Alex Papachristidis | 502 | Our April 2024 Design Icon Registry Inductee

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another installment of the Design Icon Registry. An icon for sure. A 2 time guest on Convo By Design and a very cool individual and an extraordinary decorator. This is Alex Papachristidis.

If you have heard these segments before, you know, I don’t do contests and I most certainly don’t do lists. Lists are gimmicks designed to capture clicks. They are, click bait pure and simple. You cannot tell me that a list of 50, 75 or 100 designers and architects are the absolute best at what they do without providing context. Lists are created in the hopes that those who are being listed will promote the accolades and that attention will be driven back to the author of the list. And contests where creatives have to reach out to their base to get them to vote for them is just wrong in my opinion. Because, if someone is amazing at what they do… Celebrate that, no strings attached. And that is what we are going to do here. 

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

Monogram – It’s the details that define Monogram

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

Now, the criteria… Each inductee has been a guest on Convo By Design. They have a body of work that is exceptional in their various disciplines and there is no justification required for their world class status. They give back to the industry, they are innovators, givers and make our industry better than they found it. This project is called the Convo By Design Icon Registry, because that is what this is, tantamount to a hall of fame, but more. What is an ICON? Described as an icon; A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. A registry is a well curated list. You can consider this a venerable who’s who in our industry with gifts to offer and a willingness to share. Pablo Picasso is credited with saying, “the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away”. Now, I am not suggesting that those enshrined in the Icon Registry have all just been giving away their gifts. These are professionals of the highest order and part of being a professional is knowing your worth and understanding your value. Each of these individuals have appeared on Convo By Design, shared what they know for the betterment of others, and I am deeply appreciative for that. This is the most authentic way that I can express my gratitude for that. As deeply appreciative as I am for their sharing, I am equally grateful for your taking the time to share a few moments, an hour out of your busy schedule each week to listen to the show. Again, the most authentic way that I can express that gratitude is to give you an opportunity to hear them again. Every month, the last Thursday of the month, unless it’s a holiday week, in which case I will publish a week sooner, I will share a new inductee with you.

This weeks inductee is Alex Papachristidis who is one of the most amazing interior decorators for the wok he does, yes, absolutely. Beyond that though is his base of knowledge. Material and practice. This allows Alex to understand, fuse and commingle new, traditional and other styles to fit his vision and client desires. What is truly special about Alex is his willingness to listen to his clients, hear their wishes and process those wishes into a sophisticated version that they themselves couldn’t even envision. And he’s a dog lover. So, add that to the long list of things I admire about Alex. Which is also why it is my privilege to induct Papachristidis into the Convo By Design Icon Registry. This is Alex Papachristidis.

Thank you Alex for making this world a more beautiful place than you found it. Congratulations on your addition to the Convo By Design Icon Registry. And thank you for listening and subscribing to the show. Thank you to my partner sponsors Design Hardware, ThermaSol, TimberTech and Pacific Sales. these are amazing partners all, they support the trade and I love sharing these amazing resources with you. Thanks again for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. – CXD

Lessons Learned After 11 Years and Five Hundred Episodes | 500 | Storytellers, Best Practices and Ideas to Make the Design and Architecture Industry Stronger

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Episode 500. Five Hundred!

In years past, I have stopped down to celebrate mile stones in a few different ways. Last year, we held a party at the Soho House studio in West Hollywood to celebrate 10 years of the show. Every hundredth episode, I would feature past guests. For this milestone, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of talking about the past, I wanted to focus on the future, share a few past moments to galvanize the point and move on. With gratitude and love in my heart. I love this industry because of all the amazing people I have had the good fortune of meeting and hearing their stories. I am so fortunate to have been to some of the most amazing places and seen some incredible things that designers, architects, artists and makers can create. But the past 11 years have not been easy. It hasn’t been all fun and games. Our industry is one of the most diverse and rapidly changing from a business and operations standpoint. And I have some bad news for those hoping the changes will slow or stop. It’s not going to happen. But I don’t see that as bad news. I’m excited for the future. Before you can properly prepare for changes, you must be aware of what’s coming. Mark Twain is credited with the quote, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” 

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

Monogram – It’s the details that define Monogram

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

To me, that means and for our conversation here, it means that if you look at how our industry is evolving, you will see marks and identifiers from the past reemerging in new and unique ways. Products being used differently, ideas being reimagined, and previously unthinkable technological advancements solving for past and new challenges. At the same time, there will be past issues that continue to rear their ugly heads. Things like: 

Tariffs and supply chain issues wreaking havoc with the financial structure of the business which affects us all directly. of course it also depends on which public officials are in office at any given time.

