Tag Archives: los angeles

Stacy Garcia | 281 | Partnerships, Licensing and Global Design

Stacy Garcia is a global licensing and design company led by someone who has one foot firmly planted in design and the other on the business side of things. Stacy is a powerful voice in the business and she has done something truly amazing with her business. While she calls herself a creator and artist first, she has used the licensing arenas to structure her core business on hospitality and still create a multi-line business structure. 

For those designers and architects listening, this will give you some quantifiable takeaways as it relates to creative design and hospitality. But, you’re also going to get some excellent business strategies and actionable ideas that will help you structure your business and ultimately increase your earning potential through licensing opportunities.

In this episode, you will hear Stacy define the structure of a successful partnership. These thoughts include; One-offs, multi-year deals, single-piece deals, or the full collection and non-exclusive licensing deals. Stacy also talks about what happens when someone steals your designs and products. DO you protect your intellectual property or not because if you start a line, your ideas will get stolen. 

You are also going to hear about creating and distributing design content to build community, promote your platform, and make new connections. So, get comfortable, enjoy your drive, or whatever it is you doing and enjoy this chat with Stacy Garcia.

Thank you, Stacy. I truly appreciate the time and insights. We covered a lot of ground. Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support. And, thank YOU for listening. Convo By Design would not exist were it not for you, so thank you. Make sure you are following along on Instagram ConvoXDesign, with and “X” and subscribe to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Until next week, be well and keep creating.

Form, Function, Family & Modern Architecture | 280 | David Thompson of Assembledge+

If you love modern architecture, you are going to enjoy this conversation. The coronavirus is all we talk about these days because that is all we can think about. I have been trying to be as productive as possible, but it’s challenging and the news always seems to continually get worse. That being said, there have been some positives that have come out of this. The time spent focused on work without that daily commute. That 2 hour daily waste of time has been amazing. I am so much more productive. Then you factor in the time spent with family, that time is invaluable. That is one of the reasons why I think you are going to enjoy this conversation with David Thompson of Assembledge+, a Southern California architectural firm producing some amazing work. David is a unique talent and he has been joined by his father, Richard, a highly accomplished architect in his own right. This son-father duo is producing some truly unique design and you are going to hear how it all fits together.

Thermasol presents A Moment of Zen, Wellness Tips for a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul

This is a new segment of the show called Wellness Tips for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul. This topic has been coming up more and more lately and while this is certainly not a new topic, more clients have been asking for health and wellness worked into their designs. I started asking around and there are some really interesting ideas taking shape.

I make a trip to Las Vegas in January, sometimes February during KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. About four or five years ago I noticed an increase in the number of vendors with products designed to make the bathroom more spa-like. It was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me and I started asking designers and architects more about this in the interviews that followed. Over the past few years, there have been way more products and companies featuring products focused on health and wellness in design. These products are focused on clean water, air quality, noise reduction, and light purity in addition to the limitation of unwanted light.

Once a month, we are going to explore these ideas and see how design and architecture are once again not only making places to live, work, and play but make those spaces work better. Check out the Moment of Zen where we explore ideas for a more peaceful space.

Wabi-Sabi – An outdoor shower can create a peaceful transition between a long day and the peace that comes from being home. An outdoor shower posted by Bloemendaal, the Netherlands based Woodlands House was placed in space without overthought design elements or ultra-lux materials yet its appearance is incredibly pleasing. It made me feel like I found a long lost treasure.

Make it Natural – There are few things more peaceful than observing nature. @ConcreteGeometric posted a what they called “little octahedrons’ in small Concrete Geometric concrete planters from @stuffhollywood. These little miracles can bring peace a first sight. A little green makes for a lot of zen.

Fortress of Solitude – Jhoiey Ramirez of @StudioJhoiey created a spectacular bath that created the feeling that you are at your favorite spa. Everything in this space provides the feeling of solitude from the steam shower and lighting to the exquisitely crafted tile work. There is a window inside the fully enclosed, frameless steam shower that gives a peaceful inside out feeling. You could be happy spending hours in this masterfully crafted bathroom.

