Designer : design elements

18
Mrz

Interview with Alyssa Kapito & Vivian Muller

categories Designer, Interviews    

It’s time for an inspirational interview! Please come with me to New York to meet the incredibly talented young designers Alyssa Kapito & Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller Interiors and to enjoy their bright, bold and stylish interiors.

How would you describe your style?

Tailored chic, with a nod towards the traditional.


What inspires you to get into design?

It’s something that was very innate, we’re both very creative people, so something artistic felt natural to make good longlasting products for people.


How did you get your first assignment?

We started getting requests from friends to decorate their homes and at some point we realized that we should consider opening up shop. We’ve been very lucky to have wonderful clients.

Is there a designer who has influenced you?

We love Thomas O’Brien, Stephen Sills, Steven Gambrel and of course some of the greats like Jean Michel Frank.


Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or the painting that sets up the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

It differs from room to room. Rugs are a great starting point for rooms but we also like to get inspiration from our client. What is their vision and how can we improve on that?


How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Sense of scale is quite difficult because there aren’t any rules, you really have to pay attention to the individual room. Observe its height, its width, its shape and let those things dictate proportion. There really isn’t a guidebook for it. One piece of advice though is to try to mix it up and avoid having all of your furniture at the same eye level.

What is the best thing about starting your own business?

The freedom to be creative in the way you want to be.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Hopefully still loving what we do as much as we do today.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Photography. Our instagram handle @kapitomullerinterior is a testament to that.

What are your favorite books?

We love design books. Thomas O’Brien’s American Modern is a favorite, as well as Remodelista’s retrospective book.


Do you have a favorite movie?

The Talented Mr. Ripley has fabulous interiors.


What does success mean to you?

If you love going to work everyday, we would consider that a success!


What are the most important design elements?

Scale, proportion and color.


photos: patrick cline for rue

2
Mrz

Interview with Juan Ignacio Ramos

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

Juan Ignacio Ramos with his his children Ignacio and Soledad

It’s been awhile since the last interview. Thanks to each and everyone of you who haven’t stopped sending me emails asking when the next one will be posted. Special thanks for the lovely emails of Asa from Finnland, David from New Zealand, Annalisa from Belgium and Johanna from Sweden. I’m working on my decoration book putting decoration love into words and photos. There is no much time left before it goes to print in September. But the interviews on the blog are back. Please come with me to Buenos Aires to meet architect Juan Ignacio Ramos of Estudio Ramos.

What was the moment when you knew you would be an architect?

My father is an architect and I remember as a very young kid going to his office and scrawling on those old drawing boards. Probably since then, I thought I would be an architect. I always wonder what would have happened if my father had had a different career.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

There are several things that connect all our projects. First of all, our main focus is the well being of our clients. Through our designs, we try to make their daily lives more satisfying and pleasant. Also, in every case, we take into consideration issues of scale; in relation to our clients, and in relation to subjects of sustainability. Obviously, aesthetic considerations are fundamental: the noticeable horizontal lines, the combination of very few elements, the care for the proportions and the simplicity.


Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

I still appreciate my first project very much, the Sternberg House. It was very revealing and I learned a lot from it. I understand that my work is a long learning process, and I am happy with the innocence and freshness of that first commission.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

I enjoy the creative process and walking through a finished assignment. But if I had to choose one, it would be designing. The joy that I experience every time I finish a design is huge.

What do you love to do when you are not designing?

I love listening to music, appreciating art and practicing sports. Art is a big source of inspiration.


What are your favorite books?

Art and architecture books.


What are your favorite places in Argentina?

Buenos Aires, its suburbs and Patagonia.


What does success mean to you?

I feel very fortunate in being able to do what I like and sharing it with my daughter Soledad and my son Ignacio who are architects as well and my partners. To me, that is success.


What’s your advice to upcoming architects?

To draw a lot and to trust the lines, because the solution always comes from the drawings.


What are the most important design elements?

I believe that the most important elements are the same in architecture as in music or painting: light, color, texture, proportions and harmony.

26
Mai

Interview with Kasper Salto

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Don’t count on inspiration. It will not happen. Good design is just like other areas: pure hard work. A quote from Vincent van Gogh: Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Kasper Salto

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Danish designer Kasper Salto. I’m drawn to his work and its focus on a simple and distinct design language. Kasper Salto graduated from the Danish Design School and lectured at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. He has continued the Danish tradition in industrial design and was awarded several significant prices. Kasper Salto is inspired by the thought behind things. He loves tennis and reading biographies. His favorite places in Denmark are Copenhagen and Rørvig. Enjoy the interview! I sure did.

