"The Chamber of Curiosity" by Gestalten, Apartment Design and the New Elegance

"These collage-like interiors are not dull, utilitarian residential units 
but true chambers of curiosities.. Anything goes: muted colors are set against geometric patterns, antiques against ultra-modern lights...."

DISC Interiors is included in a fantastic new book focusing on bold interiors, published by Berlin based, Gestalten Press!  Available in the U.S. in May, and Europe in April 2014.

While I crawl into the unknown 
Cover me, I'm going hunting for mysteries 
Cover me:  I'm going to prove the possible really exists.  (here)

 "Like the living spaces of modernist designers and architects, these collage-like interiors are not dull, utilitarian residential units but true chambers of curiosities. The acquisition of rare, weird, and often exotic articles has less to do with money spent and more to do with the fantasy and life path of its occupant and creator. Thus we are presented with interiors reminiscent of movies by Kubrick, Fincher, or Lynch—sometimes with an ambiance that is cool and detached, sometimes glamorous, often enigmatic, and always engagingly different.

 Apartments like these contain a conglomeration of objects and features that underscore the personalities of their occupants. Modern classics meet personal acquisitions and unconventional items with their own backstory. In these out-of-the-ordinary rooms, uniformity is avoided and the historical consorts with the futuristic. Anything goes: muted colors are set against geometric patterns, antiques against ultra-modern lights, an industrial lamp hovers over an oriental carpet, dark wood paneling offsets a Carl Auböck design, and paisley is a backdrop to onyx. The list of contrasts goes on."

This book also provides portraits and complementing features on the work of trailblazing interior designers, including Jean-Christophe Aumas from Voici-Voilà, Pietro Russo, Dimore Studio, Autoban, and the Harmony Club.

 artwork by Jason Koharik with a custom Lawson Fenning sofa, 
vintage coffee table, custom burlap linen window coverings.

Los Feliz Residence

'The interior of this residence in Los Feliz, a refuge of the creative class in Los Angeles, is defined by expressive and bespoke contemporary materials or hand-picked vintage objects, furnishings, and artwork. DISC Interiors, for example, dressed the walls of the powder room with custom drapery paired with a hyper-graphic wallpaper made by British wallcoverings workshop Cole & Son. In the master bath, the designers fashioned vanities from a combination of white oak, brass, and Carrara marble and tiled the floor with hexagonal Carrara tiles." -

Visit Gestalten here..

"Gestalten specializes in developing content for aficionados of cutting-edge visual culture worldwide. For us, visual culture is the output resulting from the interrelationship of design, art, architecture, photography, and other visual disciplines with each other as well as other areas such as popular culture and music. In drawing from a variety of influences and combining them in ways not yet seen before, this work is pushing contemporary creative expression to new frontiers.  Always working directly with talented contemporary designers and artists, we bring a deep understanding of visual culture on a global level to whatever we do and remain firmly committed to presenting visual trends with timeless substance. With approximately 30 staff members, the company has offices in Berlin, London, New York, and Tokyo."


The works of Janette Laverrière @ Silberkuppe, Berlin, and TWAAS, New York

"Poignantly the Fauteuil Cognac was in fact to be Laverrière’s very last furniture design drawn up especially for production by Silberkuppe and completed before she passed away in her sleep on January 1, 2011 just after her 101st birthday celebrated with champagne, family and friends."

"Janette Laverrière - Fauteuil Cognac (2010) solid oak, orange and pale blue leather and suede, available in an ‘artist’s edition’ of 8 produced by SILBERKUPPE Berlin pursuant to an exclusive license direct from the designer"

"Janette Laverrière - Fauteuil Cognac Combining an exquisitely crafted oiled oak frame with duotone, reversible suede and leather cushions, Janette Laverrière’s iconic Fauteuil Cognac (Cognac Chair, 2010) also has aesthetic roots in the designer’s earliest beginnings. In the 1930s, she was already an apprentice in the studio of legendary, luxury modernist furniture designer Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann. There the young interior architect and designer - herself the daughter of a distinguished Swiss architect Alphonse Laverrière - was trained in the well-drawn curve and the application of fine craftsmanship using quality materials. Subsequently in the pre-War years collaborative works with her first husband also evidenced her dexterity, foresight and originality – for instance, with her design low-lying seating-and-object-display dias for the circumference of a living room. After going it alone, as a radical designer in early postwar-Paris Laverrière’s design language matured and flourished against the odds as one of very few women alongside her near contemporaries such as Charlotte Perriand, or earlier Eileen Gray both of whom have reentered the canon only recently. 