Three ideas for you to consider exploring in your future projects. Zen is a state of mind, designing for wellness is more important now than ever before. Thermasol is a brand created over 60 years ago to incorporate steam showers and sauna into any project you can design. They have also integrated cutting edge technology into their products allowing you to set individual profiles for every user. Set temperature, chromotherapy, aromatherapy, listen to music, or watch your favorite shows while taking a relaxing steam shower. You will be amazed at just how easy it is to specify Thermasol products for every project you can design. Check them out online at Thermasol dot com.

Thank you, David. Thank you for taking the time, thank you Walker Zanger for being an absolute joy to work with. Your partnership is appreciated. Thank you Thermasol for your support of Convo By Design and thank YOU for listening to the show, subscribing to the podcast, and coming out to our events. Thanks for listening and until next week, keep creating.

SoCal’s Modern Architecture Revolution | 278 | Christopher Brandon of Brandon Architects

This is the next golden age of Modern Architecture with much of the leadership emanating from SoCal. For six years, every interview you heard on the show was recorded live. Since March 13th of this year, every new conversation has been recorded on the phone or via Zoom. This has completely changed the way I do this and we have all change the way we work. So as Christopher and I talk about how his business is changing, he also mentioned that he started his firm during the great recession and I think that speaks to how Brandon established his firm and how he has worked with all his employees to make sure they can work most effectively. Doing the episodes this way has also provided me with an opportunity to discuss specific projects and it has opened a new door for me and I hope for you as well. Please make sure you are following along as we look at these projects by visiting www.brandonarchitects.com as you listen and we can explore design together.

In this episode, Chris and I talk about some amazing ideas in design that include a skylight through the bottom of a swimming pool and an absolute masterpiece in the Strand Hotel. You are going to hear about incorporating VR and technology, progressive ways to make distance working more effective and overcoming the challenges of working during a disaster. At the same time, this is a reminder that design is a service industry. A service industry that directly improves the quality of life of those we serve.

Before we get to this, I want to share some thoughts with you. Convo By Design is presented by Walker Zanger. I am going to tell you a little more about what makes Walker Zanger so special in a minute. But I also want you to know how they are responding during these trying times. I recently paid a visit to their West Hollywood showroom. When I walked in, staff was distanced, there was sanitizer available and they were masked up. They have also been inviting through drive by slab showings and partnering up with yours truly on a virtual series called The Showroom. If you are a designer looking for great partners to work with, you can look no further than Walker Zanger. They continue to innovate. They made me feel comfortable going back to their showroom. It may seem like a small thing. It’s not. We are back to a really fun conversation with architect, Christopher Brandon.

Thank you, Chris. Thank you for making the time, thank you Walker Zanger for being an absolute joy to work with. Your partnership is appreciated. Thank you Thermasol for your support of Convo By Design and thank YOU for listening to the show, subscribing to the podcast and coming out to our events. If not already, ask Alexa or Siri to subscribe to Convo By Design, and they will. Thanks for listening and until next week, keep creating.

Saving Iconic Architecture | 276 | Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design

I’m longing for the good ole’ days. January of 2020. It wasn’t that long ago but feels like an eternity since Modernism Week. I have known Ron and Jaime for quite some time and spoken to them about their design firm and their passion project, SIA, Save Iconic Architecture on numerous occasions. This was recorded in January 2020 from the California Closets showroom in Rancho Mirage and it’s being published in June 2020. Why is that important? Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the idea of home has become so much more important. The idea that a dwelling serves those who inhabit it in both form and function are of critical importance. This is really a great time to have this discussion because we are at the very beginning of what I believe will be a significant migratory period in our society. This pandemic and subsequent shut-down has made us rethink how we do…everything from work, school, daycare, home gym…you get it. I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds about that but instead, focus on saving iconic architecture. Ron and Jaime started SIA, Save Iconic Architecture to do just that. While we talk a great deal about significant architecture in major cities, like LA. There are opportunities to find architectural gems in outlying areas. Think about that and know that Ron and Jaime are not against development. They want to save these masterworks because that is what they are. Amazing works by noted architects, not limited to but including Neutra, Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Wallace Neff, and Paul Williams. 

