…lately

…a round up of what I’ve been up to since my last post…

I swam, biked, and ran in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, besting my personal record time by thirteen minutes! Thanks to everyone who donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles!! But the highlight of my day was an acoustic performance by Bret Michaels: Star-Spangled Banner followed by Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Epic.

It’s been that trade show time of year. We saw lots of great stuff at the first ever WestEdge Design Fair in Los Angeles

WestEdge Design Fair

WestEdge Design Fair

(favorites include BDDW, DLV, whyrHymer, Wilcox, and Zia-Priven) and we saw even more at High Point Market in North Carolina.

I may have bordered on overuse of the #hpmkt hashtag on my instagram; you be the judge. Favorites seen in NC include these fine Italian stools,

Italian Brass Stools

Italian Brass Stools

this Vernor Panton mirror (how facet-nating),

Vernor Panton Mirror

Vernor Panton Mirror

and this lacquered goatskin ice bucket by Gucci (what!?!)

Gucci Ice Bucket

Gucci Ice Bucket

all at 214 Modern Vintage (see this post, courtesy maison21),

the wallpaper installation by Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios at CR Laine

Black Crow Studios @ CR Laine

Black Crow Studios @ CR Laine

(more here and here), antiques from Bobo Intriguing Objects,

this folding chair by Brown Jordan

Cricket II Folding Chair

Cricket II Folding Chair

(plus this and this too), and this otomi pendant by Stray Dog Designs.

Otomi Pendant

Otomi Pendant

I’m still bummed I didn’t buy this vintage brass armadillo when I had the chance. Alas, je regrette.

Another #hpmkt favorite (oops, I did it again) was the Heritage Collection from Stanley Furniture. Inspired by the Ferrari Classiche program, Stanley’s marketing & brand development VP Randy Wells spent much of the last eight months searching for and buying vintage (40’s, 50’s and 60’s era) Stanley-made furniture pieces from antique dealers, etsy shops and even craigslist sellers. These mid-century pieces were taken back through the Stanley factory, disassembled and refurbished. Given new life, these items were featured on display and made available for purchase as one-of-a-kind antiques. But antiques that were restored to their original luster by the factory that originally produced them! This is recycling of the highest order – and a great example of enduring style from an American manufacturer.

This cabinet,

Stanley Heritage cabinet

Stanley Heritage cabinet

this dresser,

Stanley Heritage wide dresser

Stanley Heritage wide dresser

these chairs,

Stanley Heritage lounge chairs

Stanley Heritage lounge chairs

this chest with awesome Aspen leaf-inspired hardware,

Stanley Heritage 5-drawer chest

Stanley Heritage 5-drawer chest

and especially this cabinet.

Stanley Heritage office cabinet

Stanley Heritage office cabinet

Bravo!!

Shifting gears a bit, LA Opera’s mammoth undertaking and production of Einstein On the Beach was quite a treat.

Einstein On The Beach album art

Einstein On The Beach album art

Having listened to Philip Glass since 1995 (gasp!), and even writing a research paper about the opera in college (it’s in a box somewhere), I had not ever seen a complete live performance of Einstein. Viewing only the fourth production staged by collaborators Glass, Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs since its debut in 1976, I feel rather privileged to have been in attendance for the final performance in the States. Though a four-plus-hour opera without a linear narrative to follow proved a bit much for some, I enjoyed the visuals and movement in conjunction with the music I’ve heard so many times and studied for so many combined hours. 

Just two days later, I went to Royce Hall at UCLA for Robert Wilson performing John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing“. It was good, but in comparison to Einstein? Meh. I recommend the book or the archival footage of Cage himself reading the lecture.

Pivoting focus again, friends Sharon Fain and KC Cooper Sears, founders of the Academy of Handmade, invited me to be on a panel for their Next Level Business Workshop.

Next Level Business Workshop

Next Level Business Workshop

The workshop was a chance for makers, artists and crafters to learn more about best business practices, see display and merchandising tips, hear and share advice from industry experts and with colleagues. It was a great experience and I was pleased to share my perspective on branding and licensing with fellow panelists Dave Conrey of Fresh Rag and Delilah Snell of Patchwork. It was my first appearance on an expert panel. Next stop TED Talk, baby!!

I volunteer on two committees for the Architecture + Design Museum of Los Angeles and was in attendance at the closing event for the Never Built Los Angeles exhibit.

Never Built Los Angeles

Never Built Los Angeles

Never Built explores many of the “what-ifs” in the 20th century architectural history of Los Angeles. Featuring unbuilt projects of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, even Walt Disney and Frank Gehry, the exhibit highlighted buildings, master plans, parks and proposals that were killed in committee or abandoned on the drawing board for myriad reasons. If you did not see the exhibit, you can order the book, and see a few of my snaps here, here and here. Special thanks to Whit & Julie of Bon Melange (and Muddy Leek, their excellent restaurant in Culver City) for catering the closing event! Check out A+D next time you are in the Museum District on Wilshire, follow @AplusD_LA to see what’s coming next, and become a member of the A+D Museum here

Keeping me busy in a very different way is my newest collaborative project, Design In Conversation. That’s right, I launched a new podcast!

Design In Conversation Podcast

Design In Conversation Podcast

Design In Conversation is an interview and talk series, hosted by yours truly, bringing you conversations with designers, artists and creative personalities from throughout the design industry. By tuning in to each new episode, you’ll hear designers share their creative inspiration; most importantly, you’ll be hearing from designers themselves and in their own words as we bring you the voice behind the designs

My first guest was interior designer Tobi Fairley.

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley

If you do not yet know Tobi, this conversation is a great way to learn more about her and her business. Download the episode in iTunes, have a listen, then give us a rating and a review. Let us know what you think!

You can hear more episodes coming soon, so subscribe in iTunes and keep up with the show at designinconversation.com, on twitter @DesignInConvo, and on facebook at facebook.com/DesignInConversation

That’s what I’ve been up to lately. In case you were wondering.  😉

About zkgraff

Man on the move, Director @ensemblezkg, Host of @DesignInConvo Podcast, Triathlete, CrossFitter, Ironman CA 70.3 Finisher
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