The Showroom featuring Bunny Williams | 338 | The Grace, Style and Powerful Ideas Within this Design Icon

After 8 years doing this podcast and many years prior doing interviews for Playboy, I don’t get star-struck. To the contrary actually. While hosting The Playboy Radio Interview for Playboy, I spoke with actors like Henry Winkler, bands like Dirty Heads and Drive By Truckers, strong personalities like Tom Sizemore and Governor Jesse Ventura. Artists and artisans alike and I always challenge myself to go beyond what you already know and bring you new ideas. That’s not always easy. Sometimes interview guests are focused on “talking points”, they want to stick to the hits. The Showroom is an interview series in partnership with Walker Zanger. We are in our second year of this series and it has been an absolute joy working with Walker Zanger and the guests who appear on the podcast.

The opportunity to sit down with Bunny Williams was one that meant a lot to me when booking her for the show and now listening back and editing our conversation. I wanted to bring you another side of Bunny Williams that you don’t find in the trade publications. The work speaks for itself, so I wanted you to get to know Bunny. Her firm, the history, importance on mentorship, lessons learned from Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. I wanted you to hear about the dogs that are of such high importance, regularly featured in and always present in Bunny’s world. The make a guest appearance.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Bunny. This was an honor and a joy. Thank you Walker Zanger for being such a wonderful partner and being an important part of The Showroom. Thank you, ThermaSol for your support and your partnership. And, thank you for listening, subscribing to the podcast and the constant support, texts and emails. Make sure to stay close now because we are very close to getting back to live events and I am looking forward to seeing your smiling faces in person again very soon. And until then, be well and remember to take today first.

Four Studio Heads with Over 100 Years of Combined Mastery at One Storied Architecture Firm | 336 | Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Today, you are going to hear from the fab four… of architecture. A bold statement, right? I stand by it. I am calling these four the fab four of architecture for the amount of respect I have for them and the body of work they have completed individually and as partners and studio heads at Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Gary Brewer has been with RAMSA since 1989. Randy Correll since 1983. Grant Marani, since 1984 and Roger Seifter started with RAMSA in 1978, and became a partner in 1989. You don’t find tenure like this anymore for a number of reasons including, and probably most importantly there don’t seem to be many legacy firms. The business has changed, all businesses have changed in that regard. Movement from one to another firm is largely based on the principles of upward professional mobility and because there is an acceptance to the movement. But back to the conversation at hand. I spoke with Roger, Gary, Grant and Randy via Zoom. I would have preferred in person but we were right in the middle of the pandemic which made that impossible. I do look forward to a time when we can all sit down and go over some of their work in greater detail.

They were all joining in to discuss their new book, HOUSES which covers as its name suggests covers some of the firm’s residential projects. What struck me was, not the opulence and grandeur of each project, but the elegant comfort. Being the tactile person I am, I love the feel of pages in a book. I anticipate every turn of the page because I am really excited to see the next project and learn about the ideas, thoughts and inspiration that got these creators to finished project. There is elegance, there is opulence.. But more than that, you find a place for everything, everything in its place and not a single opportunity missed to make a statement. Sometimes subtle, sometimes grand, but always present.

You are going to hear about the work, their processes, inspiration and challenges. Four architects, 1 book and over 110 years of experience at 1 spectacular architecture firm.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you Gary, Grant, Robert and Roger. I loved our chat and look forward to doing this again. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your support and your partnership. And, thank you for listening, subscribing to the podcast and the constant support, texts and emails. Make sure to stay close now because we are very close to getting back to live events and I am looking forward to seeing your smiling faces in person again very soon. And until then, be well and remember to take today first.

The Showroom featuring Jonathan Marvel | 333 | The Marvelous Mr. Marvel and His Astounding Architectonics

This is Convo By Design with another installment of The Showroom featuring Jonathan Marvel. We are talking about urban development, functional city planning and sustainable design to put it simply. We are diving deep into some extraordinary work that is influencing a new direction in architecture.