NAP chair for Fritz Hansen

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?

After graduating as cabinetmaker I decided to apply for The Danish Design School.


What is your design vision?

To make good longlasting products for people.


You don’t design by impulse but by relevance. Can you describe it further?

Inspiration is impulse, relevance is a long search for what we actually need in this world. To try avoid making “just another chair”, but really try to improve things surrounding us.

Rosendahl timepieces MUW watches Red Dot Design Awards 2013 by Rikke & Kasper Salto

Is it true that you don’t believe in inspiration? You just get into the work and try to get the small things together or to see the big picture?

Don’t count on inspiration. It will not happen. Good design is just like other areas: pure hard work. A quote from Vincent van Gogh: Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.


What is for you the perfect chair?

It’s comfortable, lightweight, strong and affordable.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Thinking, drawing and making, and then discovering all the errors, and then again, thinking, drawing and making….

The Nosy T Lamp by by Salto & Sigsgaard

If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

I love my limits!


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Spending time with my family.


What are your favorite books?

Biographies. Especially, the one about Steve Jobs.

Ice Chair for Fritz Hansen by Kasper Salto

Your favorite places in Denmark?

Copenhagen and Rørvig.


You have been awarded several significant prizes. What does success mean to you?

New jobs comes a little easyer than before.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Making things better than before.

28
Apr

Interview with Tim Cuppett

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Success is making a difference and having fun while doing it.”

Tim Cuppett

It’s Monday morning and time for an inspirational interview. Please come with me to Austin, Texas to meet architect Tim Cuppett.

What was the moment when you knew you would be an architect?

In the second grade.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

If it doesn’t add to the solution, get rid of it……edit, edit, edit.


Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

The way its drawn is the way it gets built (if you have a good contractor). Problems don’t work themselves out in the field.

What do you enjoy most in your work?

When I know it’s just right, my hair stands up.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Looking around and trying to figure out what makes a place great.


What are your favorite artists?

Cannot identify “favorite”artist.  Music and Architecture both use rhythm, crescendo, harmony, etc….to affect the way we feel.

What are some of the most amazing buildings you’ve seen?

Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, Gaudi’s Barcelona Cathedral, Pawson’s Monestery at Novy Dvur, Tadao Ando’s Modern Museum in Ft. Worth.


What does success mean to you?

Making a difference and having fun while doing it.


What’s your advice to upcoming architects?

Travel and work as far away from home as possible.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Relation to context: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Aristotle

16
Sep

Interview with Andina & Tapia

categories Designer, Interviews    

“The most important design elements? Everything that awakens senses… materials, textures, colors, art and emotions.”

Mónica Andina & Fernando Tapia

It is my pleasure to welcome Mónica Andina and Fernando Tapia of Andina & Tapia – one of Madrid’s leading interior design duos. I am impressed with their creativity. Whether houses, restaurants, commercial spaces or boats, they are spot on. Andina & Tapia’s signature look? Casual design that awakens senses. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic, functional, casual, fresh or sophisticated, depending on the project, we love shifting from one to another…


What inspired you to get into design?

Monica: As a kid I used to make houses with my father´s cigar boxes creating models without noticing… Also I was lucky enough to get a close view to Mexican interior designers and architects, who captured me into this world.

Fernando: I have always loved art, antiques and spaces. When I was young I have never thought of it as a way of life and suddenly I found myself decorating other peoples’ houses.


How did you get your first assignment?

We where invited to design the lobby of L´Oreal offices in Madrid… After that friends of friends of family…


Looking back at your first project what decorating knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?

The most important would have been the experience of years of work… But also, less fear and more strength when saying the no´s. Maybe an administrative partner would have made the beginning easier.


Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Monica: At the beginning Barragan, Yturbe, Legorreta; after, an endless list of designers, all who on their own style create projects with soul.

Fernando: Hoffman, Hicks, Douquette… so many designers, periods and artist.

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the colors palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

It depends, some time the space itself, some times a piece the client has, a fabric we saw and both loved or a great piece of art… after that the rest seems easier.


What do you do if you want the room to feel calm and serene?

We try to balance the layout, use clear colors and tend to use a lot of fabrics and natural materials like woods or stones.


