Tag Archives: los angeles

Imagine A World WITHOUT Frank Lloyd Wright | 291 | A Conversation That Would Thoroughly Annoy Him



A conversation of his work and influence in the abstract would, no doubt perk up the prickly side of Frank Lloyd Wright who never seemed to pass on an opportunity to share his thoughts regardless of how they might be perceived. The cantankerous side of Frank Lloyd Wright was a gift second only to his work. It made things so much more interesting.

Around the time I was writing panel concepts for the Convo By Design Programming Lounge at WestEdge in 2019, I saw a movie that posed the question, what would the world be like if only one person remembered the Beatles… That made me think, what was Frank Lloyd Wright’s impact beyond the work itself? That is exactly what was pondered and explored by this incredible panel. Featuring Margaret Bach of Margaret Bach Design, Carlo Caccavale, Executive Director at American Institute of Architects, David Coffey, Director of The Design Thinking Academy, and Michael Lehrer of Lehrer Architects. This group of luminaries is led by moderator and educator, Carol Bishop who masterfully navigates this idea in a conversation called Modern World, Life Without Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wow, okay. This was a great chat, thank you, Margaret, Carlo, David, and Michael. Thank you Carol for navigating this strange idea and leading this excellent conversation. Thank you Walker Zanger  for your continued support and thank you for listening.

Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Saying Goodbye to a SoCal Design Luminary | 290 | Jeff Sampson



Jeff Sampson was the Vice President of Marketing at the Pacific Design Center, a role he held since the later part of 2013. One of Jeff’s most notable contributions to our design community was to refocus PDC efforts of the annual West Week and Fall Market events. He did this through creative programming and a non-partisan approach to media partners. If you were a strong partner, it didn’t matter how long you were around. Jeff and I met in 2014, shortly after I started Convo By Design. I approached Jeff with an idea. I wanted to be a media partner that would record and feature Pacific Design Center programming to the trade. The podcast was brand new. The Pacific Design Center would recognize Convo By Design as a media partner which provided me a wonderful opportunity to introduce the idea of podcasting and on-demand audio to the SoCal design community. Jeff said ‘yes’, he didn’t have to do that. But he did, because that is the kind of person Jeff was. The type of person who would listen to you if you had an idea, because he was curious and because he cared. He was an excellent marketer, too. 7 years ago, not many in the trade knew what a podcast was, but Jeff recognized that he could get his remarkable programs out to more of the people, for whom he was working hard to serve, the trade partners and showrooms of the Pacific Design Center in particular and the design community as a whole would benefit.

Jeff Sampson had a 20 year career in marketing with the past 6 at the PDC. He had hundreds of friends and admirers in the design community. Jeff also had a life outside of design, where many more will miss him. They will miss him around the holidays, when Jeff would slow down and spend time with family and friends, at happy hour, which was kind of like an any-time holiday.

Jeff loved Doris Day and also had an affinity for Rhoda and Phyllis in TV and in real life, recognizing and appreciating all their imperfections. He loved traveling and sharing his experiences. He loved Paris “when it drizzles”, and “when it sizzles.” Jeff had style, he had grace and he took his exit too soon.

I wanted to honor Jeff the best way I know how, and that would be through sharing him in his own words. This is a conversation I had with Jeff in 2015. He was episode 15 of Convo By Design which means this episode was recorded and aired within months of starting the podcast. We met at his office in the PDC. This is Jeff Sampson.

That was my conversation with Jeff Sampson from 2015. Jeff was gracious with his time and his partnership. He was a good friend and amazing supporter of the Southern California design community. To those of you who knew Jeff well and called him a friend, I’m so sorry for your loss. I want to thank Jeff for his time and his incredible contribution to Convo By Design, I also want to thank you for listening. You make this podcast possible and it is comforting to know that we all share in the work and we can also share the grief at times like these. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss an episode and if you want to continue this conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Ross Vincent | 287 | Attaining Balance of Sophisticated and Approachable Design



Interior design is so much more than an accumulation of things arranged in a pleasing way. Interior design, done right, means understanding the needs of the client and then taking those desires, both seen and unseen, and crafting an environment that meets those needs. Ross Vincent is a rising design star that is already highly accomplished. His work is clean and elegant, modern, and comfortable.