The issue of editorial credit, attribution, idea and IP theft and knock-offs – Why does that matter so much?

Tearing down landmarks and historical buildings – Who cares? This is a portion of my conversation form the1001 N Roxbury episode. If not familiar and you care about architectural preservation, you should be.

DEI – Policy and Practice –  In 2019 at the WestEdge Design Fair, I produced a panel about diversity in design featuring four creatives of color. It was not the first time I had conversations with creatives of color, different backgrounds, ideas or even who had differences in thought. I cast that program in June or July of 2019, it was held in October of 2019 and published in June of 2020. Shortly after the murder of George Floyd which ignited a powder keg in this country. It started a conversation about race, about equity and about fairness. Change is not a bad thing, without change, one becomes stagnant, societies cease to innovate and develop. It’s uncomfortable. I got a huge response to that episode. I have had many such conversations. 

But, something I have not shared with you was the DEI policy I have and have had in place since 2019. I believe in providing a space for new voices as well as the established. To be completely frank with you, that has, at times been a real challenge.

Inviting someone to come on the show now is pretty simple because if invited guests are not already familiar with the show, a simple search provides everything they would need to understand what I do. It was not the case back in the early years of the podcast. Most people to whom I reach out know the show and I cannot think of anyone I have invite that has declined. But there is a certain level of suspicion with some creatives of color who have been invited on the show. It took me a while to understand it. I think it is worth sharing. Ron Woodson, who was on that original panel in 2019 later said to me that after that episode was published, he began receiving numerous media requests to talk about that subject of race and inclusion in design. And, while he was a willing participant in the the conversation, he didn’t want that to be all people asked him about. I think it is fair to say there was, and still is the concern of tokenism and a patronizing approach to inclusion in the design industry. But I also think that having these conversations is important and I do long for the day when people don’t say things like here are the best Black designers or best asian designers or best female architects you need to know. There are just great designers and amazing architects you need to know. My reason for pointing this out is simple. I think that when you separate creatives by gender or race or sexual orientation, you minimize their contributions. I would like to see the conversation continue to evolve. 

This is a portion of my conversation in 2019 with Bridgid Coulter, Breegan Jane, Ron Woodson and Brian Pinkett

Showroom & Vendor Partnerships – The podcast was started with partnerships in mind. I wanted to be proud of the partners that I work with and share those partners with you. I stand by the partnerships on this show and when you hear me talking about them, you should know that I am working with them because I have done my due diligence and I know them, I trust them and I believe you can too. 

Design Hardware and Flooring in Los Angeles has been around since 1985. I have been working with Michele Solomons, Avi Balsam and the entire team for about 4 years and I have seen what they do for their customers. ThermaSol has been the title sponsor of Convo By Design for over 3 years. I have been to the factory, spoken with Mitch Altman, 3rd generation president, spoken with Murray Altman, 2nd generation president. I have seen their factory, watched them inspect every steam generator before it leaves the factory. They make the best steam generators in the wold. I believe that. Pacific Sales I have been to a number of their showrooms, I have personally seen their product selection and service to client in the design community. I have spoken with so many of their team members, most of those I spoke with have been there for over a decade! They know their product line, they know what designers do for a living and how to make sure their clients are happy. They serve up products like those from Monogram. If you are a design specifier, you know what Monogram has been doing and how remarkable their product line is. Same for TimberTech, theiy make an absolutely incredible outdoor decking product that is sustainable in nature, beautiful, easy to work with and long lasting. I mention this because we are living and working in a time when not all showroom partners have the same dedication to the design community. They shut their doors and leave designers and their clients in stressful and financially devastating situations. This business is a challenge and not all suppliers, vendors, manufacturers or even designers make it. Businesses close, that is part of life, but good parters and great partnerships are rare and that is why I am so thankful for these partnerships and why I am proud to share them with you. If you are not familiar with any of these, please check the show notes to links where you can learn more.

