893, Westinghouse beats out Thomas Edison to win the contract to power the Chicago World’s Fair. Then in 1914, Westinghouse acquires Copeman  Electric Stove Company to enter the home appliance market. So in the 50’s, here they are with this fully integrated electric home. Why didn’t it take? The idea was genius. The reason it didn’t work was due to many factors not the least of which was the competition in the marketplace and to perhaps an even larger extent, the proliferation of other power sources.

Natural gas has been used in the United States since before 1836 when the City of Philadelphia created  the first municipal natural gas company. I don’t want to go too deep here and turn this into a history lesson. Rather, let’s look at this amazing piece of history as we look forward. Some of the same basic ideas incorporated into the Westinghouse Total Electric Home are relevant and even being reintroduced as of this writing. Just listen to Betty’s introduction: So the idea for the Ring doorbell can be traced back to the 50’s. While I don’t know what “Rayescent lighting” is, it sounds pretty cool. While the idea of seeing visitors is not novel to us now, imagine how this idea was received in the 50’s? A great idea right, but how about this?

What? The idea for a home that is organized in zones is not new, but to envision a home that works together as opposed to simply trying to seamlessly connect spaces is, to this day, a revolutionary idea. Keep in mind that at this time, formal dining rooms, formal living rooms and phone niches were all ‘must haves’. 

Now, I don’t want you think that this whole idea could be plucked from then and planted now… There’s this…

It appears only men are interested in the weather, but wait…

Integrated heating and watering. Not only novel, but amazing!

Not sure about multiple hampers, because let’s be honest, no kid I know is going to self-sort by material or color. Speaking of kids…

Okay, so we are getting off topic a little bit, but it’s okay because this Total Electric Home is a concept house, like many of the cars you go see at the auto show. It makes you wonder why there aren’t more experimental spaces from which to truly explore the elements that go into living well.  There is cost, of course, but I always thought that was a perfect role for the design house. Of which we are starting to see fewer organized by the media and more created by developers. 

I wanted to use this opportunity to share some ideas you have heard by architects on previous episodes and a few to come. We are talking about not just creating the home of the future, but the home for now, homes with spaces designed to suit the way we live now and  factor in the changes that come next. This is architect Anthony Poon referencing the Wallace Neff Bubble House in Pasadena and talking about Modern for the Masses.

That was Anthony Poon talking about concepts, this is architect Stephen Francis Jones and his use of shipping containers to build. A plentiful, relatively untapped resource for creation of dwellings. Stephen founder of SF Jones Architects talks about creating a dwelling from shipping containers.

From here we can jump to a conversation with noted LA architect Dan Brunn. Dan and I spoke at the WestEdge Design Fair ant we were talking about some of his truly transformative projects and it all started with his love for the Bauhaus style in which he grew up as a boy in Tel Aviv. Listen to Dan explain it.

Studio MLA’s Ben Feldman and I sat down to talk about his work on the LA River project and this is further proof that the modern home and the modern solution to housing truly is a multifaceted patchwork of ideas cobbled together to address many issues, changing times and conditions not to mention technologies, both coming and going. That Total Electric Home of the future wasn’t just a one off creation but ideas put into practice every day. Listen to Ben explain it from his perspective.

Quite a bit has been unpacked here. Adding another twist to the modern, technologically advanced home is a brief chat with Steven Ehrlich when we met at Modernism Week in 2018. He was giving me a tour of an amazing project in the desert using some uncommon materials for the terrain to make the house both lighter on the footprint and function better. Check this out.

Wrapping this up with architect Lorcan O’herlihy and a brief chat about LA and Detroit from an urban living perspective. Concepts, materials, style, technology, and compatibility are all crucial to the modern, livable home and one also needs to understand municipal policy, change it if you can work around it when you must and be creative stitching projects in whenever possible. Nobody understands this like O’herlihy.

This has been fun, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Here is Betty Furness one last time with the Westinghouse pitch. It’s compelling. Makes you wonder what we can do with the advancements we have some 70 years later.