Jon Marvel is a highly decorated architect with offices in New York and his home, Puerto Rico. He is creating some elegant and exquisite modern work in some of the most highly congested spaces using sustainable materials and adding green spaces. When I use the word, ‘elegant’ as a descriptor, it’s not a throw-away line, it is heartfelt. We are going to focus on some of his projects here so you can hear the methods and strategy behind the work itself. Because that is what we do here. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership on this project. The Showroom is a collaborative effort between Walker Zanger and Convo By Design. We look to deconstruct the work through conversations with their creators. We do this to better understand how the work serves those who use these spaces as well as to understand and improve how the industry can better serve those who create. Enjoy this episode fo Convo By Design featuring architect, Jon Marvel.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Jon for joining us in The Showroom. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.

Diversity in Design | 332 | What Does This ‘Really’ Mean?

This is Convo By Design with a conversation about diversity in the design industry. In June of 2020, I published a conversation originally produced in October live at the WestEdge Design Fair. The concept was fairly straight forward, a panel featuring designers of color talking about their experiences in the industry. The purpose was straight forward as well, to provide a forum for the conversation to take place, to shed light on untold experience and extend the mic to those traditionally underserved. Originally, the term “of color” made me uncomfortable. It felt like attaching a label and I wondered if that was exactly what I was trying to avoid? I think the term ‘people of color’ has been debated quite a lot over the past year and it is more about nuance and in this situation, it isn’t a label but a descriptor. The ‘designers of color’ descriptor is intentional here and that is not to say that in some time, might no longer be appropriate. This is also not being used to compare, contrast or value any particular color or historical experience. I’m going to leave it here, but know this, I too continue to learn more about this subject. It’s not one I am at all comfortable with but to avoid it would be a disservice to the journey and the learning process. 

The response to that episode was incredible. It was good, bad, and surprising. If some people are uncomfortable by conversations like these, good, we should do them more often. If for no other reason than to normalize different voices, experiences and perspectives. 

With that, I give you the second installment of the Diversity in Design Series featuring designers Gail Davis, Sharon Lee, KD Reid and Edel Legaspi. Edel will be moderating this conversation, for which I am extremely grateful. 

This is Diversity in Design, a conversation about design, the design industry, and opportunity for all who seek it.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Sharon, Gail, Edel and KD. Your participation and willingness to share your experience is greatly appreciated. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.

All About Color | 331 | The Emotion and Feel Proper Color Selection Can Bring, Everything You need to Know with Bailey Li Interiors, Layered Dimensions and Rocky Rochon

This is Convo By Design with a conversation about color. Not the color for any particular period of time but how and why color selection is so important.

There is nothing wrong with stating color trends or designating colors of the year, but I have always felt that kind of promotion is a bit gimmicky. Color selection is as personal as the design itself. I believe that. And if that is true, then designating a specific color is antithetical to that entire premise. So, I wanted to have a conversation about color, color selections, choices and ideas by empaneling 3 amazing creatives who know this subject intimately. More to the point, this conversation about color is more that shade, depth, value, hue or intensity. More that just position on a color wheel or what “season” the client thinks they are or matching the heirloom china set that grandma gave them. This distinguished group is breaking down color by all of the above plus emotional impact, historical and social values. By texture, depth and other factors that illicit more than beauty, but feel. An emotional response to the space. We’re going deep in this one, another installment of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

Color can have a tremendous impact on mood, style, feel and look in any space. With so many ‘color of the year’ promotions, it’s hard to separate trending from trendy. New ideas emerge from the fashion industry every season that impact color and pattern preferences in the design industry. This is a look not at what the popular colors will be in 6 months, but influences and strategies for finding the right colors for the preferences of the client and historical ideas with respect to color palette and pattern selection.

