dwell on Design Exhibition LA June 2011

Sometimes you walk around a show and find only a few booths of interest – for me it was the opposite here; almost every booth was truly of interest to me and only a very few were not. All of the kinds of designs and presentations that resonate with me were there – I felt so “at home”!

Dwell favorite Herman Miller was on the show floor.

This unique show combines modern design and earth saving solutions in a user-friendly, beautiful, and educational way. I have attended twice in the past three years and this year was the best show yet. It is great to see a show that focuses on attractive, well-designed and real solutions for living “at home in the modern world” which is the tagline for dwell magazine.


I had limited time so I focused on seeing the exhibitors and attending just a few of the talks of the most interest to me. I was sorry to have to pass up some of the exciting features of the show like the electric car and the local house tour. But, I was excited to see so many booths full of items that I actually liked and even coveted!


There was an interesting mix of retail stores, web stores, services, and manufacturers. There were booths on materials, on techniques, with furniture, lighting, appliances, home design, and many, many other things relating to the theme. The presentations were all of interest and included leading design and sustainability experts speaking on all aspects including production, marketing, the latest updates, breakthroughs, etc.

One of the highlights for me was the large area devoted to the highlights of Spanish design.

“This generation is very heterogeneous, and it includes, amongst others: Patricia Urquiola, Jaime Hayón, Curro Claret, Nacho Carbonell, Martin Azua… Juli Capella, the curator of the exhibition, has undertaken the task of research and has selected the most significant and interesting of a new generation of Spanish Designers. He has chosen 21 designers that are and will be key in next decades of the 21st Century.”

Seeing some of these masterpieces gave me a new perspective. There is room for all types of design and I applaud everyone who was brave enough to get their dreams into reality and put their ideas on display for all to see and critique.

After an important design history with such figures as Gaudí, Dalí, and 20th century masters as important as Ricard, Milá, Tusquets, Mariscal, the 21st Century has presented a new generation of Spanish designers that stand out just like Scandinavian, Italian and Dutch Design did in previous decades.

I was thrilled to see some exhibitors from our local San Luis Obispo, CA area there – George Garcia of Garcia Architecture + Design (www.garciaarchdesign.com), Laura Rittenhouse of Laura Rittenhouse Studio Furniture (www.lrstudiofurniture.com), her sister Holly Rittenhouse (from a bit further down the coast at www.hollyrittenhouse.com) and Jory Brigham Furniture (www.jorybrigham.com). It is great to discover that such talented people are producing great things right in your own backyard. We did know George because he has used our fans in some of his projects and also because we’ve seen his teriffic work around our area but we didn’t know of the other two craftspeople. We were very happy to meet them and to meet lots of other passionate, committed exhibitors at the other booths.

If you are interested in modern design, simplicity, reducing your impact on the earth, or just want to meet a great group of people and see lots of cool things, considering making plans to attend dwell on Design next June (www.dod.dwell.com).

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