This One is All Fun & Games | 348 | It’s Game Time and Luxury Design with 11 Ravens

This is Convo By Design and today, we are talking super luxe gaming tables and changing ideas about residential entertainment. 11 Ravens, the LA based multi-disciplinary studio with a fondness for fun and games and luxury design. So, blending the two to form a collection of gaming tables made perfect sense. Launching the new collection from their brand new showroom in LA’s crown jewel of design, the Pacific Design Center also made sense. I sat down with friend and Director of Business Development for 11 Ravens, Sea Zeda. It was nice catching up with her. It was also great hearing more about 11 Ravens and the amazing products they create. 

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, Sea. Great catching up with you. Thank you Walker Zanger for presenting Convo By Design and ThermaSol, you guys are remarkable partners. Thank you for listening. Without you, what’s the point. As you may have noticed, Convo By Design is bringing you design talent from all across the country. It’s not just about LA and New York, but Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. We are so rich in talent that sometimes, we miss some of the gems. Keep those email coming, email me with show suggestions and feel free to suggest a designer, architect or other creative you think the editorial team should be aware of. Thanks again for listening, remember why you do what you do and that the business of design is about making better the lives of those we serve. Until next week, be well and take today first.

No Stress Design? Yes, Please | 347 | Interior Designer Lorna Gross

This is Convo By Design with interior designer, Lorna Gross, a super-chill creative with a hyper-focused approach to customer service.

I think it bears repeating. A super-chill creative with a hyper-focused approach to customer service. Think about that for a minute. Regardless of your job, designer, architect, showroom manager, publicist, fabricator, journalist, the approach to customer service is pretty much the only thing of which you have total and complete control. As Lorna and I talk, try to figure out if she’s so chill because she controls the role or, because she controls the role, that allows her to remain super-chill.

Living in a chaotic world where product doesn’t come on-time anymore and that is the new norm, not the exception. Where people are more polarized than ever before. Where politics has invaded every inch of our space and there is no longer a delineation between working hours and personal time, to find something over which we still remain in control is a gift. EDITORS NOTE – After my conversation with Lorna, I changed many of the ways I work.  A publicist recently blew me up pretty good during the weekend. I did something I rarely ever did before. I didn’t answer. Don’t get me wrong, like you, I work on the weekends. I edit, produce and plan but I have come to realize that there is a place for everything and we must keep everything in its place. It was hard at first, but now, I understand the importance of keeping certain rules in place. This is a master class on the professional habits that allow creatives to remain creative, productive and successful. This is Lorna Gross.

Thank you, Lorna. Loved our chat. Thank you Walker Zanger for presenting Convo By Design and ThermaSol, you guys are remarkable partners. Thank you for listening. Without you, what’s the point. As you may have noticed, Convo By Design is bringing you design talent from all across the country. It’s not just about LA and New York, but New Orleans, Dallas and Denver. We are so rich in talent that sometimes, we miss some of the gems. Keep those email coming, email me with show suggestions and feel free to suggest a designer, architect or other creative you think the editorial team should be aware of. Thanks again for listening, remember why you do what you do and that the business of design is about making better the lives of those we serve. Until next week, be well and take today first.

An Emerging Hamlet of Exquisite Design | 346 | And You Won’t Believe Where featuring Designer Mel Bean

This is Convo By Design featuring a conversation with a rising design star from an emerging hotbed of spectacular design, Tulsa, Oklahoma… You heard me!

Hear me out. For that past two years or so, I have been talking a lot about the work in what I am calling the design flyover states. That would consist of anything not California, New York and a highly specific group of cites that dapple the country, to include Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Aspen, Hawaii…you get me. There is some incredible work being done that you most likely will never hear about for a number of reasons we don’t really need to get into to. But you will hear about it here, on Convo By Design because I think it’s important. Why? Because there is ground breaking work being done by exceptional design talent who should be recognized. And you are going to meet one such designer today. 

Mel Bean started her eponymous firm with the idea that the work can be “stunning and functional.” That her work could be custom tailored to her clients no matter where they are, but his firm is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some might think that there is no point in looking for new, fresh and creative work in Tulsa, they would be wrong.

