Convo By Design was created to showcase remarkable work in architecture and interior design and like every creative project, we have adapted over time. We started this podcast in 2014 and in over 120 episodes, we have spoken with over 300 designers, architects, artists, design space event promoters. We have heard a number of different opinions, some great debates regarding design and architecture concepts. Out of all of these conversations, some constants have emerged. Recurring themes. These include, collaboration and partnership in personalities and styles is a remarkable way to approach problem solving. Another is that multidisciplinary designers can provide insight to problem solving. The beauty in architecture and interior design is not only that it is in a state of constant change but there is an underlying desire to better the lives of those that we serve.
Following are two conversations with two amazing creatives. The first is Jason Mayden, former lead designer for the Jordan brand at Nike. Mayden is a cultural alchemist, designer, innovator and a true creative. We talk about creative problem solving as it relates to city development and bettering the lives of those who live it there. This conversation is about infrastructure and a focus on quality of life. As a compliment to that, and in contrast, architect Edwin Chan of architecture firm EC3 speaks with me about architectural experimentation, working with Frank O. Gehry, teaching architecture at Harvard, USC, UC Berkley and building upon the unique elements that make up a city’s DNA and using that to build structures that serve the residents and stand the test of time. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording these two conversations. Two very different perspectives of the same issue, both creative and both with a keen eye focused on what makes a city truly special, the people that call it home.
These conversations were recorded at the LA Design Festival which took place in downtown LA and both Edwin and Jason were on a panel entitled LA Detroit, the panel itself pas published on Convo By Design in previous episodes. Enjoy this episode and if you do, please provide a good rating on iTunes or the place where you download your podcasts. It helps provide visibility which in turn helps others find the show. Thank you.
The seventh annual LA Design Festival is over but certainly not forgotten. Throughout the four days of events, open houses and executions, there were some truly creative discussions. One of which was the LAX DET conversation comparing and contrasting two cities not often used in the same conversation let alone the same sentence. Detroit is a city on the rise. The city is finding new popularity and those driving that are the creatives. Open spaces for exploration and development. A serious need for new capital and with that need comes an openness for new ideas. At the same time, you have LA, a city that has always been home to the creative class and built on the creative economy since the studios found fertile territory to grow production facilities from acres of empty orange groves. But, growth doesn’t continue forever and it doesn't come without a price. LA is in the process of a major reinvention and the growing pains are evident. Housing prices are at levels that price out the very people who make it work. Services and resources are stretched to the point where they are ready to snap. In times like these, to whom does one turn? The creatives. Following is part two of LA, Detroit, truly a tale of two cities moderated by KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez and featuring architects, Edwin Chan and Lorcan O’Herlihy, brand manager, Eileen Lee cultural alchemist Jason Mayden and innovation expert Chris Denson.
The seventh annual LA Design Festival is over but certainly not forgotten. Throughout the four days of events, open houses and executions, there were some truly creative discussions. One of which was the LAX DET conversation comparing and contrasting two cities not often used in the same conversation let alone the same sentence. Detroit is a city on the rise. The city is finding new popularity and those driving that are the creatives. Open spaces for exploration and development. A serious need for new capital and with that need comes an openness for new ideas. At the same time, you have LA, a city that has always been home to the creative class and built on the creative economy since the studios found fertile territory to grow production facilities from acres of empty orange groves. But, growth doesn’t continue forever and it doesn't come without a price. LA is in the process of a major reinvention and the growing pains are evident. Housing prices are at levels that price out the very people who make it work. Services and resources are stretched to the point where they are ready to snap. In times like these, to whom does one turn? The creatives.
Following is part one of LA, Detroit, truly a tale of two cities moderated by KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez and featuring architects, Edwin Chan and Lorcan O’Herlihy, brand manager, Eileen Lee cultural alchemist Jason Mayden and innovation expert Chris Denson.
Timothy Corrigan is one of the most decorated interior designers I know. He has been named to many World’s Greatest Designers list including the AD100, Robb Report’s Top 40 and the Luxe Gold List. Corrigan operates offices in Los Angeles and Paris. We spoke about international business and Corrigan is no stranger to long flights and international business management. In his prior career, he oversaw international operations for a large global advertising firm. He left to start working in interiors, a passion that he figured out how to turn into a global design brand. This conversation covers his design work and a fantastic new project with THG Paris.
Regular listeners of Convo By Design know that I am not a designer. I am passionate about interior design personally, I am a brand manager by trade and I have been consulting major brands in the interior design, architecture and product design for quite some time. It’s rare to meet someone like Timothy because he is extremely creative and he knows the business side better than any other designer I have ever met. That is not to take away from anyone else. It is recognition for what Corrigan has done with his design studio and how he allocates his time and resources to those endeavors that further his brand. A large part of this includes sourcing product and staying on top of trends and developments. This further allows him to deliver consistent results to his clients and maintain a superior level of quality and service. At the end of the day, isn’t that what all of us are trying to accomplish?
