Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veranda Art of Design

Tomorrow is a big day at ADAC. It's Veranda's Art of Design event which includes a keynote presentation featuring Miles Redd, Gil Schafer, and Suzanne Kasler plus an inspiring documentary showing as well as events in various showrooms. I'll be there front row center as I don't want to miss a word that this talented bunch has to say. Hope to see you there!

For more information and details, please click
here. Reservations are required.


  1. yet again wishing I were in Atlanta! argh

  2. The Veranda panel at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago had a different lineup--two awardees & two judges--but it was one of the best-run events I've attended in a while. Sometimes, at these things, the people on the panel, as talented & articulate as they are, are like pearls on a necklace, with only a thin thread connecting them. This time, their presentations reinforced each other to create a coherent message. Anyone who's ever been in charge of one of these things knows how hard it is to get the separate voices to blend, but Carolyn Englefield pulled it off & made it look easy. My only regret was that the copies of Veranda in our bags weren't the new issue that everyone is buzzed about. Then again, the day was free, you know?

    What was interesting, though, is that, while the panel's official theme was something about Innovation--I'd never make it in PR--it was unanimous among the panelists, once they started talking back & forth, that innovation, per se isn't really what their work is about. Englefield was a trouper though, and acted like she didn't notice that the panel was handling the term with tongs. Nobody actually brought up Mies van der Rohe's crack "You can't invent a new architecture every Monday morning" but that philosophy seemed to underly everyone's approach to design in one field or another.

    Landscape designer Nancy Goslee Powers started out the backtracking, saying flat-out: "My work isn't innovative, it's intuitive" and looking at her portfolio, you see what she meant. Her projects seem rooted in & built on the actual landscape, like Capability Brown's or Jens Jensen', not imposed on it. Of course, the apparent "naturalness" of her work is all an illusion, since, unlike an untended room, an untended garden will revert to wilderness within a few years. That, she explained, is why her effects are based on more permanent features of the landscape, rather than pretty-but-ephemeral spots of color. "My work isn't about flowers." It's about the long haul, not next week's party.

    Paul Wiseman, who won in the Interior Design category, also distanced himself from the kind of work that makes a big deal about its innovative aspects, and the new technologies that underlay the projects he showed are discreet about their presence, so that one may not realize all that's going on behind the scene. "There's no need for LED light sources, say, to come across as Cruise Ship Deco." His work, he said, speaks not about the latest technology, nor his own personal tastes, but instead, speaks for his clients in almost a subliminal way. You can either spend a lot of time explaining to new acquantances who you are, or you can let your surroundings speak for you. Makes sense to me.

    Christoper Peacock & Holly Hunt echoed the same basic idea, so that basically, the message seemed to be that what's innovative today is the abandonment of the recent approach that showcased innovation simply for its own sake. That model is just not cost-effective right now. When a question that began "In the current state of the economy..." was raised, Powers, in her wonderfully forthright way, interrupted--"You mean the Depression? Can we just say that?" All in all, the consensus seemed to be that, right now, the most innovative approach may be the old one.

    Anyway it was an interesting day. Reserve your seat while you still can.

  3. Stefan- Come down to Atlanta soon!

    Room Temp- You've made me very excited about tomorrow's event!

  4. Wish I could come too! Sounds fabulous! Enjoyed reading the Room Temperature comment.

  5. I also wish I were closer to Atlanta - so many of my favorites in the fabulous line up! I assume you'll be doing a recap for us?!

  6. If only I could zap myself to Atlanta & back... I will be there in spirit. enjoyed reading Rm. Temp. comments. xx

  7. Wish I could be there; will be waiting for your report. I just looked through the new issue yesterday, it is flawless!!

  8. What an event that should be. I love Veranda Magazine. and Mike.R.
    have fun.

  9. Dear Jennifer,

    really hate to miss this, I hope that you enjoy the experience.

    Dean Farris