Lastly, there has been a major issue in media regarding attribution, credit and IP theft of all kinds. It is not unique to our industry, nor is it going to stop anytime soon. Most recently, there was a major kerfuffle surrounding a story in AD featuring Sofia Vergara’s home. The credit for design went to O’Hara Davies Gaetano, who was the last designer on the project, but not the first. That was Timothy Corrigan. There have also been others who it have reportedly worked on other portions of the project who too, went uncredited for their work. AD and all the industry media need to far better. Many years ago, 2017 actually, at the WestEdge Design Fair, I produced and moderated a panel featuring art rep Wendy Posner, designer and showroom owner Gary Gibson and IP attorney Emile Nicolaou with whom I worked at Playboy Radio. We talked about many of these very issues. This is what that sounded like….

So, there you go, Episode 500. Just a sample of the conversations we have had over the past 11 years. Real conversations, real issues and hopefully, real solutions to these complex topics in addition to sharing stories behind some of the greatest creatives working today. No celebrity fluff, no trendy fast-fashion dialogue, no frivolity. Real issues, real stories, real talent working on amazing projects and I could not be doing this without you. Thank you for listening to the show. Thank you to my incredible partner sponsors; ThermaSol, Design Hardware, Pacific Sales, Monogram and TimberTech for your continued support of both Convo By Design and the design community. 

Let’s keep the conversations going, you can email me with guest and show ideas, which I absolutely love. convobydesign@outlook.com and follow us on Instagram @ConvoXDeisgn with an “x”. Until next week, Be well and take today first. -CXD

Vision, Leadership & Creative Functionality, Every Element for A Successful Firm | 499 | Katie McCaffrey

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are heading to San Francisco. We’re talking with Katie McCaffrey with the McCaffrey Design Group about functional beauty, designing in a rapidly changing city like San Francisco and so much more.

It is really astounding when you stop and think about it. A city like San Francisco that is under constant change. Social change, climate change, political change, safety concerns, property management and development issues. How can the design community stay on track for their clients and manage all of the changes simultaneously? Can’t be easy. But Katie seems to take it all with a certain grace and poise. Incredibly so. And, you are going to hear all about it, right after this.

Thank you Katie, loved our chat. I really do love these conversations. I love sharing these stories with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convobydesign@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. – Convo By Design

Incredible Brands Changing the Way we Design | 498 | TimberTech featuring Amanda Cimaglia and Designer Olga Naiman

I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design and today you are going to be hearing from Amanda Cimaglia, VP of Corporate Communications and ESG for TimberTech and interior designer, Olga Naiman. TimberTech is a new partner sponsor of the show this year. I wanted to share the TimberTech story with you.

More than that, really. I wanted to share the story and feature a designer who uses the product to share the experience of both the why and how this product is revolutionizing the decking industry. By now, you have probably heard me telling you some of the coolest things about TimberTech. This is an in depth look and both the why and the how. Enjoy.

Thank you Amanda and Olga for coming on the podcast. I love these conversations. I love sharing these stories with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convo by design@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. – Convo By Design

CXD Design Icon Series for March 2024 | 497 | Jean Brownhill

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a very special episode. Part of a new series of the show and something that I have been considering for quite some time but I specifically wanted to complete year 10 of the show before I rolled this out. 

Do you know that in the 11+ years of Convo By Design, I have published over 500 episodes, spoken with over 6500 creatives, produced over 5 dozen panel conversations for design events across the country. From all of these amazing conversations with the worlds greatest creative talent, I wanted. to start enshrining some of these individuals into the Convo By Design Icon Registry, a hall of fame if you will.

I don’t do contests and I most certainly don’t do lists. Lists are gimmicks designed to capture clicks. They are, click bait pure and simple. You cannot tell me that a list of 50, 75 or 100 designers and architects are the absolute best at what they do without providing context. Lists are created in the hopes that those who are being listed will promote the accolades and that attention will be driven back to the author of the list. And contests where creatives have to reach out to their base to get them to vote for them is just wrong in my opinion. Because, if someone is amazing at what they do… Celebrate that, no strings attached. And that is what we are going to do here. 