This is a conversation about great architecture. Identifying it and saving it when possible. Before we get to this, a quick reminder, you can catch every episode of Convo By Design by subscribing to the show on your device. You can also find every episode and extras like the Convo By Design Blog at www.ConvoByDesign.com. Did you know that Convo By Design has been telling the stories of design luminaries for 7 years now with over 276 episodes produced and listeners in over 60 countries around the world? It’s true, so if you are new to the show, go check out the episodes you missed as well as over two hundred videos on our YouTube channel.

Design Diversity | 274 | Crafting Our World The Way it Should Be

Following is a panel conversation that took place at the WestEdge Design Fair in 2019. I am always honest with you, and this is no exception, I lost sleep in advance of recording this panel last October and now in publishing it because I wanted to approach this topic with the respect it deserves. I feel now, as I did in prep for this, that we have some incredibly challenging issues as evidenced by the headlines today. We were witnessing similar issues a year ago, and 10 years ago, and 50 years ago. This is a conversation about the lack of diversity in design. It speaks to the broader issue that, and you will hear from the get-go, that the lack of conversation about this issue is a big part of the problem.

You are going to hear a conversation about diversity, or the lack thereof, racism, the great divide, and lack of opportunity. You will hear front line stories about issues at play but you are also going to hear from four highly successful creative designers who bring the fight to the forefront every day. Let’s be clear, this conversation is not going to fix the societal issues we have regarding race nor is it going to equalize the level of diversity in design and that is not why we had this conversation. Let this be the beginning of an open dialogue. I believe the only way we eventually fix societal issues is by having very challenging conversations, conversations that make us uncomfortable but ultimately that is the only way we can understand a foreign perspective. You are going to hear from four individuals who have achieved success in their fields and with that accomplishment comes a recognition of what it took to get there, how they can offer a hand to help others, and how you can too. 

I think one of the most important issues to understand and you will hear it for yourself is that there is room for everyone. This is not about bumping anyone out but making space where there is plenty of room for different voices and new perspectives. That, in turn, makes the industry stronger. It makes our society stronger. This panel is packed with amazing talent and I am so thankful that the agreed to participate. Thank you, Breegan Jane, Bridgid Coulter, Ron Woodson, and Brian Pinkett. In this episode, you will hear about: Exposure, Opportunity, Education, Mentorship, Internship, Availability, Inclusivity, and Outreach. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to present this conversation from the WestEdge Design Fair, recorded in October 2019 called, Design Diversity: Crafting our World the Way it Should Be. The take away from this is that there are more conversations needed, we need to be able to have honest exchanges of ideas without fear of saying the wrong thing and while we are not there now, my hope is that by having more conversations like this, we will be, soon. Thank you Walker Zanger and Thermasol for your support fo Convo By Design and thank YOU for listening to the show, subscribing to the podcast, and coming out to our events. There are more on the horizon and there will always be diversity in the voices and stories you hear. Thanks for listening and until next week, keep talking, listening, and creating.

Special Series on Designing for Disaster | 8 | Margie Grace on Creating Your Outdoor Oasis

This is the final episode in the series, not because there isn’t more to learn but because we are coming out of this first lock-down and you have been provided with actionable strategies for making your space more functional, more livable and now is your chance to go make it real. Speaking of real, I mention that we are through the first lock-down, there will be more. Perhaps not in the near future but don’t kid yourself into thinking that this can’t happen again. Instead, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This series was presented in parts to help you structure your design into categories and this is the final piece… landscape design. This episode features Margie Grace talking about: 

Editing your spaces

Embracing the opportunity to clean out and purge

Being hopeful and bringing new life into your life

Plan the environment; 1. Dream it,  2. research it, shop, repurpose, rebuild what you have, 3. build it and 4.  live in it. X amount of functions and Y amount of space.

