Mozer and Associates, Ltd.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
Sitting at a table with clients, designer-collaborators, contractors, and folks from factories exploring alternative ideas with a sketch pad.
What are the biggest challenges facing designers today?
Creating more relevance for the design by accepting greater responsibility for the social and economic results of a project—being at once global and local.
What advice would you give to design students or those just starting out in the field?
To apply lessons from method acting to understanding one's clients, to understand the spreadsheet as a design tool, and to dirty their hands with pencil lead and clay, machine oil, metal shavings, gypsum, and sawdust.
What do you consider to be the worst design idea of the last 100 years?
The idea that buildings are Machines for Living is limiting. Buildings should be conceived of as living beings with complex personalities and symbiotic relationships with both the biosphere and multiple human communities.
What inspired your career choices?
Magical realist writing (in which there is no border between reality and imagination), and a related wish to step into an abstract-expressionist painting or a hand-colored biological electron-microscope image, and live there.
If you could have selected another career, what might you have been?
What would you like to leave as your legacy?
Three happy and productive kids excited about creating more happy and productive kids
How do you foresee the future of hospitality design changing?
The era of rolling out predictable environments has created soulless buildings and homogenized cities. The future is unpredictable. Hospitality designs should be organic, place-specific, idiosyncratic, artful, and infused with technology solely bent towards making environments higher-touch—not high-tech—easier to use, more human and democratic, sustainable and consistent with culture. In the future the design community must develop clearer hierarchies for what "sustainable" means with punishment for unsubstantiated green-washing.
What is the best thing you've learned in the past 15 years?
The development of techniques and teamworking skills to translate layered conceptual thinking, observation, and analysis into four-dimensional spaces and handmade objects that populate them.