How do you achieve a good scale?  Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Scale is very important not only to achieve, but also, sometimes to break with some XL piece to create an statement. I think Scale and proportion come naturally after a lot of work, study and contemplation.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Monica: I find very exciting the begining of the project, adapting spaces for the people who use them and achieving surroundings to be enjoyed.

Fernando: At the end of a project when you get the chance to see and evaluate your own work. When designing a restaurant… the first time I eat.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Monica: Spending time with my family, watching my kids grow, traveling, above all having fun

Fernando: Entertaining and being entertained, traveling, flip through magazines…

Who are your favorite artists?

Monica: Each artist is special and unique on its own, at the time Paul Lisak surprises me a lot.

Fernando: Russian Constructivism, Abstract expressionism, Spanish Court Painters… So many artist and styles


Your favorite books?

Monica: Depending on my vital moment I look for a different literature, the greatest thing about books is that they can create a parallel space or enhance a real emotion. Lately focused on research books.

Fernando: Again, so many… choosing a favorite is impossible… I re-read Woody Allen a lot… so funny and easy!


Your favorite places in Madrid?

La tulipe (our latest restaurant design), Juan March Foundation, The Retiro Park, the city as a whole and off course… home.


What does success mean to you?

Being able to work in what we love and taking care of our personal life and family… Sometimes more work doesn’t mean more success.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Everything that awakens senses… materials, textures, colors, art and emotions.

13
Jul

Kelly Behun’s Long Island Home

categories House Tour, Houses    

Traumhaus gefunden – das Haus der Designerin Kelly Behun, Architektur: Sawyer / Berson. Schönes Wochenende!

Dream home found – the home of interior designer Kelly Behun, architecture: Sawyer / Berson. Happy weekend!

photos: william waldron for elle decor

25
Mrz

Interview with Jonathan Segal

categories Architecture, Interviews    

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of Jonathan Segal. The San Diego based architect has been responsible for the design and development of over 300 medium to high-density urban residential, mixed use, and live/work units totaling over 300,000 square feet of construction. His strong urban designs have been awarded six AIA Honor Awards. “Jonathan Segal has been a champion of an alternate practice paradigm for architects: he develops, designs, and builds his own projects.” He eliminated the client from the traditional formula. His online seminar for aspiring architects / developers is named “Architect as Developer”. It’s about how to develop your own projects and take the first steps to design and financial freedom. Jonathan Segal believes that the most important design elements are proportion, harmony, rhythm, beauty and purity. He loves to collect and restore cars.

the union, photo: paul body

When did you first realize that you wanted to be an architect?

After I failed my chemistry per exam to get into class in college….no medical school for me.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

Urban design and strong individual planning notions and ideas for each project.

the charmer, photos: matthew segal and jeffrey durkin

Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

Nothing…ignorance has always paid off.


You have designed incredible places. If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

Thank you. I would have loved to see my q building built in the meat packing district in New York. So I guess a small project in NYC or Brookland.

the lemperle residence

How does your home look like?

We currently have a place in downtown San Diego, la jolla and McCall Idaho. Each is different. In their planning layout and relationship to their environment. The la jolla home is almost complete. It’s all cast in place concrete as is our Downtown penthouse in the Q.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Collect and restore cars and be with my wife and dogs. I’m trying to learn to relax, it’s not going well.

hsieh residence

Your favorite books?

Anything that deals with entrepreneurs and works by Clive Clussler. I have a hard time finishing a book.


You have been awarded 6 AIA Awards. What does success mean to you?

The National Aia awards are an honor but respect from your peers is all that one hopes for. Fortunately this success has enabled me to meet many great friends and more importantly speak in many cities and spread the word of architect doing their own development. Financial success has helped me not need any investors since 1998.

k lofts, photo: paul body

What’s your advice to the architecture students?

Don’t grow up to be poor architects. Work for a few years and learn the business of putting a good set of drawings together and then do your own work for yourself, NO CLIENTS.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Proportion, harmony, rhythm, beauty and purity.

18
Feb

Interview with Borislav Ignatov

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

Borislav Ignatov

Equinox Passive House

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of the Bulgarian architect Borislav Ignatov. Licensed architect in New York and Bulgaria, principal at Ignatov Architects, graduate of Columbia University and University of Architecture in Sofia, Architect of the year 2010 (Stroitelstvo Imoti Magazine), Grand Prize winner of the Biannale of the Union of Bulgarian Architects 2012… I love the Equinox House designed by him. Great architectural design in relationships with landscape, light, human and environmental, deeply integrated with its site. Borislav Ignatov loves traveling, the Northern Black Sea coast and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

Conservatory House

What was the moment when you knew you will be an architect?