Now, the criteria… Each inductee has been a guest on Convo By Design. They have a body of work that is exceptional in their various disciplines and there is no justification required for their world class status. They give back to the industry, they are innovators, givers and make our industry better than they found it. This project is called the Convo By Design Icon Registry, because that is what this is, tantamount to a hall of fame, but more. What is an ICON? Described as an icon; A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. A registry is a well curated list. You can consider this a venerable who’s who in our industry with gifts to offer and a willingness to share. Pablo Picasso is credited with saying, “the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away”. Now, I am not suggesting that those enshrined in the Icon Registry have all just been giving away their gifts. These are professionals of the highest order and part of being a professional is knowing your worth and understanding your value. Each of these individuals have appeared on Convo By Design, shared what they know for the betterment of others, and I am deeply appreciative for that. This is the most authentic way that I can express my gratitude for that. As deeply appreciative as I am for their sharing, I am equally grateful for your taking the time to share a few moments, an hour out of your busy schedule each week to listen to the show. Again, the most authentic way that I can express that gratitude is to give you an opportunity to hear them again. Every month, the last Thursday of the month, unless it’s a holiday week, in which case I will publish a week sooner, I will share a new inductee with you.

This week, our third installment into the Convo By Design Icon Registry is Architect and founder of Sweeten, Jean Brownhill. 

Brownhill is an incredible talent. A serious multi-hyphenate and an extraordinary person. A Loeb Fellow from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where she co-founded the African American Student Union, founder of SAW, Sweeten Accelerator for Women and so much more. Her accolades are many and deservedly so. Jean and I spoke back in 2019.

Thank you Jean for making this world a better place than you found it. Congratulations on your addition to the Convo By Design Icon Registry. And thank you for listening and subscribing to the show. Thank you to my partner sponsors Design Hardware, ThermaSol, TimberTech and Pacific Sales. these are amazing partners all, they support the trade and I love sharing these amazing resources with you. Thanks again for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. – CXD

High Point Market and All of the Questions You Were Afraid to Ask | 496 | Tammy Nagem, CEO of High Point Market Authority

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation that is on the minds of just about every designer this time of year. How can I go to HighPoint, see everything, do everything in the few days while I’m there? The simple answer is, you can’t. High Point Market is the big game, the championship level event for designers in North America. It’s big, it’s spread out and it can be sensory overload. So, you can’t do it all. But, if you plan it right, do your homework and listen to the following conversation with Tammy, you can make it work for you.

That’s really what it comes down to, learning how to custom tailor the experience for you. Making the few days you have work in terms of seeing what you want to see, meeting with whom you want to meet and leaving a bit of time for the unexpected. All while wearing comfortable shoes and making sure you have snacks and a portable battery fro your phone. Tips, trick and hacks to make the HighPoint Market experience everything you want it to be. That’s what we are talking about today with HighPoint Market Authority CEO, Tammy Nagem.

Thank you Tammy for your time, loved this. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convobydesign@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -Convo By Design

Imbued Values and the Hand of the Architect: Thee Multicultural Approach to Modern Architecture | 494 | Mathew Chaney, FAIA and Bryn Garrett, AIA of EYRC Architects

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. When I first started the podcast, a long time ago… It all started as an experience. I love design and architecture, I always have. I recently realized that if I had taken the time spent doing the show and went back to school, I could have become an architect. I say that tongue firmly planted in cheek. Not because I wouldn’t LOVE to be an architect, designer or set decorator. But, because had I done that, I wouldn’t be able to do this. This is what I love to do. I find extraordinary joy in speaking with the creatives whom I admire, exploring their journeys, telling their stories and engaging with you. 

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

Joining me on the show today is Mathew Chaney, FAIA and Bryn Garrett, AIA with EYRC Architects. To be completely frank with you, there are a few firms of which I feel like an honorary member. EYRC is one of them. I have spoken and shared time with Takashi Yanai, FAIA over the years, the “Y” in EYRC, I spent an amazing afternoon with Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, the “E” while in Palm Springs covering the Ridge Mountain project during Modernism Week in, errrr 2017 maybe. I have recorded virtually with them, live from their offices in Los Angeles, live from Rancho Mirage at a project house. I feel close to this firm. It’s only a matter of time before we hear from the “R”, Patricia Rhee, FAIA, it’s coming. But today, we have the “C”, Mathew Chaney as well as Bryn Garrett, both partners in EYRC Architects. Bryn most recently could be heard on a WestEdge Wednesday episode of Convo By Design from his participation on a panel at WestEdge about the current state of residential architecture. 

Mathew and Bryn join me on the show to talk about a number of things architecture and design related. And I am absolutely thrilled to share this conversation with you.

Thank you Mathew and Bryn for your time, talent and willingness to share. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convo by design@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -Convo By Design

The Immutable Laws of Design, Why Do Some Former Lawyers Make Such Great Designers | 493 | Katie Davis

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are heading back to Texas. If you are new to the show, I love Texas. I have family there. I lived in Dallas for 9 years. For many years, I had a spin-ff of the podcast called Lone Star House of Design. Texas is not one of the design fly-overs. It has been for a long time, but the pandemic launched a movement that has since gone parabolic. 