Mel is an A-Lister, some just don’t know it yet, it’s only a matter of time. What you are going to find in Mel Bean is a strong work ethic, a keen vision and the ability to customize a design aesthetic to accommodate client desire and explore new ideas simultaneously. Bean has the creative touch of a fine artist. Her work is both elegant and timeless while remaining completely original, that’s not easy to do. 

Mel and I explore her work, talk about Tulsa and answer the question, ‘why she remains there’? The answer might surprise you and the work will inspire you. This is Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors.

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, Mel. Thank you for your time and talent. Thank you Walker Zanger for presenting Convo By Design and ThermaSol, you guys are remarkable partners. Thank you for listening. Without you, what’s the point. As you may have noticed, Convo By Design is bringing you design talent from all across the country. It’s not just about LA and New York, but Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. We are so rich in talent that sometimes, we miss some of the gems. Keep those email coming, email me with show suggestions and feel free to suggest a designer, architect or other creative you think the editorial team should be aware of. Thanks again for listening, remember why you do what you do and that the business of design is about making better the lives of those we serve. Until next week, be well and take today first.

Aspirational Architecture with 3 of the Most Creative and Compelling Architects in the Biz Today | 345 | Crafting For What Matters Most

This is Convo By Design with a conversation about aspirational change in design and architecture and ideas regarding the personal definition of success.  We are going for a deep dive with an incredibly well qualified panel. Is it big, ultra-lux or perhaps there is something more? Social issues have caused a global refocus on what “home” means. Safety, security, comfort have become more often discussed topics than in years past. What defines aspirational architecture in a highly fractured, post-COVID America?  This panel includes Paul McClean, Brian Pinkett, and Joe Dangaran.

What is the value of architecture? How does one calculate the value where want intersects need? What is “need” now versus need in a year from now? I love this group of incredibly talented architects. The ideas espoused here are changing the nature of architecture and in the next 55 minutes, you will understand why. Please know this as well, the following conversation is absolutely packed with new idea and traditional ideas packaged in new ways. This topic was ideated and crafted for the sole purpose on making the participants, and you, think about architecture differently for the sole purpose of showcasing breakout ideas and planting the seeds for what’s next.

This is part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by Thermasol. Defining what comes next is a challenge but it can be made far more predictable when experts check in and as I have said architects are futurists, these are the people making the projections become realities.

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, Joe, Paul and Brian. Thank you for your time, talent, vision and skill. It is always a joy speaking with you. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. Adding the word “pleasure” to our architectural aspirations will make life better for all who choose to embrace this idea. See if you can add this word to what you do every day and see what happens. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

A Return to Wonderfully Whimsical Wallpaper | 344 | Area Environments President, Diane Perry

This is Convo By Design and on the show today you are going to hear about a company that is changing the way you look, design and style the verticals, the upstanding barriers…. Yeah, we’re talking about wallpaper.

So much has changed when it comes to design in general over the past 10 years, but dramatic changes in wall coverings have been a major focus for many creatives who were actively seeking new design frontiers to conquer. I would say the last major developments in wallpaper came in the 1970’s with new and experimental colors, metallic and flocks. 

Interesting to note that wallpaper dates back to the 16th century, much of which was used to design the interiors of cabinetry. By the 20th century, it was ubiquitous. Designs were simple at first, floral motifs to make the repeat an easier process. Block printed with different colors stamped over the last to create the desired effect. 

Over time, the process in Europe got to be incredibly intricate and quality control got better. Flocks became popular using a powdered wool that was the byproduct of the wool industry. Think about that idea for a moment, what a remarkable use for a waste product. Until, the aforementioned 1970’s pretty much abused the concept in unimaginable ways combined with metallics and a color palette spilled over from the psychedelic 1960’s.

Backtracking for a moment, around the 17th century, chinoiserie style papers were coming out of Asia and could be found in the stylish boutiques of Paris and London. These were painted, not printed with non-repeating compositions with vivid color that lent the feel of true luxury.

