I am an American designer and artist.
I have lived my adult life in New York with a 19-year break in Rome.
I studied fine arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the New York Studio School, where I studied under Philip Guston. I made art for several years and exhibited as an emerging artist for several years before accidentally becoming an interior designer.
I have lectured and taught at many universities and colleges in the United States and abroad about my work. I have been inducted in the Interior Design Hall of Fame and won the Rome Prize for design, along with many other awards, yet I have never studied design or architecture. My work has been featured in many articles and books internationally.
My work crosses many professions. I have designed a wide range of signature collections of products, residential interiors, offices, and retail spaces, as well as designed houses. I have curated exhibitions and throughout my career I have continued to make art. I have taught drawing, interior design, industrial design, an intense course on color and one on materials, and a course on housing the homeless at graduate level simultaneously at two participating universities.
All of the work I do comes from a point of view that is about stepping back and rethinking the nature of things,-a space, or the nature of an activity, making leaps using concepts from one field and bringing it to another, like sculpture or non-architecture agricultural structures or boat building and bring these patterns to the thinking about lighting, furniture or the construction of a staircase. Observation is my mentor. Art is my inspiration. My favorite subtext is time.
I have the intuition of an engineer. The designs for a bookcase or a piece of furniture many times come from a material or a method of construction. I look for the meaning in the process of fabrication and the meaning of the each finish, every detail of assembly. How each element fits together in an object or in a space is a visual orchestration.
I design like an artist and I make art like a designer. The line between blurs.
I like my work to speak about time: being of my time is important. When I work on a project with historical context I honor the existing framework. I evaluate how my work will be over time. Will it hold its message over time? Will it wear in or wear out?
I like my work to tell one part of the story from a distance and tell you more when intimately close and tell you still more of the story after you’ve been with it for a time.