What a fun look at past design and how it affects both today and tomorrow. Thank you to all of the creatives who added to this conversation; Anthony Poon, Stephen F Jones, Steven Ehrlich, Dann Brun, Ben Feldman and Lorcan O’herlihy. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership and support. 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.

Pulling Focus on Light Design | 371 | Brett Andersen – Focus Lighting

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a brand spotlight on a unique lighting company that is making art with light.

I am not exaggerating nor embellishing what they do. They are a lighting company that create mood, space and time through light. Their work runs between hospitality, retail, entertainment, museums and all kinds of other projects. Light is critical to an experience and in turn, requires planning and placement to get it right. This is Brett Andersen, partner and principal designer at Focus Lighting. We are talking about lighting, and application of the craft. We’ll get to that, right after this.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Thank you, Brett. Love your story and the art you bring to life. For more stories like this, make sure you are subscribing to the podcast. You can find the show everywhere you get your favorite podcasts… But, you already knew that. What you might not know, is that there are literally hundreds of other episodes for you to binge on now. Go check them out. 

Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your partnership and support. 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.

Small Space, Big Style | 370 | Elizabeth Drake, Anthony Laney & Roxanne Packingham

This is Convo By Design with a look at small spaces and maximum style because it’s time to start looking at exploring space again. That’s right, we are going to look forward at making small spaces popular again. Maybe it was the nook under the stairs that has been a classroom for the past 2 years, or that breakfast area/ yoga studio/ office. How can we make those spaces functional again, as in the original function that didn’t include three slashes and four functions. Let’s get back to singularly stunning design in the multi purpose spaces with a listen to a conversation from 2021, via Zoom, of course and another exploration into small space, big style in the latest installment of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

A little history first. In 2012, I produced my first design house. A 1400 foot penthouse condo in the heart of Hollywood. 8 designers and some incredible design. I have always had a fondness for small spaces because big spaces and big budgets are great but it is, I would argue as a not-designer, a more simple endeavor. Not “easy” but far more simple. Small spaces take more work, research, planning and attention to detail. Again, I am not a designer, but I have had enough time in conversation with world-class design talent to know a few things, and this idea is one.

So I gathered a group of uber talented creatives to chat with me about this as part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series, presented by ThermaSol. Here is how I described the conversation to them:

Design tastes chan change over time. Color palette, new materials and lifestyle trends all affect the finished project. What never changes are the limitations placed on creatives by the space available in which to work. Designing in a smaller footprint presents creatives with unique challenges and often forces certain choices and at the same time offers designers an opportunity to test their mettle. This challenge can change the way we think about design, encourage experimentation and open up new possibilities.

The panelists include; Designer, Elizabeth Drake, architect  Anthony Laney and designer Roxanne Packham. We are talking about space and making that space enjoyable once more. We’ll get to that, right after this.

Thank you, Roxanne, Elizabeth and Anthony. You are all fantastic and I appreciate you so much. For more stories like this, make sure you are subscribing to the podcast. You can find the show everywhere you get your favorite podcasts… But, you already knew that. What you might not know, is that there are literally hundreds of other episodes for you to binge on now. Go check them out. 

Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener and Moya Living for your partnership and support. 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.

Crafting the Bridge that Connects the Design and Business of Design | 369 | Michelle Lynne of ML Interiors Group

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another installment of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol featuring a powerful, self-described “late bloomer” in her design career and is making up for lost time, this is Texas based designer, Michelle Lynne. Check out our partners while you listen to the show.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

I kind of feel like we are all “late bloomers” at this point. I am continually adjusting the Convo By Design brand and reforming the way I do business. Because the world is changing very quickly, and “Life moves pretty fast…If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Yes, for those playing the home game, that was a Ferris Bueller quote. Not sorry. It’s true. 

Michele Lynne is a perfect example and if you find yourself wondering what your next move is, listen to this from Michelle. She gets it, she did it and the point here is this. It isn’t a point to point excursion, it’s a journey of creative self-discovery. In addition to the design biz, she also trains designers about running their own business. The MLG Experience is something she is passionate about and will share the ideas behind it with you as well. We are also going to talk about her work in Dallas and beyond. Enjoy this conversation with Michelle Lynne of ML Interiors Group, the latest installment of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series, presented by ThermaSol. You’ll hear from Michelle in just a moment, but first, this.