"In the same period Laverrière made her own a name for herself through the creative use of what were then unorthodox poor materials such as plywood and wrought iron, and her allowance of idiosyncratic decorative features implicitly questioning the then pervasive strictures of modernist design. But also because of her egalitarian social-political and feminist convictions which she brought directly to all of her work. Among hundreds of designs, in the 1960s she designed and produced the Whiskey chair, a piece which very late in life she confessed was an intentionally ambiguous homage to the habits of one of her former husbands. Nearly half a Century later, holding court to a loyal group of supporters and fans in her Marais apartment, surrounded by her work and plans (the majority of which are now on permanent loan to the Centre Pompidou), this grande dame of French design never stopped working. Sustenance in the form of delicate macaroons and port wine were on offer to the well-liked. From around 93 years of age Laverrière devoted herself for the last 8 years of her life to a series of ‘useless things’ – namely mirror objects titled Evocations intentionally on the cusp of art and design which entail a reflection back on the literary and political inspirations of her life. "

Janette Laverrière: Bibliothèque Tournante 
An Exhibition Curated by Fionn Meade in cooperation with Nairy Baghramian and Silberkuppe with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. as part of ART2    

Hosted by: Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services 114 Greene Street, Fl. 2 New York, NY 10012
 April 2 – 24, 2014, hours .

"The exhibition will present the work of Janette Laverrière (1909–2011), an interior architect and designer who lived and worked in Paris for the majority of her life. Exploring Laverrière’s role in crucial shifts in the history of 20th-century design, the exhibition will use her work as the starting point for a conversation around the politics of value as expressed by the aesthetics of architecture and design. The exhibition is the first presentation of her work in the U.S."

Bibliothèque Tournante revisits an exhibition originally conceived by Laverrière with artist Nairy Baghramian for the Schinkel Pavilion as part of the 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) entitled La lampe dans l’horloge. The exhibition will exhibit Laverrière’s prototypes, design multiples, and scenography, in particular her Evocations, a late grouping of mirrors that form part of what she termed her “useless objects series.” Producing commissioned mirror objects starting in 1936, Laverrière’s  Evocations privileges allegorical content over utility. La Commune, hommage à Louise Michel (2001), for instance, with bullet holes perforating its lid, echoes the violence of the Paris Commune of 1871, while also performing an elegy to one of its key figures, the anarchist and proto-feminist Louise Michel. Within the exhibition Bibliothèque Tournante, the mirrors on the walls do not play according to the conventional rules of identification and refuse to return a stable representation. Instead, they offer subjective deportations into history, literature, and innuendo.    

Bibliothèque Tournante will further consider the subjective positions and conceptualizing of value as it is proposed by Laverrière’s work in interior design, including through the gaps and resistances which arise from her own life and the historiography of her work. Born in 1909 in Switzerland, Janette Laverrière studied in Basel at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule, where she learned the fundamentals of drawing and decoration. After training in her father’s architecture practice, she designed her first pieces of furniture in the late 1920s, and until 1945 collaborated on designs with Maurice Pré. Having for a short time joined the Communist Party in 1945, Laverrière’s professional life spanned crucial shifts in design thinking and politics in the postwar period and beyond. Having helped found the Front National des decorateurs (National Front for Decorators) and the Union des artistes decorateurs et createurs d’ensembles (Decorators Trade Union), both in 1944, Laverrière’s career continued to impact art, design, and social movements until her death in 2011.

text taken from here...

"Do We Design for Likes, Loves or Living?"
Upcoming panel for LCDQ at Lee Stanton, May 9,2014

Looking forward to this upcoming panel for LCDQ moderated by Alison Clare Steingold, Design Editor of C Magazine and the recently launched C Home.  C Home's inaugural issue is out now, an inspiring look at California design, interiors, and architecture.  For those that have followed my personal path from design writer to interior designer, and my instagram fascination, they know this panel is one that speaks to my heart: communication.  As Marshall Mcluhan once declared, "the medium is the m(e)assage!"  See you there! - David John
LCDQ: La Cienega Design Quarter's 6th Annual Legends of La Cienega

Keynote: Express Yourselfie: Do We Design for Likes, Loves or Living? 
Friday, May 9 11:00 - 12:00 PM  
Lee Stanton Antiques 769 N La Cienega Blvd  

Moderator: Alison Clare Steingold, Design Editor, C magazine and C Home 
Panelists: Todd Nickey, interior designer Nickey Kehoe and author of The Inspired Home (Rizzoli); David John Dick interior designer, DISC Interiors and author of blog, Youhavebeenheresometime; and Shiva Rose, author of blog, The Local Rose .