Many designers have shared with me a trepidation for wall paper on the part of their clients. The rationales all make sense. A still fresh repulsion from the 1980’s and 90’s. A fear that it becomes instantly dated or clashes with the furnishings, fixtures and art. That final point is the one I want to focus on. The art. And that is really a good point because the proliferation of art at all price point levels has exploded over the past 8-10 years in the US. And this leads me into my conversation with Diane Perry, president of Area Environments.  First about the company. Founded in 2012, Area Environments is a studio that curates originals from contemporary artists and with that, produces large format wallpapers and murals. This feels like the natural progression for the medium. Thinking about this differently, in a perfect world, one could build the space, style and scale around the art… But that isn’t realistic. So what about finding the art that you love and stretching, molding and conforming it to the space you have. See, that makes sense.

Diane Perry has been with Area Environments since 2018 and has an extensive art background. She is a photographer, graphic designer who originally studied fashion design.  And that as the primer for my chat with Diane.

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, Diane. I really enjoyed our time together. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. Adding the word “pleasure” to our architectural aspirations will make life better for all who choose to embrace this idea. See if you can add this word to what you do every day and see what happens. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

Remembering 9/11, Healing Through Architecture and Design | 343 | Paul Murdoch and the Flight 93 Memorial

This is Convo By Design, commemorating the tragic events of September 11th the best way I know how with a conversation about remembering, honoring and healing through architecture.

It is hard for me to believe that September 11th happened 20 years ago this week. Time has a funny way of blending and bending that flexes an individual timeline. 9/11 seems like yesterday but January 2020 seems like forever ago. You know what I mean? I spoke to Paul Murdoch, of Paul Murdoch Architects. I’ll keep the preamble brief, Paul and I are talking about the Flight 93 Memorial he designed to memorialize the field in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed after passengers disrupted the planned path to crash in San Francisco. This is a deep dive into the meaning and purpose of memorial design. Why and how with respect. If you don’t know the story, you are about too. If you think you already know the story, you might still learn a few things. Most importantly for me, was that this is not about designing luxury, beauty and style, but all are there. This is about a single purpose, honoring. Remembering the souls lost on a tragic day for friends, families and a country. We had no say in what happened to us, but we had total control of the narrative to follow. Much of that narrative can be told through this now iconic architectural statement.

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, Paul. It was an honor to speak with you about this. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and remember those lost on September 11th. Remember what it felt like to join together, as Americans in a common goal. Remember that regardless of your personal beliefs on every small issue, there is something greater at stake. Remember those lost on Flight 93 20 years ago this week.

The Essential History of European Rugs Featuring Kyle Bunting and Timothy Corrigan | 342 | A Beautiful Partnership By Design Part 2

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Technically its Convo By Design, in reality, this is another episode of Kyle Bunting & Friends…. If you heard this last week and you think it’s a repeat, it’s not. Keep listening.

A few months ago, you heard an episode of Convo By Design featuring Fern Santini, Lauren Rottet and Jan Showers. That episode included and was orchestrated by Kyle Bunting. Kyle and I have gotten to know each other a little bit since he was on the show and we were talking one day and this idea just came up, got legs, sprouted wings and before I knew what happened, Kyle offered to put this all-star panel together for an episode to be featured on the CXD spinoff, Lone Star House of Design.

It sounds kind of complicated, it’s really not. You can check all of the previous podcast episodes on your podcast source of choice and find everything previously referenced. Back to the story. While Kyle and I were talking after the episode with Lauren, Jan and Fern aired, I mentioned his collar with another CXD alum, Timothy Corrigan and Kyle was like… “I have an idea.” What is about to follow, in 2 episodes because it could not be packaged into one, is an incredible 2-part conversation about European rugs, collaborations, artistry in hide and a history of rug making.

This is part two of our conversation. This expands on what you’ve heard previously and showcases the history and significance of each piece referenced in the Chateau Collection. Everything from Aubusson to Savonnerie. You are going to hear about the origins of the Polonaise, delicate detail of the Boule as well as custom creations like the Empire and Moderne. This is a deep dive into color ways, replacing metallic silks with Hyde to produce a finished product that has the glimmer of polished steel. Coloring that breathes depth into the pattern.

