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The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book by Mimi Love, Chris Grimley, Linda O'Shea

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Job:02-30056 Title: RP-Interior Design Reference and Specification
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PERSPECTIVES ON ELEMENTS:
CALVIN TSAO
26 0
THE INTERIOR DESIGN REFERENCE + SPECIFICATION BOOK
Text
Calvin Tsao, describe yourself and your practice.
As architects, we have an interest in bridging different design disciplines. We have
a profound interest in approaching our work comprehensively, “total design” if you
will; our work as interior designers should be understood in this context. We are
interested in mapping out human behavior for different social conditions. We look at
the world from a larger perspective while advancing an aesthetic; you simply cannot
do one without the other.
Do you have a particular approach to placing furniture in a space?
Ultimately, we look at furniture anthropomorphically and therefore functionally be-
cause furniture is conducive to varying activities. However, I like looking at interior
environments less as a collection of things in a room than as an intersection. Why
draw the line between built-in furniture, loose furniture, and architecture? Some
furniture is already placed because it is built-in and loose furniture is simply an ex-
tension of the whole reality. The envelope creates the space, and the surface can
be altered to make niches, cantilevers, extensions, etc.; sometimes the surface
becomes a table or a four-poster bed. I prefer to blur the boundaries of architecture,
built-in furniture, and loose furniture.
What is your favorite type of space to design/furnish?
I love small, tiny spaces. As a child, I liked to make tents out of my sheets in bed
and under the stairs. Its a very basic impulse and the next line of defense beyond
clothing.
Small spaces lack the bravura of large spaces, and therefore spaciousness isn’t
the primary character. Modest space must be carefully orchestrated and tactility is
an essential quality. Because the distance between the eye and an object is differ-
ent in smaller spaces, you look closer, you touch more. I like the involvement of the
senses when surfaces are closer.
Does your work have a particular style that you can define?
Style? An approach more than a style, really. It depends how you want to define the
word style. One can have a developed taste, but style can be limiting.
Who are the most influential furniture designers of the nineteenth, twentieth, and
twenty-first centuries?
Job:02-30056 Title: RP-Interior Design Reference and Specification
#175 Dtp:216 Page:260
(RAY)
256-265_30056.indd 260 3/4/13 7:55 PM

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