This moderated panel explores whether online and social media like Instagram and Pinterest are playing into or even creating a new style of interiors. What are the pros and cons of documenting design? What is the ultimate reality on display? Followed by a book signing for Todd Nickey.

go here for more info....

Ceramics by Gustavo Pérez 

"Pure in form, with a significant structure, completely abstract and without specific associations, his language of line, the bending of forms, and the definition of the vessel mark his work as a distinctive voice.  The form is not just a container or a receptacle; it is architecture."

"Mexican ceramist Gustavo Pérez makes vessels that are simple, smooth and symmetrical. Their elegance is due to the precision of the incised lines and other markings on the pots. While using the same clay body—sand colored stoneware—throughout his work, the artist achieves a wide range of form and pattern and includes slowly undulating walls beneath the subtly incised surfaces. Part architecture, part mathematical pattern, and part lyrical movement, the sleek ceramic constructions were the subject of a major survey exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City.  Gustavo Pérez is constantly moving, and with each stage of his work he advances and investigates. His works are incessantly experimental. There have been parallel lines, calligraphic traces, geometric cuts into the surface, minimalist vessels, recollections of pre-Hispanic vases and references to other ancient cultures. “There is something distinct about all of these – coherence and synthesis. Material, texture, color and design all correspond in Perez’s works,” writes Alfonso Colorado."

All text taken from here.. 

The mirrors of 
Lorenzo Burchiellaro

"And I've been away, I've been away too long, Too long to be afraid."


But I've seen the way, That bodies lie, And bodies tend to break.  
And I've been away, I've been away too long, Too long to be afraid.
But you know, What you know is better, Is brighter.

 And you know, You know, What you know is better Is brighter --- 
And this is where we were, when I showed you the dark 
Inside of me, in spite of me , On a bench in the park 
You said to me: ---  "This is not you. This is not you.. This is not you!" 

(lyrics by future islands)


DISC Interiors on Domaine Home

An Eclectic and Modern LA Home : DISC Interiors blends a couple’s beautiful collection of artwork and travel finds  with cutting-edge décor and a calm palette. (via here)

We are incredibly excited that our latest project was featured on Domaine Home this past week.  Read the entire story, and view the collection of photos on Domaine..

"These eclectic pieces juxtapose beautifully with the home’s elegant 1940s architectural details, like wainscoting and heavy paneling, and it’s no coincidence. “Our goal was to seamlessly blend the traditional architecture with their eclectic modern aesthetic,” David John says. “We worked with some original colors in the home, but we selected a new, tonal palette that suited their furniture better and opened up the rooms.” The previous owner had painted the master bedroom a delicious dark-chocolate hue, but DISC elevated the whole room by painting the ceiling and trims white and having color-matched linen drapes custom made. “We installed the drapery almost to the ceiling to extend the room’s height, making it feel even taller,” he says.

 “Combined with cutting edge design, for example Jamie Hayon’s Ro Chair that we purchased 
for the home,there’s a blend of objects they’ve collected from their travels 
that make the home feel personal.”

"Step outside to the property’s quiet and spacious outdoor patio and pool, and you’ll be surrounded towering hedges and mature trees — it feels miles away Shield’s image of LA sprawl."

thank you Domaine!

All photography by D. Gilbert photography

new works by Caste 

"the geography of his home state, Montana, is a direct influence on these primitive modern designs."

"CASTE is designed by Ty Best.  Inspired by a desire to combine his sculpture with functional objects, the first pieces were created in 2007.  Ty’s background as a sculptor is evident in the unique shapes and proportions. Ty was raised in Montana and lives there today; the geography of his home state is a direct influence on these primitive modern designs.  All pieces are made in the USA of noble materials including bronze, steel, marble, oak and walnut.  CASTE is proud to collaborate with artisans to create a collection that is a mixture of old world technique and modern design."

view the entire collection here.

Gallery BAC
Table lamp in roughly finished unglazed stoneware by Vallauris potter Albert Thiry 

"Table lamp in spherical form with neck and foot, in roughly finished unglazed stoneware with dry brush staining partially applied evoking the sense of a cave painting by Vallauris potter Albert Thiry, France 1950s.”Thiry” and “”Vallauris” painted on underside."

via Gallery BAC 

"Design Odyssey"
 Property from the Collection of Trip Haenisch 

American Studio Armchair, 1978 Sculpted, turned wood 50 x 25 x 21 in (127 x 63.5 x 53.34 cm) Incised with artist's cipher, dated '78 and numbered #1 Estimate $1,000 - $1,500

"An auction from the collection of renowned interior designer Trip Haenisch, known for the layered, laid-back California aesthetic that he has brought to the homes of clients from Edward Norton to Courteney Cox. Juxtaposing pieces from different eras and origins, offerings range from French Art Deco furniture and Turkish rugs to Surrealist ceramics and mid-century modern woodwork. "

Pop Up Preview 19-20th at 8619 Melrose Ave 10-5. 

more info here at Paddle 8

Recent conversations are leading to new paths...