You are going to hear Ross talk about the state of design here in Southern California as well as the influences that he brought with him from his home city of Seattle, Wa. This conversation also turns to design in the fly-over states and locations that are not normally included in the conversation about significant design and architecture. I love that, I think you will, too. This is interior designer, Ross Vincent.

Ross. I really enjoyed our chat. Thank you for taking the time. I also must note that this conversation was recorded live and in person. It seems like a lifetime ago since I was able to do this and I can’t wait to do it again. Thank you, Walker Zanger and Thermasol for your continued support. And, thank you for listening to the show. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


The Future of Minimal Modern | 285 | Minarc



This is Erla Ingjaldsdottir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson of Minarc. The duo founded Minarc, a Santa Monica based architecture firm that is producing ground-breaking minimalist, modern design that is both stunning to look at and stripped down to the very essence of the structure itself. Materials and lack of materials play a huge role in the finished product. The absence of paint, carpet, tile, and a focus on letting the included materials speak a different dialect in the language of architecture. And because architecture is a language all its own, Minarc’s work allows the design to speak for itself using a “don’t tell me, show me” approach.

This is a new segment of the show called A moment of Zen presented by Thermasol, it’s a focus on 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.

As you hear about modern minimalist design, peaceful living needs to be a part of that conversation and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the idea of home is very different now than it was at the start of the year. Not only are we spending more time at home but that time is being spent doing more things. Of those, the idea of relaxation in a spa-like environment has been lost to many. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you considered incorporating steam showers into your designs? If not, some things to consider… Steam showers are not just for resorts, spas and gyms. You know this, but what you might not be aware of is that steam showers offer additional opportunities like aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the introduction of essential oils into the steam itself which is said to have both healing properties as well as adding to a relaxing experience. Options include jasmine, eucalyptus, rose, lavender, chamomile all offering their own “essence” to the experience. While they have not been studied for medical efficacy, and it is important to get any treatments cleared by a medical professional in advance… this is the legal disclaimer portion of this segment. This is something that can add to the experience of a shower making it so much more than just a cleaning tool. A steam shower conversion is a relatively simple construction upgrade and once that is done, incorporating essential oils into the steam is even easier.

I read an article in New York Magazine online from February 16th, 2017. It was called, The Strategist, What’s the Deal with Essential oils? By Mike Albo. Albo spoke with Dr. Pamela Dalton from the Monell Center in Philadelphia. Dalton, an olfactory-research scientist spoke about the value of essential oils. Dr. Dalton recommends “encourages their use” and notes that, in. Dalton notes “extremely rare’’ creations in personal research. There are a number of possible reasons for this but at the end of the day, we are all looking for ways to increase the sense of well being achieved through relaxation and aromatherapy is an option worth exploring.  

These ideas are provided 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.


Buster + Punch | 283 | Massimo Buster Minale



Buster + Punch is the luxury home fashion label born out of a love of home, fashion, metalwork, and motorcycles. Minale is part fashion designer, craft metalworker, and mad scientist. Buster + Punch is one of the most impactful new home design brands for a number of reasons, not the least of which is an artistic approach to the work that blends machine worked industrial lines and fine art. This is a fearless luxury home brand that demands attention yet works flawlessly with so many different styles of design and architecture. Full disclosure, I have Buster + Punch pieces in my home. My absolute favorite is the light bulbs installed in a suspended Jamie young piece hanging in our kitchen. I look at this every day and it makes me happy. So, I’m a fan off the bat and I think you will be as well after hearing about Buster + Punch from Massimo himself. This is Massimo Buster Minale, founder of Buster + Punch.

Thank you, Massimo. Great chat, I’m sorry we won’t see each other at WestEdge this year, but I am counting the days until 2021. Thank you Walker Zanger for your support for Convo Boy Design and THANK YOU for listening. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. Speaking of which, make sure you are subscribing to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. You can also find everything show related at ConvoBy Design dot com. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


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.