Amanda Dameron Dishes on Dwell on Design LA

Dwell’s Editor in Chief tells us what’s in store for America’s largest design event

by Angelica Marino
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There are just three days left to the start of the LA edition of Dwell on Design and I, personally, can’t wait to see what’s in store!  America’s largest design event is curated by the editors of Dwell magazine: the people behind the pages of the uber contemporary, irresistibly welcoming spaces you dream about as you sip your morning coffee; those houses which so perfectly epitomize the tagline “At Home in the Modern World”. Dwell on Design is three days of that, plus products, services, conversations with industry experts, home tours, and more. Understand my excitement now?


Dwell on Design is the physical manifestation of the magazine. And as with all great publications, behind every page of Dwell, there is a team of people with an eye for beauty, people who work tirelessly to take what’s new and significant in the design world and put it in your hands, people skilled in the art of teleportation, people who can transport you—from your kitchen table, your morning commute, your staff room lunch break—to places which are new and inspiring. And behind those people, there’s Amanda Dameron.


Amanda was appointed Editor in Chief of Dwell in 2008, after having worked with Architectural Digest and other major design publications. Her work has been featured in a number of international titles such as Los Angeles Magazine and Urbis. You may recognize her from her TV stint as a judge on Ellen’s Design Challenge on HGTV, where she dishes out her design wisdom upon eager contestants.


Ms. Dameron is also the best suited person to tell you what to expect from this year’s edition of Dwell on Design LA and I had the pleasure of asking her to do so.  Here, she sounds off on this year’s show and on what’s exciting in the design world today.



(Courtesy of Peter Williams)


Can you give us a brief history of Dwell on Design and tell us how it has evolved? Does the fact that it is curated by the magazine’s editors add anything in particular or set it apart from other design events?


Dwell on Design started ten years ago and in the decade that's passed, the show has grown exponentially each year in its scope, its attendee numbers, and its authority. Today, every magazine seems to have their own conference but Dwell, led by Michela O'Connor Abrams, was one of the first to really develop as a content-led experience that transcended the notion of what a trade show should or could be. The entire company works on Dwell on Design, all year long—it's not just an event we execute twice a year. It's a driving force that is integrated into everything that we do.



We’re already beside ourselves with excitement for Dwell on Design LA. But tell us, what specifically should we be excited about for this year’s event?


I'm thrilled that world-renowned designer Marcel Wanders will be our keynote this year. The way that he has guided his creative life and his company is an inspiring journey, and I think that anyone interested in a career in design—furniture makers, marketers, buyers, industrial designers—will be fascinated by his point of view.



What, for you, are some of the most pressing topics in modern design and how will they be touched upon at the show?


Top of mind are issues related to preservation and resiliency—protecting the idea that when we expend resources to build, we should build to last. Other issues in the Zeitgeist explored onstage will be driverless cars, the future of transportation and what that means for our existing infrastructure, the ever-present "Internet of Things" and what that means for our privacy and security, the changing role of hospitality, live/work space and travel as dictated by industry leaders like Airbnb, and the current push toward designing for smaller spaces (just to name but a few!)


(Courtesy of Brandon Shigeta)


Dwell Home Tours feature homes picked out by Dwell’s editorial staff. What do these spaces feature? How are they chosen?


Home tours are such an important part of Dwell on Design, because it not only gives our audience an opportunity to see exceptional homes in person, it also affords them the chance to speak directly to the architects, designers and homeowners behind it all. Each of the homes encapsulate a modern sensibility, whether that's expressed in the siting, the layout, the materials chosen or the various building methodologies employed in the construction. They are all enviable spaces meant to inspire and herald the particular artistry of the architects, designers, builders and contractors. We choose them based on the aesthetic merits explored above, as well as their ease of access. Remember, 500 people walk in and out of these homes over the weekend—they have to be easy to get in and out of!



How do you think LA fits into the design scene at this moment?


Los Angeles is such a rich landscape for all manner of creative design, and for modern design and architecture in particular. This is why so many of the modern masters found a home there after fleeing Europe—the environment allows for indoor/outdoor living like no other in this country, and certainly it is true that due to the entertainment industry driving the economy, there is no dearth of design and build happening at all times! Today's design scene is no exception—there are so many gifted architects, designers and makers living and working in Los Angeles, and with its particular regional makeup, both geologically and demographically speaking, the city is poised to be a leader as it relates to the future of the well-built environment.



What will visitors take away from this year’s event?


As with anything Dwell does, I hope that the audience will leave our conference feeling inspired and edified about the power and possibility of modern design.



Which of the latest developments in the design world fascinate you most and what upcoming trends should we look out for?


I remain constantly in awe of the dizzying level of innovation I'm seeing in building solutions related to smaller, denser living environments—transformable furnishings, new prefab technologies, textiles and other soft goods that mitigate sound interference, I could go on and on. I think the consumer wants to know that if they choose to spend hard-earned money on well-designed items, there is an expectation that those items will not only last longer—they will also do double-duty or at the very least "work" in every sense of the word, offering value that goes far beyond simply looking good in the beginning.


Be sure to check out Dwell on Design from May 29th-31st at the LA Convention Center.

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