One of the great things about working at Maharam is that we have a gathering every two years focused on design inspiration and company values. In addition to a great location, there are guest speakers at the forefront of their industries. This year was exceptional in that we gathered at the Parker in Palm Springs, and one of my design idols spoke - Ilse Crawford.
I've been a fan of Ilse Crawford since high school when her book Sensual Home was published. I brought my copy along and was lucky to have her sign it. (And had a great aside with her and her husband, Oscar Pena, about handwriting and the power of a good signature.)
In addition to her giving a great presentation to the entire group, I was able to have a meaningful conversation privately. I was enamored as she and I discussed gender politics in architecture versus interiors, and her experience doing business in Asia. And thankfully my boss took a photo of us, so I didn’t have to resort to asking for a selfie.
Luckily last month I was able to enjoy one of her spaces in person, with one of my best friends and some coworkers. I was in Hong Kong and had a delicious drink at Duddell’s Art Club.
Still working my way through her latest book, which is beyond good. It is a set of profiles of her recent projects, highlighting the human focus, and making all spaces more comfortable and inhabitable for the users. Her elaborations on their design process and priorities are invaluable for formulating a project, in design or in life.
She continues to be an inspiration, and I’m so lucky to have met her in person.