Delta Wright

Interiors That Look and Feel Good

DOCENT Briefing No.2 | Design Influences

Delta Wright

Hello and welcome to DOCENT - your guide to design intelligence, creative solutions and earthly beauty.

Today’s DOCENT Briefing highlights the Top 5 Design influences that have shaped my work as an interior designer, design curator, public speaker and life long design devotee. One can’t run a design firm without a clear POV, so here is a look at mine.

MATERIALS AND FORM  | HERZOG & DE MEURON

If I told you the minimalist clarity of artist Donald Judd’s works inspire me, you would immediately understand my love for Herzog & de Meuron architecture. HdM’s approach to architecture mirrors my own approach to spatial design - refined elements of modernism exist while playfully pushing the boundaries of surface and materiality. Their projects almost always embody a simple complexity. It’s hard to pick a favorite HdM project, but the innovative use of rammed earth, the purist form and bold composition make their Ricola Kräuterzentrum a stand out for me. I’m including the gold clad entrance at their Barcelona Forum as another favorite detail.

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COMPOSITION AND EXPERIENCE | PHILIPPE STARCK

My favorite first lived experience of Philippe Starck was walking into the lobby of the Miami Beach, Delano Hotel in the mid-90s. I was living in NYC and attending Pratt at the time so had spent time at the Paramount and the Royalton. This lobby was full of human hustle, yet the theatrical handling of the interior design created a wave of excitement inside me. I felt hypnotized by the playful use of opposing scales and the insertion of unexpected elements. I didn’t want to leave the magical space and can still close my eyes and transport myself there. This is the experience I long to create for my clients - a sanctuary for the soul. Philippe Starck taught me the poetics of space. I fully embrace his utopian ideals that aim straight for the heart and highlight the essential.

Delano Hotel Lobby, Miami Beach

Delano Hotel Lobby, Miami Beach

Repetition and Scale

Repetition and Scale

ORDER AND BOLD SIMPLICITY | LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE

In the late 30’s when this visionary German architect landed in my home state of Illinois to teach architecture, my destiny was changed years before I was born. Mies is the grandfather of modernism, a new architectural style he forged with extreme clarity and a deep belief in the power of simplicity. My aesthetic and ethos is built on his vision of minimal architecture that creates free-flowing open spaces. His “skin and bones” approach to architecture guides my creative process and helps me balance the emotional needs of interior design with the technicality of architecture. When in doubt in a middle of a project, I recite Mies –“less is more” and “God is in the details”.

Farnsworth House. Plano, Illinois

Farnsworth House. Plano, Illinois

Lakeshore Drive Apartments

Lakeshore Drive Apartments

EXPERIMENTAL, COLORFUL AND BOLD | PATRICIA URQUIOLA

Lest you think I am all minimalism and no play, I submit my love for the creative fusion that is Patricia Urquiola. What most appeals to me in Patricia’s work is her dedication to rethinking and reimagining tradition and materials. I see her as a design innovator, inventor and storyteller. Her mastery of several related subjects – from architecture to textiles to color theory – allow her to work in an interdisciplinary way. The result is a magical combination of play and pragmatism and poetics and function. She doesn’t reject the past, she brings it into the present in a fresh way. I am fascinated by her creative process and always feel refreshed when coming across her work.

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QUIET ELEGANCE AND NUANCED BEAUTY  | ANNABELLE SELLDORF

And lastly, my appreciation for Annabelle Selldorf who remains faithful to crisp lines and clean proportions of early modernism but also adds a feminine elegance to the canon. Her “gentle modernism” feels like a maturation of the architecture style and one that is well suited for this particular moment. I admire her commitment to architecture deeply rooted in humanism, which soothes my soul. Not surprisingly, her firm is a favorite of galleries and cultural institutions who seek out her elegant and refined spaces to elevate works of art. And that just might be the subject of my next DOCENT briefing – the power of well curated art to bring a space to life.

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Putting together this list of my Top 5 design influences, I realized they all studied architecture and were committed to the principles of modernism. I suppose this summarizes my approach to interior design nicely. I see interiors in conversation with their exterior environments. One naturally feeds off the other. Balancing the needs of both keeps my right and left-brain happy.

If you enjoyed this DOCENT Briefing, send me a note or feel free to pass it along to a fellow design enthusiast.

 Until next time,

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Hello and welcome to DOCENT

DOCENT IntroductionDelta WrightComment
Photographed by Stephanie Kleinman at The Casa Perfect

Photographed by Stephanie Kleinman at The Casa Perfect

Welcome to DOCENT - your guide to design intelligence, creative solutions and earthly beauty.
Led by me, Delta Wright an interior designer, design curator, public speaker, occasional songstress and life-long design enthusiast, DOCENT briefings will land in your inbox 2x’s a month with well-researched dispatches from the world of art and design.

A bit more about me -

My passion for both the technical and aesthetic aspects of design started early when I took over my father’s workshop to create a split-level modernist environment for my entourage of miniature animals. Function and beauty have always been equal creeds in my design education, from decoding the genius of iconic designers at the Pratt Institute to creating unique homes for clients from Santa Monica to Saudi Arabia.

My obsession with learning the “how and why” of design has lead to an enormous amount of design research.  I regularly attend exhibitions, travel and attend design events to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. My 25 years of creating interiors has also taught me that all knowledge is provisional - until you APPLY it.  

I am launching DOCENT as a way to share my passion for design research, my interest in solving design-related problems and my innate affinity for beauty. DOCENT celebrates design intelligence and is created for those who appreciate design history, have an interest in provenance and enjoy the stories behind the designers and craftspeople that created the objects we own and love.

DOCENT is my homage to knowledge – a nod to the creative thinkers, inventors who tinkered until they found solutions and a deep bow to the beauty makers. DOCENT is both my creative outlet and my response to the current moment of overwhelm and disillusionment. When we focus on solutions, elevate intelligence and reach for beauty, our work (and lives!) come into harmonious balance.

Keep your eye out for DOCENT briefings in your inbox. In my next post, I’ll share the design influences that shape my POV.  In the meantime, I want to hear from you. What in the world of design are you curious to learn more about?  Tell me your top design challenges…my interest is piqued...

Looking Forward--

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A Note From Delta

Delta Wright

Here's what I want you to know -

Creating a home that soothes your soul, ignites your imagination, or hosts your family's milestones has never felt more vital. This generation is cocooning, entertaining and working from home more the ever. Contemporary lifestyles require a new approach to creating spaces to live, work and play.

I get it, because I live it.

I see interior design as an opportunity to express your truest personality and values - an act of self-love. Today, design choices are abundant, virtual dream homes are created with tech savvy, but the secret to creating a home that elevates your life is time honored - it requires love, time and expertise.

That's where I come in.

Combining my keen eye for beauty and harmony, with my 20 years design experience and my soulful artistic flair, I help clients create interiors that sing, not shout.

My affinity for organic modernism, nature and unexpected artistic elements always shows up in my work. I feel interiors designed with clarity and simplicity form the best canvas for bold personal expression through distinctive details.

With great pleasure, I simplify the interior design process for you when you are looking to bring soul home. By asking the right questions and listening to your story, I identify what is essential to you, edit out the rest and help you create your own slice of heaven.

I look forward to working together—

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