Functional design. Fruits, flowers, herbs and decorative plants, trees and shrubs for shade and privacy… What is it you want? Functionally design your space.

Beds & Borders, seating areas, ground vs. potted gardens.

Margie, as you will hear if you are not familiar with her, is a tour de force. She is energetic for days and has a very clear vision as it relates to her approach. So, strap in and try to keep up.

Thank you, Margie, for your time and talent. For more about Margie Grace, please go to gracedesignassociates.com. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership and support of Convo By Design. And thank you for listening, were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. We are getting through this, and while we do, I will keep bringing you the ideas from incredibly talented creatives to make it a little bit better. If you have a question, ideas for a segment or you are a designer that wants to help, please email me at ConvoByDesign@Outlook.com. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Behind the Design with John Colaneri | 272 | The Designer’s Home

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a virtual case study of a designer’s own home with, designer, builder, design influencer, John Colaneri.

You most likely know John Colaneri from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins, his books, or you have seen him on national talk shows. It’s easy to forget when watching celebrity designers that they are currently active designers and builders. It’s also easy to forget that they have homes of their own and designing for themselves can be even more challenging than designing for a TV show where the edit is always available. This conversation is from a virtual gathering called The Showroom presented by Walker Zanger, the presenting sponsor of Convo By Design. You are about to hear a walkthrough of Colaneri’s own home, recently completed. You are going to hear about how he put it together and how the internal negotiations with his wife made for some interesting product choices. This is a masterclass on design, product specification, and putting your true desire at the epicenter of the design. There are a number of references to the work and products in John’s home. You can follow along and see it for yourself @ColaneriJohn on Instagram as well as JohnColaneri.com. Both will be linked in the show notes. This is John Colaneri.

Thank you, John, Thank you, Erika, thank you, Walker Zanger, for your continued support and thank you for listening, downloading every episode and engaging on the socials. Please follow the show stay up to date on where we will be at convobydesign.com and @ConvoXDesign with and “X” on Instagram. If you are not yet subscribing, please do, you can find the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts or simply ask Alexa or Siri, say, “Hey Siri, play Convo by Design podcast”, and she will. Be well and until next week, keep creating.

Designing For Wellness | 271 | Mitch Altman – CEO THERMASOL

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is another episode of Convo By Design featuring Mitch Altman, third-generation CEO of THERMASOL. This is a conversation about multi-functional design for beauty, health, and wellness.

THERMASOL is a family-owned and operated business producing amazing steam shower products for over 60 years. This is the story of a California company now based in Texas and still run by the family that started it all. Mitch Altman is constantly improving the company and that product company is now so much more. THERMASOL is a technology company that provides the tools to turn the shower into an experience, a source for wellness and sanctuary and so much more.

I want you to hear from Mitch, and every month on Convo By Design, THERMASOL will be presenting a new feature on the podcast called, “A Moment of Zen, Designing For Wellness” where we explore new ideas in design with a focus on health, wellness and creating your personal oasis.

Thank you, Mitch, for the time. Thank you, Walker Zanger, for your continued support, and thank you for listening to the show, downloading each podcast episode, and engaging through the socials. Make sure you never miss an episode of the podcast, ask Siri to help you, say, “Hey Siri, play Convo By Design podcast.” And she will! Thanks for listening and until next week, keep creating.

Celebrating the LaCienega Design Quarter | 270 | Part 4 of 4

For over 50 years, the LaCienega Design Quarter has been a design destination serving LA’s vibrant and extremely talented design community. This design district is special and has seen Los Angeles change from trendy studio town to a global creative powerhouse. For the past 11 years, Legends of LaCienega has been a celebration of design, showcase for amazing design talent and social gathering for anyone who loves design.