So, this Kyle Bunting & Friends concept is pretty cool and I think you’re going to dig it. Speaking of that…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, Tim and Kyle, for being a part of this. I am so fortunate to have friends like you. I really enjoyed our time together and love the collection. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. Adding the word “pleasure” to our architectural aspirations will make life better for all who choose to embrace this idea. See if you can add this word to what you do every day and see what happens. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and take today first.

Ariel Fox Design | 340 | Form and Function, Beauty and Performance. A Conversation About having it All

Hey, how is your week? I hope it’s great, and it is about to get even better. Today, you are going to hear from Ariel Johnson, founder and principal designer with Ariel Fox Designs. We’re talking hospitality, multi-family and environmental design. Your week feels better already, am I right?

Does it matter if you’re having a good week or not? Yeah, it does. Convo By Design was created specifically for designers, architects, hard-core design enthusiasts and anyone who is connected to the industry. There is enough noise out there to bring just about everyone down. But you are a creative and these things affect us in different ways. It stifles our creativity, and makes it more challenging to do great work. That is why I really do love the podcast format. You can’t really do other media when you are listening to the show. So, as you hear from Ariel, I challenge you not to be inspired. Ariel brings the infectious optimism and creative spirit that all phenomenal creatives posses and my hope is that it inspires you to do great things.

If you want to play the home game… Follow along as Ariel and I discuss some of her projects and break them down to discover the design within.

In the next hour, Ariel and I are going to talk about the firm she founded, the work her team does and the way she executes the vision for her clients and in the hospitality arena, the clients of her clients.The work is streamlined, elegant and functional. We talk about this idea that form follows function follows form, especially in the work outdoors. Brilliant, I think you will love it as much as I do. This is Ariel Johnson from Ariel Fox Design.

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, Ariel. Thank you for your time, talent and willingness to indulge me in the deep dive. I loved it. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

New, Now & Next: Evolution in the Kitchen and Bath | 339 | The Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series Presented By ThermaSol

Today, we are breaking down new, now and next specifically in the kitchen and bath, part of the Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the bathroom would be the frontal cortex…the relaxation center. Both could also be considered the central nervous system setting the tone for our peace of mind and ability to cope with life. Something this important requires planning, product sourcing and both site and space planning. This conversation is a strategic exploration. This is a deep dive into the properties, form and function behind the design itself with a focus on how to maximize every available foot of space.

And this is what we are exploring on the show today. This panel was convened to talk about this very subject and this cohort is strong. Designers Jhoiey Ramirez and Christopher Grubb are joined by Boston Firm, Bees Knees Interior Design founders Mary Maloney and Kylie Bodiya talk about developing trends that are shaping new ways we use the kitchen and bath.

So listen, we are all really sick of talking about the pandemic, I get it, me too. I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating… Major architectural and design innovations follow moments of great disruption. From earthquakes come foundation reinforcement, fires bring flame retardant and non-flammable materials into modern design, well, a pandemic is no different. In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic brought use of subway tile into residential design. Some think it’s been a bit overused, fine, that was 100 years ago tiled walls remain a major design choice. Other innovations included use of outdoor sleeping porches which could be directly connected to our love of indoor-outdoor design, use of linoleum, the powder bath as a place for “not family” to use. Uses of outdoor spaces in general because it kept strangers out of the house… More on that, architects like Richard Neutra were experimenting with massive amounts of glass in design which served as both barrier and ability to open the space. “Hygiene and moral health depend on the lay-out of cities,” Le Corbusier said, “without hygiene and health, the social cell becomes atrophied.”That idea from 100 years ago is more powerful now to a new generation experiencing ‘social atrophy’ in real time.

This is why conversations like these are so important, and you are going to hear some next-gen ideas here. It’s exciting. This is New, Now & Next – K and B, part of our continuing Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

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, Jhoiey, Mary, Kylie and Christopher. Thank you for your time, talent, vision and skill. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

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.