1stdibs and Surface Present:
Design Dialogues No. 15

On December 10, dozens of design aficionados gathered at the offices of 1stdibs in lower Manhattan for Design Dialogues No. 15, presented jointly by 1stdibs and Surface contemporary design magazine. While snow flurries whirled outside, soul-warming cocktails courtesy of Corzo Tequila flowed freely inside. At 7 p.m, guests took their seats and the program commenced: a lively discussion between Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, the husband-and-wife co-founders of interior design firm Roman and Williams, and Dennis Freedman, the creative director of Barneys New York and a passionate collector. Surface editor Spencer Bailey played the role of moderator.

The topic at hand was, broadly, collecting design, in all its forms. Freedman, who, prior to Barneys, worked as the founding creative director of W for nearly 20 years, spoke about his longtime interest in Italian design, particularly the Radical movement of the 1960s, whose origins lay in the day’s politics and university classrooms as opposed to any commercial outlets. Alesch and Standefer, who got their start as Hollywood set designers and whose notable projects include the Ace Hotel and the Boom Boom Room at the Standard, in New York, and the Facebook offices, in Palo Alto, spoke about determining authenticity in objects and their tendency to gravitate towards pieces that show the hand of the maker.

See some highlights of the night’s event below — and keep an eye out for the next Design Dialogues.

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