Alecia Bailey – Bailey Li Interiors

“Color, I do push the limits. I do have clients that say they don’t like a lot of color and that they like neutrals. So what I do for them is introduce them to metallics, that are neutral. The light hits it in a certain way and it looks very beautiful. So it may look neutral during the day, and then at night when the moon hits it. So I do push it. So when you use a silver, gold leaf, satin or a pearl, it just looks amazing.”

Christina Garcia – Layered Dimensions

“I think for a long time, people were nervous about adding color to their houses because for so long people felt like they had to be in this niche. They had to be in golds and reds or they had to be cremes and browns and that is what everybody everybody was doing so they felt like that is what they needed to do as well and then we went away from all color completely and started doing whites and grays with a hint of blue, maybe. I think people are starting to realize that it’s okay to have a personality with my home. It’s okay for the home to reflect me or my style. They are designing more for themselves than for resale.” 

Rocky Rochon – Rocky Rochon

 “Color has a huge range. In our paint collection, we have a lot of colors that are relatively neutral but they go across the whole spectrum. But, when you are doing an interior and you are going to do a whole room in one color, you have to be a lot more subtle. So, we’ve developed a whole series of textures… A soy ink finish or a lacquer finish. The most beautiful room can be the most subtle. The reflection of a pale turquoise light that you don’t know is discernible as a color until you envelope the room in it. The textures make a huge difference. I think when we talk about color, we’re talking about what the whole range of color is, and those ranges are what create the emotional responses.” 

Thank you Christina, Bailey and Rocky. You are all amazing and I greatly appreciate the time. Thank you ThermaSol for being a part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership. And, thank you for listening. Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out and make sure you are subscribing to the podcast so you don’t miss a single episode of Convo By Design. Be well, and remind yourself to take today first.

Lone Star house of Design | Effortless Outdoor Living with Landscape Designer Melissa Gerstle

This is Lone Star House of Design, a podcast about all things design and architecture from and about the Great State of Texas. This episode features Melissa Gerstle, an artist of outdoor spaces. She crafts, teases and manipulates organic matter and design product into highly unique and crafted spaces. Texas is not always the best canvas for such things. At times, the weather doesn’t really cooperate. You are going to hear how this artisan uses the inhospitable to craft incredible outdoor design.

The old saying about the value of property are true, “location, location, location” and Mark Twain’s, “Buy land, they are making it anymore.” Design and use of outdoor space is the equivalent to being given more land. By making the most out of every square yard, the value of the property is not only increases but the service value of the property is tapped to increase the ‘joy-per-foot’ ratio. A designer that can tap into the value of previously unactivated spaces is rare and we have one here.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Melissa for your time and talent. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your support and Thank you for subscribing and downloading the show and If you are not already, please subscribe so you catch every episode of Lone Star House of design and Convo By Design the moment they are published. You can also ask your smart speaker to play Convo By Design.

And if you REALLY want more, follow along, ConvoByDesign.Com and @ConvoXDesign with an “X” on Instagram. For show inquiries, sponsorship and guest inquiries, email me ConvoByDesign@outlook.com. Be well and until next week, keep creating.

Maryline Damour | 330 | Reinventing Yourself and Career Through Design – Much Needed Guidance and Strategies for Success

This is CXD with a conversation about design houses, collaborative partnerships and second careers. All things you have heard me talk about on the show before…but not like this…

Maryline Damour started her career doing business development with some of the biggest names in accounting and finance. Her desire for something greater led her back to school to study interior design at Parsons The New School for Design. Our conversation covers that journey as well as her experience growing up in Haiti where they are no strangers to living with disasters of all types unfortunately, and that experience has provided Maryline with a unique perspective on life and design. In this episode of the podcast, you will hear about that experience, meeting her business partner, Fred Drake and crafting their boutique design firm. 

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Maryline. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.

The Showroom featuring Matthew Dugally & Mauricio Oberfeld | 329 | The Intrinsic Value of A Strong Design Partnership

this is Convo By Design with another edition of The Showroom, a partnership between Convo By Design and Walker Zanger. This episode features the talent behind iconic groundbreaking architecture firm, Dugally Oberfeld. 