Thank you, Michelle. For more stories like this, make sure you are subscribing to the podcast. You can find the show everywhere you get your favorite podcasts… But, you already knew that. What you might not know, is that there are literally hundreds of other episodes for you to binge on now. Go check them out. 

Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership and support. 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.

Wellness is The New Green | 368 | Must-Know Strategies for The Modern Healthy Home Because if You Haven’t Got Your Health, Nothing Else Matters

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another episode of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol. This a look back at what we were saying about wellness in a previously unpublished conversation from the Convo By Design Programming Lounge at the WestEdge Design Fair from 2019. The last time did it. I think you will find this really interesting.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

First a note about the WestEdge Design Fair. I don’t know if it will ever happen again. I just know that I hope it does. I have made so many friends, not the least of which are Troy and Megan, founders of the show. This conversation from the fair in 2019 features; Moderator Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA and features; Brady Zaitoon, Angel City Lumber; Gordon Stott, Connect Homes; and Lori Tierney, Tierney Management, LLC 

The intro read, “Did you know that air quality in your home or workplace is typically two times worse than air quality outside?  Join our round table discussion on the materials and environment in the places we live and how your choices affecting the health of the space are just as critical as those affecting your style.”

So, what is so interesting to me in retrospect is that all of these issues would be of critical importance as we were all confined to our homes in early 2020, 5 months after this was recorded. It is even more relevant now than it was then with a renewed focus on air quality, water quality, noise abatement and sustainable, safe busting materials and quality building practices. The ideas espoused here are actually more important now and will continue to be so for designers and architects on behalf of their clients. Great chat and I am so happy to present it to you. We’ll get to it, in just a moment, but first, this.

Thank you, Ben, Brady, Gordon and Lori, great job. For more stories like this, make sure you are subscribing to the podcast. You can find the show everywhere you get your favorite podcasts… But, you already knew that. What you might not know, is that there are literally hundreds of other episodes for you to binge on now. Go check them out. 

Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership and support. 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.

Creative Kitchen Concepts From the Midwest | 367 | Lynn Knight Jessee

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another creative from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have been focusing on the Midwest a bit lately to share to illustrate and pull focus on the idea that nothing creative is happening in what I call the ‘design fly-overs’. Yeah, we’re going to get to that too.

The ‘design fly-overs’, any state that isn’t California or New York and cities that aren’t, Miami, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago or the others deemed as “it cities for design.” Within these non-fly-over cities lie creatives who go about their work every day creating amazing spaces that you never see in the glossy shelter pubs and online in the flavor of the month websites. If I sound a bit snarky about this, I guess I am. I have always felt that the majority of home & design editors, contributors and, dare I say… “influencers” don’t really know or love design. They know and love clicks, sales, shares and likes and there is nothing inherently wrong with that, we are a capitalist society. Without the business of design, there would be no design business.

That being said, and I have made this abundantly clear over the past 9 years doing this podcast, I am an outsider to the industry first. I can’t say that anymore. After talking about the business since 2010, I can’t really say I am not now an insider. But I came to interior design and architecture because I have always loved it and still do. That is why I don’t focus on speaking with creatives you already know. I love introducing you to amazing people doing incredible things for their clients and the brands that make it all work. SO, allow me to introduce you to Lynn Knight Jessee, principal designer and owner of Kitchen Concepts in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is an award-winning designer with decades of success producing some fantastic projects with a showroom that features some of your favorite projects for the kitchen and bath. Jessee has been doing this for over 4 decades and you are going to hear about ways the business of design in Tulsa has changed and continues to change as more people discover this stylish city with a passion for traditional and an appetite for what’s next.

Thank you, Lynn. Loved our chat and what you’re doing. For more stories like this, make sure you are subscribing to the podcast. You can find the show everywhere you get your favorite podcasts… But, you already knew that. What you might not know, is that there are literally hundreds of other episodes for you to binge on now. Go check them out. Thank you ThermaSol, Article, York Wallcoverings and Franz Viegener for your partnership and support. 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.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry