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Convo By Design
@ConvoByDesign is an original talk series for designers, architects, those in the shelter space and design enthusiasts.
Category: Arts
Convo By Design is a podcast dedicated to promoting the ideas of architects, artists, designers, tastemakers and those making a difference in the way we live. Design is personal as is a good conversation. Copyright © 2013-2018 All rights reserved.
CXD is an original talk series for the design and shelter trade. We love design as much as you do and are always looking for wa...

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May 15, 2018 09:49 AM PDT

Here at Convo By Design, we are dedicating another week to the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. I have worked with this group going on three years now and they do such good work. Think about this for a moment, over 54 years producing showcase homes and raising over $23 million in the process for youth arts programs. We spoke last week about the architect on this project, Reginald Davis Johnson and the legacy he left behind, dappling Southern California with Spanish Revival projects. The city of Pasadena is a pretty special place, and while I am sure you are already familiar with Pasadena as home to the Tournament of Rose Parade, Rose Bowl, Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology and the Norton Simon Museum, there are a few other things that might interest you.

Pasadena has a rich architectural heritage covering multiple styles by modern masters including the Batchelder House, an American Craftsman masterpiece, built in 1909. Built by Ernest A. Batchelder, known as a trailblazer in the Arts and Crafts movement and his wife, Alice Coleman. Coleman, a musician and local piano teacher. Batchelder was also a filemaker and you can find his homes dotted with his signature tiles. He actually started a factory in his back yard. This is another example of Southern California’s rich architectural heritage and the best part, you can still go see it. As you can with the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. If you are listening to this episode in May of 2018, the house is open until the 20th. After that, as always, please go to convobydesign.com or our YouTube channel to see videos from the house.

This episode features Michael Wrusch of Michael Wrusch Designs in a stunning Family Room dripping with tech. The only room in the house that I noticed with a tv. Next we swing by the Dining Room to visit with Room At The Beach’s, Elizabeth Lamont and finally we check out the Au Pair’s Suite with Rosita Nazarian of RKN Design. Please remember, these interviews were recorded mere days before the showcase open and there is a ton going on in the background. Saws, heavy equipment and more. Thank you for listening. If you like what you hear, and I hope you do. Please go to Apple Podcasts and leave us a note and a 5 star rating. It helps new listeners find the podcast. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design from the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.

Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

May 09, 2018 05:09 PM PDT

This week, we are going back to the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts to visit with three extremely talented designers and highlight the work they did in this years offering. To remind you about the home this year, it’s being called, “The Overlook”, originally built in 1915 for a whopping $14,000, it was home to the widowed sisters, Ruth Hargrove and Mary Emma Baker. and while it’s billed as a Mediterranean, the Spanish Revival elements are unmistakeable. And there is a very good reason for that. “The Overlook” was crafted by master architect, Reginald Davis Johnson. This is one of the architects responsible for Santa Barbara’s trademark Spanish Colonial Revivalist look. Johnson was an interesting guy. MIT educated, son of an Episcopal Bishop, LA’s first actually. He also tried his hand in modernism for a while which showed both creative bravery and laid testament to how versatile an architect he was, Johnson always went back to his trademark Spanish Colonial Revival roots. Which is how we wind up over 113 years later in Pasadena.

First up is the Living Room, designed by Designs of The Interior, Karen Shoener, Genaro Lagdameo and Carla Pardour Wening. Carla joined me in the Living Room to tell me about all three spaces the group designed including the Billiard Room and Petite Lounge. Next, you will hear from Cabana Home’s Steve Thompson in the Mezzanine and finally, from Greg Parker of Parker West Interiors in the Master Suite.

Another fun trip around this year’s Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. Special thanks to all our designers, and of course Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts for access and all of their support. Congratulations on a wonderful job again this year and for the last 54 years, producing this event and providing over $23 million dollars to fund youth arts programs in Pasadena and surrounding communities. And of course, thank you for listening. Without you, there is no Convo By Design. If you enjoyed this episode, please go to the iTunes ratings and reviews page and leave a nice note and 5 star review. For videos of the Pasadena Showcase or many of the other stories you hear on the show, convo by design dot com is where you will find it. Talk with you next week.


Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

May 01, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

Grant Kirkpatrick is one of those architects that is actively shaping the way we view Los Angeles. He, through his firm KAA both creates and re-imagines places and spaces. The firm’s mission states a devotion to warm, contemporary design. Providing solutions for modern living and at the same time, he has a love and a sense of duty to protect the structures that Southern California offers the world. Grant and I sat down at the Vondom showroom during West Week at the Pacific Design Center to talk about Southern California architecture, his Marina Del Rey offices that have already lived lives as the original Hobie Catamaran Factory and a warehouse for all of the props and set decor from Cast Away.

**Side note, can you believe that Cast Away was released in the year 2,000? In the following conversation, Grant tells me about the fact that his current offices served as the prop house if you will during filming and I thought it would be fun to reintroduce you to a past guest on Convo By Design from the 2016 WestEdge Design Fair, Rosemary Brandenburg. Brandenburg was the Set Decorator on Cast Away, a Robert Zemekis film starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Peter Von Berg and of course Wilson, the volleyball. It’s one of those Southern California stories that ties architecture and film making, seamlessly.

Back to Grant. Kirkpatrick has published a new book called California Contemporary: The Houses of Grant C. Kirkpatrick. This covers 30 years of architectural mastery in Southern California. These homes possess elements that have come to embody the California lifestyle. Architects from around the world try to emulate elements of the modern style and use of materials, not to mention the seamless flow between indoors and out. Kirkpatrick, as you might imagine, has a solid roster of celerities for whom he has designed home, including; Matt Damon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and of course, of course, Tom Hanks. So the circle is complete. This is KAA Design’s Grant Kirkpatrick. And after Grant, Set Decorator of America member, Rosemary Brandenburg.

Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

April 24, 2018 10:28 AM PDT

This is the first in a series on the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. For those not familiar, Pasadena Showcase is an all volunteer organization that has been producing remarkable showcase houses for over 50 years. This episode was first published in April 2018 and the house is now open for for you to see. If you are in Southern California and happen to be in the Pasadena area, I highly recommend that you take the tour and see this fantastic home. What you will find is a collaborative effort by some of the most amazing and talented designers in the business today. I started showcasing design houses on the podcast a few years ago and what I like best about that is the fact that many of you will be listening to these episodes long after the design house is closed. Should that be the case, please visit our YouTube channel where you can see short segments recorded from the house with the designers themselves.

These interviews were conducted from the house in the last week of design. You are going to hear the buzz of circular saws, hammering dropping of heavy materials. Makes it kind of fun to hear what is going on behind the scenes. Another element to showcasing design houses is to capture, in real time, the essence for how much work really goes into projects like these. If you are a designer who has considered taking part, a potential sponsor looking to get involved or an enthusiast who wants to know what happens behind the scenes, these are true stories from the front lines of design. Major pressure, immovable deadlines and problems…there are always problems. So today, we are speaking with Amy Peltier of Peltier Interiors. Amy designed the Grand Foyer, and it is grand. Amy is a mid-westerner with great taste. When asked what Amy is ‘crushing on’ now, she has some really interesting thoughts on use of color, art and space. Following Amy is Jason Lai of L2 Interiors. L2 took a Spanish Revival guest house and molded the interior into a sleek and stunning Mid-Century Modern inspired refuge. Listen to Jason explain the philosophy behind the design and again, if you want to see it for yourself you can go tour it, or check out the video on YouTube.

I love doing this show for you and I hope you enjoy it, if you do… please go to “Ratings and Reviews” on iTunes, leave us a note and a positive review. Positive ratings helps us attract new listeners to the podcast, and it is very much appreciated. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond from the Pasadena Showcase House of Design.


Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

April 17, 2018 11:52 AM PDT

I was asked to moderate a conversation at @DwellOnDesign featuring two very interesting individuals, Clay Alexander CEO of @Ember_Tech and Erik Charlton CEO of @NoonHome. These gentlemen run companies that are trailblazing the path toward fully integrated products and home automation. We discuss their products and how they envision an integrated home. We discuss some issues relevant to the topic like artificial intelligence and privacy concerns. How do we create a well built, well designed and fully integrated home? Following is a conversation to start figuring that out.

This presentation from Dwell On Design was part of a new podcast series called Design, Etc., the official podcast of the LA Design Festival. Opening this up is Haily Zaki, host of Design, Etc., and founder of the @LADesignFest . The festival is June 7th through the 10th @ROWDTLA and Convo By Design will be hosting the Audio Design Lab from the LA Design Festival. A weekend full of interesting conversations with artists, designers, set decorators, influencers and those shaping the way we work, play and live so please come on down and visit us.

And, if you like what you hear, how about a 5-star on iTunes, we appreciate it very much!

April 11, 2018 08:35 AM PDT

There are many reasons to love Southern California and the weather has to top most people’s list but even if you don’t live in Southern California, many of the architecture and design storylines coming out of LA are relevant no matter where you live. they include creating public gathering spots from previously wasted spaces and professional sports stadiums that not only incorporate a cities history but embraces its future and performance venues that use the outdoor beauty in a design created to minimize noise. Meet Ben Feldmann, landscape architect, urban designer and principal at Studio-MLA. You are about to hear of some city shaping projects and use of space, materials and locations that are not only transformative of the locations they occupy but these are once in a generation type projects that will transform cities, counties and ultimately the Southern California landscape. If you think I am exaggerating, your opinion might be different after you listen to this episode. I think it will be. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond and the amazing family of Miele appliances and if you do, please make sure to leave a comment and a review on iTunes. Also check out our YouTube channel for videos from some of your favorite episodes.

Music provided by Electric Sol Artist: Electric Sol Song: Your Love Makes Me High www.electricsolmusic.com

April 03, 2018 11:23 AM PDT

This is the second part of our coverage from WestWeek 2018. I had the chance to sit down with Bob Hale and Aaron Paley who just finished a panel conversation at the Vondom showroom called, Designing For LA’s Public Spaces. The conversation was moderated by Modern Luxury Interiors Editor-In-Chief, Laura Eckstein-Jones, Bob Hale, Aaron Paley and Jen Stark. Jen is a phenomenal artist Highly creative with a fearless and strategic approach to use of vibrant color, shape and materials. Bob is a principal with Rios, Clementi Hale Studios, immensely talented and has a diverse background including time as Creative Director and Vice President for Universal Studios and as a Principal with Frank O. Gehry and Associates. Aaron Paley is the President and Co-Founder of Community Arts Resources. The organization strives to activate engaging content in public spaces and Aaron is incredibly well versed on the subject.

I thoroughly enjoyed the following conversations for a number of reasons and not the least of which was the chance to debate LA’s role as both a leader in social commentary, which I don’t think many will argue against but also with LA’s role as an arts and culture leader, about which everyone has an opinion. If you listen to the show with any frequency, you already know where I stand and the following debate will certainly entertain you.

You have heard me say this before, I am a native Angeleno and defend LA vigorously as a culture and arts leader. Many suggest that LA doesn’t offer much in the way f culture or the arts. I not only disagree, but you will hear the argument that Southern California is a trailblazing leader in this area. From LA’s street arts, Palm Springs architecture and social style to San Diego’s civic art collection which dates back to 1909. The point is, not only is the climate conducive to building out public spaces and public art, but the California mindset, the attitude has always been supportive of free expression and nowhere is that more evident than the use and design of public spaces. That being said, the debate still exists ad so the conversation continues. As it continues here, first with Bob Hale, then with Aaron Paley. Enjoy.

And if you do… please go to “Ratings and Reviews” on iTunes, leave us a note and a positive review. Positive ratings helps us attract new listeners to the podcast.. and it is very much appreciated. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond and the amazing family of Miele appliances.

Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

March 28, 2018 09:09 AM PDT

This past week was our bi-annual pilgrimage to the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood for WestWeek. In addition to the panel conversations, open houses and smaller events, WestWeek is always, without exception, a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and find out what new trends and concepts have emerged while we have been knee deep in our own projects.

There was a really fantastic conversation that I want to share with you. It took place at the Thomas Lavin showroom and covered the topic of e-commerce. If that doesn’t sound like a hot topic in the design space, it should because it’s bigger than you might think. Especially now, designers, homeowners, media outlets retailers, especially retailers are looking at the concept of e-commerce as a game changer and a potential threat. From a retailer’s perspective, will the capital expense of building out an e-commerce platform generate the desired new revenue stream? Will it chase off the in-store shoppers. How will designers address the ‘mark-up’ model with clients if that client can see everything online?

These are just a few of the questions that come up, and the following conversation shed some light on these and other relevant and interesting points. This conversation was led by the talented Christopher Gialanella, group publisher of Modern Luxury’s family of publications here in Southern California. This one was hosted by Angeleno Magazine and features designers Windsor Smith, Ryan Jackson and Janice Barta.

Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond. Music provided by Electric Sol Artist: Electric Sol Song: Your Love Makes Me High www.electricsolmusic.com

March 21, 2018 07:20 PM PDT

This week we are taking it to the beach for a conversation with architect, Joseph Spierer. I met Joe in Manhattan Beach and we speak about the housing explosion taking place, not just in Los Angeles, but the South Bay in particular. The dirt is getting as pricey here as in San Francisco. When that happens, the building and design process seems to get even more purposeful. Homeowners are challenging designers and architects to get even more creative regarding use of space and putting even more into the project. This episode is the first in what will be the Small Space, Big Style series. We are actively pursuing designers and architects that are re-imagining use of space and doing more with that space. When homebuyers are evaluating a property, one evaluation tool is cost-per-square-foot. I am flipping that script a little and applying a different term, impact-per-square-foot. How much design can one inject into a project? Joe specializes in South Bay homes and shares his expertise.

Convo By Design, in our fifth season and has been presented by Snyder Diamond since episode number one. Snyder Diamond, always first with what’s next in the kitchen and bath. And as we talk about small spaces with big style, nobody provides the products and service for finding the right appliances like Snyder Diamond. They are widely shopped and trusted by those in the business and homeowners alike because they have superior products and unmatched service. That is due to the people who work there and It starts with second generation president, Russ Diamond. Russ travels extensively looking for the brands that provide the latest in technology and design for the kitchen and bath. In the kitchen, smarter appliances mean you can create amazing dishes from food that is stored at the correct temperature and humidity levels then prepared on a remarkable line of smart ranges and ovens. Stunning good looks, incredibly smart and designed to accommodate a multitude of specifications. Miele has a full line of kitchen appliances from stunningly beautiful and crazy smart refrigerators, ovens, ranges, cooktops and combi-sets, ventilation hoods, dishwashers and coffee machines. Miele also has appliances for smaller spaces… again, providing big style for smaller spaces too. Miele has everything you need for the kitchen of your dreams and there are special offers available for a limited time and you can find details on these, the full line Miele appliances and that superior Snyder Diamond service at all three Los Angeles area Snyder Diamond showrooms. More information is also available at Snyder Diamond dot com.

If you like what you hear, and I hope you do, please go to “Ratings and Reviews” on iTunes, leave us a note and a positive review. Positive ratings helps us attract new listeners to the podcast.. and it is very much appreciated. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond.

Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

March 13, 2018 07:42 PM PDT

I want to take you back a few weeks to Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Among all of the Mid-Century Modern homes to see, we also had a chance to tour a stunning project that was recently completed. This is a modern oasis in the foothills of Palm Springs, called the Ridge Mountain Residence. It’s a stunning piece of residential architecture from Steven Ehrlich and the firm Ehrlich, Yanai, Rhee, Chaney Architects.

The home was placed strategically on a flat spot in the hills, nestled between rock outcroppings to the point where it almost appears like the home simply grew out of the stone. To add even more visual detail, the structure is built of concrete and steel to which a rusted patina has been applied. And right about now, your saying, “but Josh, it gets to be what 120 in the Summer in Palm Springs. Is steel the best material to use?” I can’t answer that, but Steven does and his response to that very issue is going to surprise and delight you if you are a fan of great architecture, physics and engineering like I am.

Steven will also tell us about some of the art in this house. Pieces by, light artist David Weisman and works in reflective light and glass by artist Philip K. Smith. Then, we are going to hear from project architect, Megan Lawler and her experience through this five year journey. And since I know you want to see this, we are going to post video from this conversation on our YouTube channel and once you take in these views and tour the house, I think you will see why I am so enamored with this home. Truly an work of art in and of itself.

Enjoy this conversation with architect Steven Ehrlich and project architect Megan Lawler. If you like what you hear, and I hope you do, please go to “Ratings and Reviews” on iTunes, leave us a note and a positive review. Positive ratings helps us attract new listeners to the podcast.. and it is very much appreciated. Enjoy this episode of Convo By Design Presented By Snyder Diamond.

Music provided by Electric Sol
Artist: Electric Sol
Song: Your Love Makes Me High

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