what is your greatest fear in design?
NOTHING – EVERYTHING CAN ALWAYS BE CHANGED OR FIXED.
which historical design figure do you most identify with?
MAYBE A CAVEMAN – I KIND OF LOVE THE WHEEL.
which living designer do you most admire?
I’M TOO MUCH OF A LIBRA TO COMMIT TO JUST ONE.
EVERY GREAT DESIGNER BRINGS SOMETHING UNIQUE TO THE WORLD.
when and where were you happiest with your design?
WHEN I SAW A STRIKE-OFF OF MY TAKIGAWA DESIGN FOR THE FIRST TIME,
I KNEW I WAS ON THE RIGHT TRACK.
what do you consider your greatest achievement in design?
LAUNCHING MY OWN BUSINESS – IT’S FAR MORE WORK THAN I’D EVER IMAGINED
(AND TOTALLY WORTH IT).
if you died and came back as another designer/design related object,
who/what do you think it would be?
A NOGUCHI LIGHT SCULPTURE.
what specific design related talent are you lacking that you would most like to have?
I WISH I WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO HANDLE ELECTRICAL WIRING.
what is your most treasured design related possession?
I HAVE A GOLD-PAINTED CONCRETE STATUE HEAD THAT I FOUND, FACE-DOWN ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF AN OLD SEMINARY DURING ONE OF THE WORST STORMS THAT HAD EVER HIT MANHATTAN. IT’S NOT THAT LARGE, BUT IT HAS TO WEIGH OVER 100 LBS….
SO NATURALLY, I HAD TO HAVE IT. IT LIVES PEACEFULLY ON MY TERRACE NOW.
what do you regard as the lowest depths of misery in design?
FASHION IN LIEU OF COMFORT…EXCEPT SOMETIMES. THERE ARE ALWAYS EXCEPTIONS.
what is your design motto?
EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOME SHOULD HAVE A STORY BEHIND IT – OR YOU SHOULD JUST FIND IT TO BE EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL (SEE PREVIOUS ANSWER RE: EXCEPTIONS).
what is your favorite design related word?
what is your least favorite design related word?
what turns you on in design?
WHEN THINGS ARE DESIGNED AND COLLECTED WITH THE HEART,
NOT WITH THE INTENTION TO IMPRESS.
what turns you off in design?
what is your favorite curse word?
I’VE BEEN KNOWN TO FREELY FLING F-BOMBS.
what profession other than design would you like to attempt?
SECRET AGENT. TRAVEL, ADVENTURE, AND A BIT OF MYSTERY. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
PROUST ON DESIGN | Answered by my design icons, these must-ask questions come from a 19th century parlor game made popular by Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist & critic. This interview technique has been used by many journalists throughout the years but my column was primarily inspired by The Proust Questionnaire, which appears monthly on the back page of Vanity Fair (my alma mater). The twist here on CLOTH & KIND is that I’ve repurposed each question to relate to interior design. To read all of my Proust on Design interviews, please click here. Enjoy!