Today, you are going to hear from Katie Davis, founder of her eponymous firm in Houston. But that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Katie is one of those designers who took the longest route possible to interior design. And I love this so much because I love hearing the story behind and through the journey. Katie started out as an attorney. A working attorney meaning she went to law school, passed the Bar Exam. Launched Katie Davis Design in 2018 and now, you are going to hear the rest of the story as well as a guided tour through some of her projects. Love this and we are going to get to it, right after this.

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

Thank you Katie for your time, talent and willingness to share. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convo by design@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -Convo By Design

WestEdge Wednesday No. Ten | 492 | All Roads Lead to Southern California; Long Live the Creative Experiment

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is another installment of Convo By Design presents WestEdge Wednesday, a look back at all of the incredible programming from the 2023 edition of the WestEdge Design Fair held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. These conversations were held on the stage designed by Marie Designs and presented by BR Home. This is it, part 10 in our series from the WestEdge Design Fair. Southern California has long been a place where adventurous creatives of all disciplines could come to create with other like-minded dreamers—where a designer could draft and see their masterpiece come to life only to realize it wasn’t right, shake it out like a giant Etch-A-Sketch and start again. Now, in a post-pandemic world, it is incumbent upon that very spirit for a new generation of creatives to address and overcome the seemingly endless barrage of challenges. And, they will, because that’s what they do. This conversation features BANDD/DESIGN’S  Sara Malek Barney, Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors and the legendary Leo Marmol, FAIA of Marmol Radziner. This panel could only be moderated by one person I know and that is the incomparable, Frances Anderton. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware for making the podcast possible and thank you for listening and watching these episodes of the show. For links to all our partners, guests on this episode, WestEdge Design Fair, Marbe and BR Home.

For those not familiar …   The Banana Republic lifestyle brand portfolio is known for delivering timeless ready-to-wear styles, and BR Home signals the brand’s transformation into a leading destination for the modern explorer.  Expanding across living room, bedroom and dining room furniture as well as lighting, bedding, and home décor, BR Home showcases materials and craftsmanship from around the world, showcasing signature design details, warm, textural layers, natural materials and traditional production techniques. 

Please check the podcast show notes for links and you can find that at Convo By Design dot com and click the podcast tab. Thanks for watching and listening. CXD

Exploring the Architectural Identity of Los Angeles: Do Cities Define the Types of Architecture or is it the Other Way Around | 491 | KFA Architecture

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we’re heading to Los Angeles for a conversation with Jaime Olmos and Lise Bornstein of KFA Architecture. We talked, in depth about exploring LA’s identity, preservation and the nature of design in LA, the multi-node structure of this incredible cluster of cities, rediscovering LA’s iconic architectural treasures and so much more.

You knowI love LA. It’s home. It’s not the same as it was when I grew up as a teen in the San Fernando Valley in the 1980’s. The best place in the world to be, at that time. But it’s not the same. I’m not hating, but I feel like LA is on the verge of a renaissance. And it all starts with the designers because what they design are the postcards that announce LA’s future return to glory. It starts with honoring the past, and respecting it as you plan for the future. And it all starts with conversations like these. Of note, I have 2 new sponsor partners joining the show. I could not be happier or more pleased to welcome Pacific Sales, A Best Buy Company and TimberTech to the Convo By Design family. These are amazing brands and you are going to have numerous opportunities to interact directly with them over the next weeks and months ahead so stay tuned for those announcements.

If you want to take a deep dive, this episode has a powerful AI generated synopsis of the whole conversation which you can find in the show notes. We are going to hear from Lise and Jaime, right after this.

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

Thank you Lise and Jaime for your time, talent and willingness to share. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convo by design@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -Convo By Design

KFA Architecture Summary

Exploring Los Angeles Identity

Lise and Josh had a conversation about their experiences living in Los Angeles, with Lise being a native of the East Coast. They both expressed their appreciation for Los Angeles’ willingness to reinvent itself and its freedom from traditional norms. Jaime, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, shared their ongoing exploration of what Los Angeles means, including its indigenous architecture. The conversation ended on a note about building and restoring communities in Los Angeles.