This moment is still to come, hopefully. I am working hard on it and I keep my fingers crossed. :-)


Is there something that connects all your projects?

I try to approach every new task open-mindedly without any preset solution or ready answer. This gives me the chance to listen to site and program and analyze what they need and allow. I believe this is the way to make purposeful and lasting architecture. Understanding the site and program always pays back because it results in specific and unique architectural object.


Your last project – The Equinox House near the Thracian Cliffs – looks like a part of the landscape. How do you achieve this?

The prevailing harsh northern winds almost blew us to the sea on our first site visit last winter. This made me think of seeking shelter in the slope by embedding the future house there. Naturally the green roof provided for 100% site recovery and things fell in place.


How do you think the role of the architect will change over the next years?

The architect’s role has always been to analyze the conditions and lead the design process by providing a holistic harmonizing approach to all building aspects. I don’t think this will change; we just need to do it better and faster each time which is very demanding and sometimes exhausting.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

I love traveling and practicing sports. Visiting new places makes me happy and gives me a lot of inspiration.

Taiwan Tower Competition Entry

Your favorite books?

The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Universe, and many others…


Your favorite places in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is an incredible country with great nature and it is really hard to narrow my favorites down. First things that come to mind are the Northern Black Sea coast and Melnik.


You live and work between the Black Sea and New York. You have received the highest award for Bulgarian architecture. What does success mean to you?

The award means to me professional recognition and support for my efforts. This is very motivating for me and I am really grateful for it. I don’t qualify it as a ‘success’.


Spirit of the site, simplicity, sustainable design, green architecture, sea, light, authenticity. It was a delight to watch your interview on the Bulgarian TV SAT. What’s your advice for architecture students?

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Design is the art of purpose. So, art and purpose are the most important design elements to me.

photos: Ignatov Architects

11
Feb

Interview with Egue y Seta

categories Designer, Interviews    

“We’ve got sick of minimalism, since it wasn´t “minimal” budgetwise and didn´t cover our minimum expressive needs… Nor could we cope with the later maximalism because we are much less complex.”

Daniel Pérez & Felipe Araujo

It is my pleasure to welcome Egue y Seta – one of Barcelona’s leading interior designer duos. I love the Barcelona house they recently renovated  – the restored wooden beams and the tumbling block patterned tile. Egue & Seta’s signature look? Urban, practical elegance with memoir. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

How would you describe your style?

In a sentence: Portable, urban, practical elegance with memoir. We like retro because it reminds us of times gone by and futurism for it excites us. We are proud to be Galician, Spanish and South American because that diversity allows us to provide something that goes beyond local trends … We’ve got sick of minimalism, since it wasn´t “minimal” budgetwise and didn´t cover our minimum expressive needs … Nor could we cope with the later maximalism because we are much less complex. Nevertheless we like many trends that somehow embrace the vernacular … We like fashion but each follows what suits him best, and at the end of the day, all these things we like are bound to inspire us at some point … to say exactly how much, and up to what degree would be lying.


What is your first source of inspiration?

We actually don´t have a single source of inspiration or a mathematical formula. As much as we like the current “anything goes” trend, we like to think this is only true when it subjects itself to a very concrete and specific functional and aesthetic criteria agreed over with the client.

How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Above it all, scale needs to be human. Comfort and practicality are one of our main concerns, though you might be surprised by how frequently current trends contravene the most basic and obvious rules of ergonomics. Bearing that in mind, but putting it aside, scale can be really fun to play with. If you grant them increased length, width and height, a bench may become a table, a table become a rooftop, and so on… We once halved a blown up football and turned into a soccer themed bathtub… Kids has a blast!


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Felipe: To shape up lifestyles and ways of doing. To influence how people use the space… how they feel, behave and interact with one another within those environments.

Daniel: To witness how abstract ideas drawn on paper become alive and real.


If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

Felipe: Affordable, sutainable, adaptable, portable, durable and customizable interior desing furniture and schemes… Sounds like an awfull lot of work, so it might turn to be more of a nightmare than a dream…

Daniel: Maybe the headquarters of a large multinational in Tokyo, or an nice little exotic hotel on a lost paradise beach .

