Monday, May 23, 2011

A Professorial Dream Team

A few weeks ago, I attended Alexa Hampton's presentation on her new book, Alexa Hampton: The Language of Interior Design, at ADAC. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Alexa speak, you MUST go! She has to be one of the best speakers in the design business. Not only did I learn a great deal about both the language and the process of design, but I was thoroughly entertained as well.

In fact, I was thinking about Alexa's talk over the weekend, and it occurred to me that Alexa would make a very good design teacher. Her lectures are the kind that hold your attention. You won't find yourself doing the drifting off/head snapping thing. If Alexa taught design classes, then I just might consider going back to school. Maybe I should even start my own college- The Peak of Chic University.

Who else would I like to see teach class at PoC U?

Adam Lewis, most definitely. I attended his lecture on Billy Baldwin last Fall, and he too is a terrific speaker. I would want Adam to teach a class on 20th century American design. After all, the man has written the definitive books on Van Day Truex, Albert Hadley, and Billy Baldwin, and we can't forget The Great Lady Decorators. I have a feeling that Adam would end up as my advisor as well.

Of course Charlotte Moss is absolutely qualified to lead a course on anything design related, but I would want to see her teaching a semester long seminar on "Women in Design History". This would be right up her alley- and mine, too. And seeing that she owns antiques once belonging to the greats like Madeleine Castaing and Nancy Lancaster, perhaps she might be convinced to lead the class on a field trip to her home to see the pieces firsthand.

Mitchell Owens would be allowed and encouraged to teach about anything that he wanted to because what doesn't he know about design history, 20th c. culture, and the arts? What about something like "Great Aesthetes of the Past"?

In my opinion, no study of interior design would be complete without a survey of the decorative arts. Who better to teach this than Florence de Dampierre? Course study might include such topics as Chairs, Painted Furniture, and of course, Walls.

Emily Evans Eerdmans would just have to be on staff! Emily has range, and, like me, she has an appreciation of the not quite so high-brow side to design history. With her knowledge and expertise, she should lecture on proper subjects like English Antiques, Country Piles, or maybe the Empire Style. But then she would have to teach an elective that was rather salacious like "John Woolf and his Woolf Pack". (Google it if you're not quite sure what that class would be about.)

And last but certainly not least, David Netto. Of course, his looks help (weren't those 8am college classes made just a bit easier when the professor was handsome?), but in case you're not reading the terrific new WSJ magazine, then you don't know just how much design history and knowledge is packed into that brain of his. He really knows his stuff. I also recently read somewhere that he is inspired by the 1930s (me too! me too!), so he would have to get first crack at teaching a class on that era. I also see him leading tutorials on hip Euro designers of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Do you think that might be too cool for school?


  1. We are great fans of Alexa's in our household!

  2. let's see... been to lectures by adam, alexa and emily. all excellent. and the others? i'd sure go!

    and the wsj. mag? LOVE it.

  3. Of course, it is taken for granted that Prof TPOC will lead all the university lecturers.

    If you need additional faculty, do not overlook the brilliance of Bunny Williams, a great advisor as well as lecturer.

  4. I'll foot the bill for tuition! Sign me up!

    And add William Yeoward to the list. I heard him at Corzine's here in Nashville and he was absolutely the most charming man I'd ever spoken to.

  5. I can't stress enough how enjoyable, informative and educational your blog has been, is and hopefully will be to me. Can you tell how we Germans (and I guess all "Old Europeans") justify our cliché of the "uncouth American"? (Rhetoric question!)

    On a different note, did you notice that all those female disigners are wearing black? I remember the old adage: "If you can't afford designer clothes, wear black." Sure they can afford designer clothes, but maybe they are too busy to always bother and black is on the safe side. ;-)

    Thanks again for this wonderful blog.

  6. Fantastic idea! and a lovely post! I would be thrilled to attend the P of C U!!!
    xo Allison

    Spicer + Bank

  7. a elite team! love this idea and if you need a pencil sharpener I am it. pgt

  8. Just waiting to hear where to send my tuition check.

  9. I'm going! I'm going! Just send me my schedule; I just posted the tuition check. Mary

  10. I'm in, who cares what it costs!!! Maybe each semester at The U of POC it's a new group of teachers just like an academic university. Of course, I too would want them to follow the prerequisite that they must be interesting AND charming! Nothing worse than being put to sleep by dull speakers or those who get uncomfortable speaking in front of groups.

  11. What a great idea, and a great faculty. Maybe if I'd had instructors (or even fellow students) like this the first time around, I wouldn't have skipped class so much.

  12. Anonymous2:13 PM

    Fabulous post! Love all those talents!

    Sad thing, most all really successful decorators, etc. have no time to teach!

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE ALEXA! Saw her speak at the High Point Market.....but don't forget Eric Cohler.....he is amazing!

  14. Great group and fun post! Thanks for sharing-

  15. Peak of Chic University sounds like a great idea!! I'm in, too!

  16. Tell me where to sign up - back to school it is!!

  17. Jennifer,
    Just came across this POC post- what great people! Funny, Emily is teaching design now at NYSID-
    Amazing how many books Charlotte has written forewords for!
    Mitch is doing the new book on Thomas Britt-
    Alexa has a disarming way of being self-effacing and funny, very human!
    Tice always bought linens from Florence!
    Adam is a good friend of my old friend Tripp March, from the former Hinson and Co
    And we all love dear David too!