Matthew Dugally and Mauricio Oberfeld are the talent and skill behind Dugally Oberfeld. Matt and Mo have a partnership that, when explored in detail exemplify a 1 + 1 = 3. There is undetectable value in the partnership itself that has resulted in some wonderful work, unexpected design and the type of Projects that inspire the work of others. The idea of intrinsic value, true value of a partnership can’t be measured in dollars, pounds or other quantifiable measures. So how can you place a “real value” on something like partnership and collaborative spirit? You can certainly look at the work. You can explore the external responses to the work. If you really want to understand how the value of a partnership is indwelled within the body of a structure, keep listening.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Matt & Mo for your time. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.

Island Hospitality & Designing for Peace and Luxury | 327 | Tiffany Cassidy – Lagnappe Custom Interiors

This is Convo By Design with Tiffany Cassidy, principal designer of Lagnappe Custom Interiors. A design firm based in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands. Exactly the location where many of us wish we were, right now. Just thinking about the Virgin Islands …and a Mai Tai.

Visiting St. Thomas is one thing, living and working there is something else entirely. As a designer, Tiffany has to deal with the types of challenges that all other designers have only learned recently. Like huge price fluctuations, inventory issues, breaks in the supply chain and the need to do reselects early and often.

So, we’re going to talk about island living, from the designers perspective. If you work on an island, this will help. If you work in a major metropolitan city, this information will help you too. This is a conversation about design, hospitality and finding the true meaning behind the business of design, providing the lifestyle that makes life worth living. So, if you’re sitting at your home office listening to this episode, grab a Mai Tai and enjoy this conversation about island design and living that dream.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Tiffany. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.

Your Best Year in Design | 326 | Proven Strategies for Growing and Promoting Your Design Firm

This is Convo By Design with a conversation about adapting to the ever-changing design environment. Since only everything has changed. When I say that, I mean it. Everything has changed in the business. I remember last March when everyone I was speaking with, myself included thought the events would come back last fall and that the supply chain would return to normal. As time went on, we all started to realize that things were not going back to normal quickly, if at all. this conversation is part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

That being said, not all change is bad. The following conversation includes designers Shirry Dolgin of ASD Interiors, Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface and Jason Lai of L2 Interiors. The panel explores the changes in the design and architecture industry, in real time with a focus on adapting to these changes and maximizing new business and revenue growth. Change is hard. The unknown is uncomfortable.

This exploration unearths some of the most challenging issues we are facing as it relates to the business and how these three firms are addressing these issues.Many of this issues revolve around specifying product right now as the supply chains are stretched and demand has grown as inventories drop. This has led to both shortages and increased costs. There challenges now include managing the disappointment of precuts not being available, reselects, increase costs, lack of manufacturer response times and products showing differently online from reality.

“Our business is so personal, whether we’re face to face, or not. We are people pleasers and that’s not always the greatest thing, especially now. But, I think the greatest challenge now, for me as a perfectionist and a people pleaser, is managing disappointment. Relaying the reality of the situation without making excuses.” – Michelle Salz-Smith

“I spend a lot of my time being upfront with my client saying, ‘listen, it is what it is.’ So, we can either wait, or pick something else.” – Shirry Dolgin

“I know what we want and what we are looking for in our head already, we just haven’t seen it and once we see it, we pull it. But this process has just been so slow. We have to go online and scroll through 75 pages of fabric on one color finish and it’s nothing like what you expect because online it shows differently.” -Jason Lai

In this episode, you will not only hear the challenges restated, you will also hear solutions to many of the issues every designer faces now and what the business might look like in the near future. The best way to overcome challenges is to envision and plan for them in the future. This is another episode in the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol featuring Michelle Salz-Smith, Jason Lai and Shirry Dolgin.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

And when it comes to working with a partner who has your back, knows your challenges and is there for you every step of the way…

Thank you, Shirry, Jason and Michelle. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.