Architecture, Design, and Preservation in Southern California

Jaime and Josh discussed architecture and design in Southern California, with a focus on the balance between new and historic structures. They highlighted the unique character of LA’s mid-century modernism and the importance of preserving historical buildings. Josh also raised questions about the role of architects in shaping the future of their designs, given the long lifespan of buildings. Lise added that the context and story of a building, as well as its connection to the community, can contribute to its historical significance. The conversation concluded without a clear resolution on the criteria for determining what makes a building historically significant.

Los Angeles Architecture Evolution Discussion

Josh initiated a discussion about the evolution of Los Angeles and its architecture. They asked Lise and Jaime about their perspectives on the city’s transformation, especially since they both have ties to the area. Lise shared their experience of moving to Los Angeles and their initial impression of the city’s car-centric culture and lack of greenery. However, over the years, they have grown to appreciate the city’s potential for community building and the role of architecture in creating humane spaces. Jaime, a native Angelino, also shared their experiences and impressions of the city.

LA’s Cultural Fusion and Multi-Node Structure

Jaime and Josh discussed the unique character of Los Angeles, emphasizing its cultural fusion and the potential of its multi-node structure. Jaime highlighted the redevelopment of downtown and the appreciation of historic buildings. Josh shared their experiences growing up in the San Fernando Valley and their appreciation for art and architecture in LA. They also discussed the triforium, a unique piece of art in downtown LA. Towards the end, Josh asked Jaime about the verticals within their firm, including schools, commercial, industrial, residential, and historical projects. Jaime clarified their study background and shared their experience at Pomona College.

Rediscovering LA’s Architecture and Design

Jaime discussed the rediscovery of Los Angeles’ architecture and design through the lens of national parks, highlighting the repurposing of older buildings such as the 2121 Lofts in the Arts District. Jaime also discussed the transformation of the Arts District and the LA River, and how these changes have affected the city’s urban fabric. Lise then shifted the conversation towards the history of LA, noting the presence of old industrial buildings, and the city’s willingness to embrace new and different ideas. They also touched upon the tension and potential for false nostalgia when discussing the historic and new pieces of the city’s architecture.

Architectural Design and Disneyland’s Influence

Lise and Josh discussed the importance of architectural design in relation to historical context and the influence of Disneyland on the architectural innovation in Southern California. Lise emphasized the need to design in a Spanish colonial or mission style, which is often requested due to its familiarity. They also mentioned the challenge of incorporating this style into larger, modern buildings. Lise shared their experience with the Hayworth House in West Hollywood, where the building was transformed into senior housing. They highlighted the importance of creating a community feel by adding a front porch and a garden. Josh then shifted the conversation towards the future, expressing interest in discussing where architecture is headed.

Architectural Safety and Community Interactions Post-Pandemic

Josh and Lise discussed the shift in architectural preferences due to the pandemic, with a focus on safety, security, and privacy. They agreed that safety and security are always important, particularly in urban areas, and that learning from past design practices can guide future improvements. Lise highlighted the need for creating safe and secure spaces in cities, emphasizing the importance of visual connections and community interactions. Jaime agreed, noting that their firm aims to provide safety without disconnecting from the community, and shared about the challenges faced by individuals who have been homeless and recently moved into their first permanent home. They highlighted the need for relearning basic self-care skills and the potential for a wide range of reactions to this transition.

Designing Community Wellness in Market Rate Housing

Jaime, Lise, and Josh discussed the potential of architectural elements in creating community and fostering wellness in market rate housing. Jaime emphasized the potential of stairs and walkways, while Lise mentioned the success of opening up stairs for a health and wellness aspect. Josh shared their personal experience in Tulsa, where a community-focused design led to successful social interactions. Jaime and Lise also discussed the future of design, highlighting the increasing value of human connection due to artificial intelligence, the trend towards natural materials, and the need for places that foster meaningful connections. They also touched upon the potential densification of LA, particularly around existing metro lines, and the growing importance of outdoor space and greenery.

Sustainability and Innovation in Los Angeles

Lise and Josh discussed the growing importance of sustainability, with Lise emphasizing that it is a basic human right. They highlighted the potential of Los Angeles as a testing ground for innovative solutions. Lise shared their experience with lead certified design and the role of government mandates in driving innovation. Josh discussed a previous project involving a unique drone pad in the Hollywood Hills and the potential for autonomous drones to revolutionize transportation in LA. The conversation concluded with a consensus on the exciting opportunities and challenges awaiting the industry in the coming decade.