In 2019, Convo By Design was represented as an official media sponsor of Legends. I cannot tell you how amazing this was for me and how saddened I was when I learned that because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event was canceled this year. I think what saddens me most is that I personally will miss seeing all my friends and I imagine that many of you listening feel the same way. So, I wanted to take a look back and share some of the amazing designers from last year’s event. My hope is that this gives you a little bit of joy, I will republish this in a series of episodes so you can hear all about the 2019 designs and showrooms whose windows served as the canvas for these amazing designers. I would also like to again remind you how special the LaCienega Design Quarter is and suggest that when this is all over, please go visit the LCDQ showrooms again.

Tom Stringer

Dan Mazzarini

Legaspi Courts

Peti Lau

Alex Papachristidis

Kevin Isbell

Gianetti Home

Patrick Sutton

Brooke Wagner

Bridgid Coulter

That is a wrap on this episode of Convo By Design featuring the amazing creatives who decorated and designed the windows of the LaCienega Design Quarter in 2019. I hope hearing from these creators brings you a little joy and I look forward to Legends of LaCienega returning in 2021.

Thank you LCDQ for having me, thank you, Walker Zanger, for your continued support, and thank you for listening to the show, downloading each podcast episode, and engaging through the socials. Make sure you never miss an episode of the podcast, ask Siri to help you, say, “Hey Siri, play Convo By Design podcast.” And she will! Thanks for listening and until next week, keep creating.

Special Series on Designing for Disaster | 6 | Architect William Hefner on Creative and Effective Use of Space

This is a look at the COVID – 19 pandemic from a different perspective. You already know about washing your hands and staying at home. But, staying at home has created a whole new set of unforeseen issues. Our homes were not created to serve as home, office, school, restaurant, daycare all at once. This series of episodes is designed to address the fact that most if not all of us are home weathering out this pandemic, hopefully, this provides you with some inspiration and makes weathering this a little bit easier.

This episode features William Hefner of Studio William Hefner, a globally recognized and celebrated designer whose eponymous design firm, at any given time, has projects in multiple locations across the globe. So, to speak with Hefner about how all of us can ‘tweak’ our home situation to better weather this stay-at-home reality, well, needless to say, I am so appreciative that he took the time to do this.

You have been hearing from some of the world’s greatest design and architecture minds about how to make the best of this situation and the advice has been amazing. This is no exception.

In this episode, William Hefner talks about;

  • Look at your floor plan, find what’s not currently working, and reevaluate it.
  • Don’t become attached to the form at the expense of function.
  • Think big picture and learn from your home. Commercial design requires forethought and that can help now.
  • Blend indoor/ outdoor to find and use every available foot of usable space.
  • If this were to happen again in the future, plan now and fix it the moment you are able to do that.


What is the best use of space, Hefner talks about making it feel like you have to make the space work before you get attached to the design. There have been some recurring themes over the course of this special series. Light, space, functionality, and emotion. 

This has been an exceptionally trying time for all of us. For me, this has been wonderful in the sense that I have had the opportunity to make dinner for my family almost every night, spend more time with my kids. Quality time, going for walks and throwing the lacrosse ball, practicing soccer. We made a gym at our house and my teenage daughter works out with me. I have not only been hosting the conversations and presenting them to you. I have been taking it in as well. You are about to hear some fantastic advice from William Hefner, I hope you find it as useful as I have.

Thank you, William, for your time and talent. For more about William Hefner, please go to William Hefner dot com. Thank you, Walker Zanger, for your partnership and support of Convo By Design. And thank you for listening, were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. We will get through this, together. And until we do, I will keep bringing you the ideas from incredibly talented creatives to make this a little bit better. If you have a question, ideas for a segment or you are a designer that wants to help, please email me at ConvoByDesign@Outlook.com. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.