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design challenge summer ’12

by devnym

Design Challenge Summer ’12

by Moonah Ellison

Industry insiders – interior designers to contractors to TV show presenters – came together in Manhattan at the newly-renovated boutique hotel, The Roger, to discuss the Moves 2012 Design Challenge with publisher Moonah Ellison… and bring a signature piece that epitomizes their own design essence.

Jon McMillan Director of Planning, TF Cornerstone

Influence & Inspiration:
In the world of high-rise architecture, design means that somehow intelligence has triumphed over rote banality. Someone took the time to think about it and do it a little better. In New York City architecture, the Chair of the City Planning Commission, Amanda M. Burden, expects more from developers. The 70s were indeed problematic because architects too often strove to stand apart from the past and from the context of the City. I think since then architects have learned to be equally innovative as their 70s brethren but to better incorporate their innovations into the City’s fabric.
Signature Item:
The sloped, floating red plane of the chair’s back is about as eye-popping as a little thing can get. It was an effort in 1917 by the designer Rietvelt to get away from fussy handcrafted furniture and design something that people could almost make themselves. I was friends with [fashion designer] Tom Ford when he was a student at Parsons – he bought a kit for $100 and made one.

Steve Fanuka Million Dollar Contractor, DIY Network

Influence & Inspiration:
Frank Lloyd Wright. He inspires me. He didn’t want you to build on the land, he wanted you to build from the land. At the end it’s design. Another form of design is to take something that’s already there and incorporate a home into the landscape or into the land or into mother nature and expand from it. So he built within instead of building on top. Design is internal, it’s an inspiration that everyone has… everyone has their own design and from that, a person lives the way they want to live, design comes from within. It’s not something from outside, it’s all from inside. Once you feel it you go from there. It can be anything from a paint color to a cabinet, even a backyard landscape. It comes from within. Every person has his own story and every story is signified in design, as well as every book has its own chapter, not every room has to be the same. So you can say I want the kitchen this way and the living room that way, because that’s the way I live and that’s the way I feel. Design is not one premise that’s carried over; it’s a premise that carries over then expands out and from there it goes to different angles. It’s a whole parallel universe design.
Signature Item:
It’s the hammer. In every single aspect in every single day of my life the hammer is always used. This is my insurance that something is done well, especially if my hand is attached to it.

Brad Ford “Tastemaker for the Next Generation of Design…

Influence & Inspiration:
I think we can have influences from all over the world. I was just in Marrakech (Morocco) recently and was so fascinated with their design sensibility and also their level of craftsmanship. I don’t think I realized how much value they place on the craft and literally everything that is produced there is made by hand. I have such an appreciation for that and again it goes back to what we were saying earlier, that there is something that goes with the process and it’s crafted by someone, by an individual where there is already so much meaning in that item.
Signature Item:
This is a carved walnut bowl from an artist named Alma Alan who’s based out of California. She does a lot of metal work but she did this exclusive collection for Design Within Reach last year, and this bowl was one of them. The reason I think this really represents me is because I am from Arkansas and I grew up around the most beautiful natural resources imaginable and have always really been inspired by nature. I moved to NYC about 20 years ago and absolutely love the city, but I miss home tremendously so I try to bring a lot of those elements into my design sensibility.

Eran Chen Principal & Creative Director, ODA Architecture

Influence & Inspiration:
I would have to say Italian architect Renzo Piano. He’s exactly the marriage between science and beauty. To me design and architecture is about that. To me the body of knowledge is not only reliable but it’s provable and how to compose this into something that is also beautiful which is obviously emotional. So the combination of rational and emotional that’s where I think design is at its best. I also have a huge admiration of some of the old cast iron buildings in Soho and Tribeca. When they were built it was the most cutting edge technology of construction and today looking back it looks like something that we look at as a historical thing, but the beauty of technology sort of inspires people to build.
Signature Item:
Well, it’s literally something that I grabbed off of the working desk in my office. This is a model of what will become a screen for a building in Chelsea. It is an operable metal shutter that is mechanically operated and goes to open and close in a way that creates shade but also privacy and also beautifully sort of articulates the facade. It’s in the initial stage of study. I think it represents a lot of what we do and my belief about design.

John J. Jenkin Executive Vice President, Kartell US

Influence & inspiration:
In terms of making design locally, Europe now and the near future is going to be the design leader in terms of production ideas. I’m not talking about manufacturing, but in terms of ideas I believe that the future is there. Now, something happened here in the 50s and for some reason [ideas] disappeared. In the 50s the American designers were very active and productive and then something, I don’t know exactly what, but something happened, and I don’t see any strong American designers.
Signature Item:
It’s called a ‘take,’ a lamp designed by Ferruccio Laviani. I like this piece because there are not that many interesting lights made of polycarbonate. For me design is not just a matter of aesthetics; there must be a function, there must be innovation. For me this is a perfect combination of innovation from a technical point of view, aesthetically it’s very nice, and it works. So it’s a good design piece.

Min Lee Director of Original Programming,
HGTV & DIY Networks

Influence & Inspiration:
I love the lifestyle of the West Coast, especially LA, because of the sun, but the East Coast has great attitude and energy. In this city, there really is never a dull moment. For better or worse, whether it puts you in a bad or good mood, there’s just something about it that makes it so vibrant and suits my personality better. I’m also so fortunate of the experience of having grown up in LA and living here now. Both cities are great, but right now I’m in a NY kind of mood where I’m really loving the city.
Signature Piece:
The color palette. I find that with color you can always add a little bit or a lot and it takes such little effort to express who you are and what you’re feeling. You may be feel like you need a wall that’s painted in a great yellow and say, “I want it to be cheerful and happy because that’s how I feel.” Or you can change it up and it’s so easy to change with color, especially with paint. It’s so inexpensive and you can make such a great and bold statement at such a low cost and minimal effort.

Tamsen Fadal News Anchor, PIX11

Influence & Inspiration:
I think my dad’s background (he’s an architect) inspired me completely. I remember as a kid, sitting in the car as my dad would slow down because he’d have to look at a building that was across the street. He’d have to examine the building while we were driving and I’d be like, ‘Dad, people are honking!’ He appreciated spaces, he’d see things for what they were, he didn’t see just a little window. He’d see the whole thing and see it has layers and depth to it, meaning, and character.
Signature Item:
A jewelry line called Shansen Jewelry. My cousin Shannon Elizabeth (actress, American Pie fame) and I started it and I think it just brings everything about our whole lives together. We got together about a year ago and said we really want to do something creative, since we’re both in very creative industries. The line is made up of semi-precious gems and all the pieces have different meanings. The jewelry is very personal and great care is taken to put them all together.

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