Written by Patrícia Pinho
Stanley Felderman & Nancy Keatinge are pioneers of the “total design concept”. CovetED Magazine suggests to know more about their outstanding work and the peculiarities of creative design from interiors, architecture, graphics to industrial design, creating a sense of community, consistency and equality of design throughout a space.
CovetED Magazine: How would you describe your work style? Do you have any kind of “signatures” that help to identify the projects?
Felderman Keatinge Associates: We have no signature style. Our work is continually morphing and is an outgrowth of program needs and qualities of our Clients’ key qualities. Transparency, openness, minimalism with a pop and daylight are key to our projects; We also believe that we have to create spaces that people can imprint themselves on. A common thread in our work is to design spaces that have a reference to the heart and soul of our Clients, representing who they are, not who we are.
CovetED Magazine:The entertainment sphere also needs creative design today. Where do you take inspiration from for such big projects?
FKA: The Entertainment industry is about entertaining, but the foundation of the industry is that it is a business. So we always have to meld the function, budget and creative design of a space that inspires. Normally we have a program given to us by a Client such as Viacom, which we reevaluate and offer new insight counter point to the ideas that a Client might come to us with. For Legendary we assisted them in their journey in defining how they wanted to represent themselves and we developed a vocabulary that was reminiscent of old Hollywood with a modern twist.
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Our inspiration comes from our clients and we strive to find a solution that is inspiring to them. It is never about being new and trendy or about imposing our solution on them. It is about offering solutions, breaking away and embracing new ideas. The common theme is not to do what is comfortable and familiar but to investigate ideas and present designs that are new, designs that are unfamiliar . The risk in architecture and design is not in being different or innovative. The risk is in remaining static and predictable. Our goal is not to replicate the familiar – comforting as that may sometime be. Our goal is to provide a bridge to the future.
CovetED Magazine:The readers of our magazine are peculiar regarding Industrial design as well. Where do Felderman Keatinge Associates find the furniture pieces to design in such style?
Do you follow any European designers/brands that encourage to create more?
FKA: We have always designed furniture as part of our interior design. We don’t take the “total design”concept lightly. We started by Stanley designing one of the first ATM machines, and designing lucite furniture in the 70s’, and then together we have designed the office of the future for Steelcase, a collection of tables and chairs for Haworth, China for Sasaki, lighting for Venini.
We like Italian design and spent quite a bit of time there. Italians have a passion for the pieces they design whereas in the United States we are looking at Marketability. We like Citterio’s design and Sante Cole lighting because of their use of material and craftsmanship which is innovative without being trendy. We also like Cappellini furniture and Flos lighting.
CovetED Magazine: The restaurant project Max au Triangle looks really beautiful and unique. What was special about this design spot?
FKA: For both Max Au Triangle and more recently Drago Centro, we provide the design for the furniture, the artwork, menus, signage. The Drago Centro restaurant design is a grand space, a theatrical experience. It’s the kind of restaurant that because of lighting and drop soffits, creates a sense of intimacy that is important in a restaurant. It has a European feel more than a Los Angeles vibe because of the Italian heritage of the chef, and is like a restaurant you might find in Milan.
CovetED Magazine: Felderman Keatinge Associates are always looking for fresh perspectives and new frontiers. What does the company expect from this year?
FKA: We continue to work with Entertainment companies, law firms, and restaurants such as the new Drago at the redesigned Petersen Museum and completing a project in the landmark Chrysler building in New York. Since receiving the Interiors Design Legend Award we have been asked to design some new furniture and textile lines and art commissions for museums and galleries, as well as traveling for speaking engagements. We have also been engaged to design a large scale, 8 – story high programmable lighting installation.
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