David Rockwell is the founder and CEO of Rockwell Group, an award-winning architecture-design practice based in New York. Notable projects include design for the restaurant Nobu, the W Hotel group and the JetBlue terminal at JFK. He has recently launched a fabric collection for Jim Thompson (available at Fox Linton).
He is a guest speaker at the London Design Week 2012 lecture ʻStorytelling Through Designʼ on Monday 12 March at 3pm.
What made you choose a career in architecture and design?
There have been a couple of defining moments in my early life: my mother ran a community theatre in New Jersey when I was little, which introduced me to the choreography of space and the impact of lighting and narrative. When my family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, I became hyper aware of the importance of community-driven spaces. Ever since I founded Rockwell Group, I have tried to fuse these interests into architecture and design projects.
It’s hard to pick a career highlight because every year brings new and amazing surprises and turning points. One recent project that is extremely close to my heart is our Imagination Playground initiative. As a father of two young kids, I’ve always been interested in creating an innovative play environment that encourages unstructured, child-directed “free play.”
What makes inspirational design?
Whenever anyone asks how to make it in the design world I always tell them to be obsessively curious, experimental and playful, and always in search of the new. Good design is really defined by relevance, a point of view, thoughtfulness and awareness.
What are the things driving you in 2012?
I’m inspired by the seemingly limitless opportunities to experiment and expand whether that comes from interactive technology, theatre production, strategic thinking, or new materials and design techniques.
Describe your perfect day…
Some of my favourite moments in my day are taking my kids to school, reaching that “Ah-ha” moment in a brainstorming meeting or decompressing with my thoughts at the end of the day in my swivelling chair on the roof of my loft.