This week, you will hear from two amazing interior designers, Fernando Diaz and Kelley Jackson. Fernando and Kelley are interior designers with a bold, fearless sense of style and both apply a tactical approach to strategic use of color. These conversations took place at Wattles Mansion just prior to the closure of the design house. You have been hearing from Wattles Mansion Designer Showcase designers in pairs in previous episodes. It has been so much fun to try and pair designers using at least one common theme and that is no exception here. This episode is about color. Use of color to make a statement, being bold, taking chances and tying it all together. Both designers do this masterfully. Fernando is Cuban-born, well traveled and adds touches from his travels in his work. You will hear about his use of vibrant, colorful, visually interesting beer steins and contemporary art pieces from LA artist Clara Berta to open up a heavily wood paneled library. Fernando uses furniture from Mitchell Gold - Bob Williams and rugs from AgaJohn to put this library together.
Kelley Jackson attacked the ladies lounge with early California style in keeping with the time of Wattle Mansion but shrouded it in a pink haze . With Monterrey furniture and Anders Aldrin art and pillows she crafted herself. This space is filled with natural light from a southern exposure which caused the room to literally change color shades as we spoke. Please enjoy this episode with interior designers, Fernando Diaz and Kelley Jackson.
We are back at Wattles Mansion for a conversation with two very talented designers. Nicole Gordon and David Dalton. You will hear about art, luxe materials and skillful application. You will also hear about taking chance. David works material into wall coverings and Nicole found a perfect piece at Ikea that style matched perfectly. Skill, fearlessly and artfully applied.
The City of Los Angeles was founded in 1781 and incorporated in 1850. In the years since the city’s founding, Los Angeles has continually reinvented itself, some would say, to a fault. When it comes to architecture and design in Los Angeles, we have always been considered a huge blank canvas, a design lab of sorts. Los Angeles architecture was built on names like; Welton Becket whose iconic works include Capitol Records (56), Parker Center (55), LAX (59) The Music Center (64-67), Claude Beelman, who brought Art Deco and Moderne movements to LA with works like The Standard (55) The Los Angeles Jewelry Center and The Union Bank Center, (later called the Getty Oil HQ and now The Mercury Building). From iconic buildings of industry, came mid-century modern design from architects like Richard Dorman. Dorman was part of Beckets firm until he left in 56 to create some amazing residential design in the city. How is this for a list of notables also adding to the Los Angeles landscape: Neutra, Fickett, Schindler, Gehry, Koenig, Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright. Groundbreaking women like Greta Grossman and Helen Fong brought their unique perspectives and accomplished much in a male dominated profession. So, why the history lesson? Because much of LA’s notable architecture is being torn down to make way for newer ideas in architecture. Not that that is ALL bad, but when you lose iconic architecture strictly for the sake of a bigger structure, there is something wrong. the idea that architecture has to be temporary is a flawed concept. The Hollywood Hotel, Wallace Neff’s PickFair, Myron Hunt and later Paul Williams creation, The Ambassador Hotel, Marion Davies Beach House, The Brown Derby, The Pan Pacific Auditorium, all gone. What is also going away are Eicklers, Neffs and Schindlers. Iconic architecture in the form of residential homes lost, more every year. So you get it… meet Ken Bernstein. Ken is the manager and principle city planner for the the Historical Preservation Office of the City of Los Angeles. I sat down with Ken at his office in LA’s City Hall, another fantastic structure to discuss the state of historical architecture in LA. Things are happening to help preserve the architecturally relevant structures in the city. Some of these stories are great and you can also hear how to locate some of these gems in the city.
I sat down for this interview with Michelle Workman at a coffee shop in West Hollywood, down the street from the Pacific Design Center. In two years and one hundred and thirteen episodes of this podcast, I am constantly reminded just how talented and amazing the design community is. I would consider this to be a golden age of design. I say this because I am consistently meeting designers who are putting together some truly amazing work. They are doing it through innovation, new ideas and a health dose of trial and error. Fearlessly. If you don’t know Michelle yet, you will very soon. She is building a portfolio of work on the West Coast and in the South. Her roster of celebrity clients is a who’s who and yet, her philosophy is person centric which means her standard approach begins and ends with a level of service geared towards that person at that moment. Michelle just released her first full line of furniture through French Heritage, a line that she says was Art Deco inspired and likes to call it Sexy-Deco. What you are going to hear from Michelle is how she approaches the business as well as the art. Please enjoy this conversation with Michelle Workman and if you do enjoy it, please give us a positive rating on iTunes, that will make us more visible to others. You can also find short videos from many of these interviews at Convo By Design on YouTube. Thanks for listening and thanks for watching.
CXD covered the Wattles Design House this year and it has been an absolute blast catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. This episode features two elegant and insanely unique bedrooms. The rooms are as amazing as their designers. Ryan Saghian and Kym Roger. We start with Ryan who is an outspoken LA native with a very clear understanding of his own style in addition to understanding what his clients want. Kym Rodger is a designer, an artist and a fascinating personality. Kym and Ryan are passionate and absolutely fearless in their use of color, materials and space. Things like gun metal and fur, one of a kind art and walls draped in sheets, you find joyful surprises at every turn.
Convo By Design dropped in on WestWeek at the Pacific Design Center to hear the icons and innovators panel at the Vondom showroom. The conversation, entitled The Innovation of Modern Plastic Told By Modern Icons featured Architect and product designer Ramon Esteve, Gensler’s Regional Director of Product Design, Daniel Stromborg and was moderated by Modern Luxury Interiors Group Publisher, Chris Gialanella.