When the banking industry collapsed in 2008, it unfortunately took my textile company with it. But here’s the thing: I hesitate to use the adjective ‘unfortunately’ because those events led me to producing and editing Interior Design Master Class, one of the most exciting and personally fulfilling experiences of my life.
I’d like to share a bit about how the book came to be…
Finding myself in need of a personal reinvention, I began thinking about what to do next. What did I have a keen interest in that might lead to a new career? After some careful consideration, I identified two ideas: the wish to attend a formal design school, and the wish to learn all I could about media in the post-analog world of the internet.
In thinking about design school I began asking my friends in the industry about the best programs, and about what I might read in advance to prepare. Based on their responses I began investigating The New York School of Interior Design, the Pratt Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Rhode Island School of Design. I also began reading books on design, beginning with Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman’s The Decoration of Houses, at the suggestion of my good friend Glenn Gissler (which turned out to be a pivotal experience.)
At the same time (after finishing Michael Hyatt’s book Platform which I highly recommend), I established my first blog, which chronicled my experiences investigating digital media and content marketing, as well as ideas of interest related to interior design.
Then one morning in the shower (most of my best ideas seem to be born there!) it dawned on me: while most of what’s contained in The Decoration of Houses is still quite relevant, what would it be like if I were to use that book as the loose framework for a new book; and what if instead of just two voices (Wharton and Codman) I enlisted 100 of the finest practitioners of the decorative arts to help me create a modern-day treatise of interior design. In lieu of attending design school in a university setting, I would go directly to the most successful members of the community and ask each of them to teach me something about one idea within the design discipline. The experience of producing the book (which took 2+ years to complete) would be an unconventional way to attend design “school”, one that I could ultimately share in the form of a book by utilizing what I had learned about crafting compelling content. As I’ve already mentioned, it was a truly valuable experience.
And now that the book has been published, I’m on to a few new projects.
First, I’ve established this new blog with a focus on design education. In addition, I’ll be spotlighting events on the design calendar around the country, and will be continuing my work reporting on ideas, books, products, and artisans of interest.
And second, I will continue my consultancy work in editing (currently working on a book for Peter Marino); content strategy for brands and individuals in the design industry; and digital media, for effective dissemination of information. If you’re interested in learning more, please follow this link.
I look forward to this work, and to the opportunity to engage with the design community. It’s my hope you’ll come back to this blog again to learn something more about design.