Working with Scott Heiferman's folks over at Meetup.com, we're expanding our grass roots efforts and supporting readers who want to get together with other readers in their area to discuss design and trade resources. This past month I hosted our 37th meetup in NYC with David Netto as our guest. Three Pratt students were the warm-up band, sharing one design each. Simultaneously, across the country reader meetups formed for the second month in a row.
Pratt student, Alexis Liu, presenting her flat pack stool design
There's no doubt that we're all finding our feet with this new format — a totally unscripted gathering of home design aficionados — and some groups are slower to form than others, but we're learning each month and going to continue to figure out what helps this fledgling movement most. (Good drinks are a given :-)).
Going forward we'll continue to publish these highlights so keep them coming!
Bottom line, it's all about building community and sharing resources, both of which are powerful allies in learning more about design and improving our homes.
David is the designer most famous for changing the nursery furniture business with the introduction of the first stylish modern pieces under the name of NettoCollection in the early 2000s. Here's the full transcript and images from my conversation with David, who also happens to be an old friend, since we attended an all boys elementary school together in NYC.
I just wanted to pass along some pics from last week's meetup. The event was held at Policy, a local restaurant known for its intriguing decor. It was a diverse group including furniture store owners, interior designers, design enthusiasts, and Apartment Therapy's very own Leah Moss.
To facilitate discussion, we created an activity where attendees voted for their favorite room out of a series of images. It was a great exercise that we hope to build on in the future. Additional conversation topics ranged from getting-to-know-you questions to favorite online design resources to "greige." My discussion group even had a moment of silence for Domino and Met Home magazines.
The evening culminated with the "Big Book" raffle. After the winner's name was announced, the group let out a collective moan of disappointment followed by a lone "yay!" followed by a burst of laughter. Apparently, EVERYONE wanted to win that book. It was quite funny.
We received really great feedback from attendees. Many commented on the natural flow of conversation — an ease not typically experienced during DC networking events. Another great anecdote: A woman turned to someone she had just met and said "I have two words for you. Darryl Carter." Where else could she say such a thing and people actually know what she's talking about?
We look forward to many more meetups. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions!
Desiré & The Washington DC Reader Meetup
PS — Images by Rachel Wimberley Wagner
I'm very pleased to say the San Francisco Meetup was a success. It was organized by Linda Geiser, co-owner of Wallter. (www.wallter.com)
We had a pretty good turnout at the Axis Cafe, in the Potrero district of the city. Since summer nights in San Francisco aren't exactly warm, we stayed huddled close together around the fire on the patio and got to know each other really well.
In our group we had interior designers, architects, product designers, a film set designer, a professional organizer, a writer, all levels of design enthusiasts, and even a therapist. It was a lot of fun hearing everyone's stories of how we are getting by in this economic down time, which turned out to be very therapeutic for all.
We hope to make it a more regular event, possibly with a monthly discussion topic.
— Linda Geiser & The San Francisco Reader Meetup
Over in Brooklyn, Julia Mack hosted our first Brooklyn meetup and second one in the NYC area and I was able to attend, arriving a little late, after one of the two presenters had spoken. While turnout wasn't as big as we were hoping (we had over 30 rsvps!), the group got a treat not only in meeting artist Susan Woods, and Flavor Paper owner, Jon Sherman, but also in getting a tour of Julia's super cool townhouse. We're really hoping that we can boost the Bklyn meetup crowd this fall.