What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Felipe: Have a good time with friends, family or books.

Daniel: Partying with Gra (my girl) and friends; gather strength in Coruña (my home town) with family… and football wherever you go.


Your favorite books?

Felipe: Laughable Loves by Milán Kundera.

Daniel: Reading… still a pending subject for me…


Your favorite places in Barcelona?

Felipe: St. Felipe Neri Sq. – it’s right in the heart of “el Gótico”, but secluded from the tourist hordes. Gloomy, history filled and always soundtracked by street performers.

Daniel: During the summer, the beach and our office terrace for barbecues … In general at “el Raval” is the neighborhood where I feel most comfortable.

What does success mean to you?

Felipe: Enyoing work!

Daniel: Seeing pride and satisfaction written over the customers face once the project is done.


My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Hierarchy. Too often designs are about too many things. We should learn to choose if the space is going to be all about color, about print, or scale and avoid letting everything speak as loud at the same time. No matter how many great ideas we come up with, we need to get rid of the less convenient, or the most conflicting, stick to a couple of the brightest ones and pull from that thread…

photos: Egue y Seta, Mi Casa

4
Feb

Interview with Angela Lanciano

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Success is starting a new day knowing I’m going to do what makes me most happy.”

Angela Lanciano

Some days ago I had the pleasure of talking with Angela Lanciano. The Tel Aviv based interior designer founded the studio Lanciano Design 24 years ago. Lanciano Design’s work is now showcased in some of Israel’s most extraordinary properties. Angela’s words are still in my mind: „The great thing about design – you can just fly…”

How would you describe your style?

Modern with touches of art objects or unique pieces of furniture with strong impact to warm up the atmosphere and to give character and a personal say.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be an interior designer?

I believe I came to this world with the passion and the desire for architecture and design, beauty grew within me, turning my dreams to reality with a lot of love and ambition.


Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?

Unlike most young designers, I had the biggest luck. My first project was a huge house of over 1000 sqm. God was with me, that’s how I felt. I was able to translate what I had imagined in my head into reality, I’m lucky to be blessed with a lot of imagination and capable of seeing in colors how the project will look in the end and the end came out beyond my wildest expectations. The success of the project brought appreciation from my clients and their friends and new jobs just started coming in…

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the color palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

My ispiration is a big surprise. It can come from so many unexpected directions, dreams, nature, feelings, movies. That’s the great thing about designing – you can just fly.


How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

A good designer, one who was born to be a designer, has the scale issue in his blood stream. I can feel the right proportion in the scale, I love clean lines and I try to take advantage of the possibilities in the space, stretching the lines to the direction that makes the space look bigger, taller and more spacious.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Wow, I love my work so much. We deal with so many different issues on top of being designers. Our work is so intimate, we are learning so much about people, and we try to get into their guts. To translate their thoughts and desires into the project. I love surprising my clients with the results that they did not anticipate to be so beautiful. I love adding art and accessories in to my projects, choosing the colors and materials, mixing and blending materials but first of all I’m excited at the first phase of dividing the space. It is like a magic work.

What is the biggest mistake people make when they decide to decorate their own home without the guidance of a designer?

Most people don’t have the ability to combine design elements together and to foresee the results. One should understand that knowing how to choose nice things is not enough. The capability of matching and understanding how to deal with proportion has to be a professional approach. Interior design requires technical skills and knowledge, also there are rules that must be obeyed (less fun), a house should be both functional and beautiful.


What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Travelling and visiting beautiful places. Even when I don’t work I love visiting interesting architectural sites, and always remembering to admire the strength and beauty of nature that inspires us.


What are your favorite artists?

There is a major artist who I find to be a genius that has never been replaced, we have come so far ahead and yet he is still unbelievable in his capability of touching any subject to depths and understanding beyond human mind. I’m talking about the one and only Leonardo da Vinci.

Your favorite books?

Dostoevsky, Ayn Rand.


Your favorite places in Israel?

I find Jerusalem one of the most fascinating cities in the world, a city of contradiction and variety of people and religions. That’s unique. And of course Tel-Aviv that is like the slogan, a city that never stops. Best restaurants, bars and exciting night life.


What does success mean to you?

Wanting to start a new day knowing I’m going to do what makes me most happy.

photos: Lanciano Design

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