Wu wei: "Wu may be translated as not have or without; Wei may be translated as do, act, serve as, govern or effort. The literal meaning of wu wei is "without action", "without effort", or "without control", and is often included in the paradox wei wu wei: "action without action" or "effortless doing". The practice of wu wei and the efficacy of wei wu wei are fundamental tenets in Chinese thought and have been mostly emphasized by the Taoist school. 

One cannot actively pursue wu wei. 

It is more a mere observation of one's behavior after they have accepted themselves for who they are and release conscious control over their lives to the infinite Tao.

images above:
1. Casamidy, mirror
2. Olson Kundig Architects, fire.

"In gestures that wipe away what we can only assume lies beneath the surface, 
Syed makes space for absence." 

SHAAN SYED - One Minus One 
March 20 – April 18, 2014 @ Ana Cristea Gallery

"Negation and loss play an inherent role in the production of Syed’s paintings. As opposed to the additive construction of the multimonochromes of Ellsworth Kelly, which have been described in their approach as 1+1=1, Syed builds his works from a reductive construction that separates and isolates, rather than joining together. The use of filler has become a predominant component of Syed’s large-scale paintings. This collaboration began when Syed used the material to return a textured surface to a blank slate.  Its fast-drying, colorless and utilitarian qualities won the artist over and have since found a greater presence in his practice. In this body of work, the surface area of the filler swells to take over the painting.  The filling in and the covering over signify just as much as the impasto of the colors reveal. "

Ana Cristea Gallery  
521 West 26th Street 
New York, NY, 10001 


new lighting by Bert Frank

Now we're going down, And I can feel the eyes are watching us 
so closely oh I'm trying not to make a sound, cause I'll be found out somehow.. (Haim)

New lighting out of the UK by a company called Bert Frank.  Finshes in brass,black, and old English white!   - David John

"Bert Frank items are designed to oppose the throw away culture we live in today and are built to last at least as long as you will. During this time they will age and mature with you. The brass will soften and darken (unless you don't want it to and treat it to a little polish) and any knocks or scratches it may pick up over the years will add to its story. That's how we see them anyway, if you don't, you can always book them in for a recondition session."

"Shear Wall Light: this versatile wall light is perfect for bedsides, kitchens or anywhere a wall mounted task light is required.."

view the whole collection here...

"In Gutai, matter is the true vehicle of expression. It represents nothing other than itself. The ego of the artist never prevails over it. The artist is at the behest of the medium. Gutai is about the concrete: that is its essence. A painting does not have to represent a landscape or still life: it does not have to represent anything at all. Instead it presents itself in all its pure materiality. 

Paint is paint; found canvas is canvas… It is what it is."

Strings II (front), 1959, burlap, strings, oil on canvas

Tsuyoshi Maekawa's solo exhibition at Axel Vervoordt Gallery 

Opening in presence of the artist on March 13th, from 6-9pm. 
Exhibition runs from March 13th 'till May 3rd.  

"The work of Tsuyoshi Maekawa is an ode to matter. As is common to the art of all Gutai artists, his practice entails an authentic and personal approach with great respect for the material in all its purity. The tactility he manages to convey is deeply moving. 

With Maekawa the primary index is the artist’s hands, mind and eyes combined, which actively confront the material. The traces expressed in the coarse fabric, whether it is mounted on canvas, squared, ripped, folded, creased, painted over, tied together or glued, are dependent on the various decisions the artist makes when he is caught in the midst of creative flow. What we as viewers are privileged to see (and experiences) is the residue of that process. Every splash or fold is the result of an active decision. The viewer is drawn along by the brute force of the momentum it expresses and taps into the multiplicity of options it proposes.   

Maekawa’s art travels down many roads: it is an art of possibility. His work shows us common materials as we have never seen them. A multitude of wrinkles swept round in curved formation, evokes patterns that seem familiar; perhaps it is their playfulness we recognize; or that gentle interplay of light and dark, echoing rhythms that remind us of the patterning of an animal hide or the plan of some primeval city structure. These associations were never intended by the artist, but the work strikes a chord with countless archetypal residues that sit in our collective unconscious.   

Maekawa’s work tells us about our place in the world. It does so, not through images or representations, but via the material, which stands for itself."

more here...