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FALL, 2019 -Program



Convo By Design has teamed up with designers Studio AkikoKevin Isbell Interiors, and John McClain Design to create an intimate lounge which will host all WestEdge panel discussions, plus workshops and thought-provoking conversations led by Convo By Design.

Hear from leading names in the design industry on a variety of topics throughout all the days of the fair. Programs are complimentary and included in the price of admission (unless otherwise noted below), and seating is first come-first serve.

About Convo By Design:

Convo By Design, the podcast celebrating Southern Califronia’s rich diverse and incredibly talented design and architecture community since 2013. Get in on the conversation on the ‘socials’ and subscribe to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts.


10:30-11:30 AM | Brand Development Series: The Firm Upgrade, Here’s How

Designers and architects are pushed to do more with less time to do it. Sole proprietors and large firms all face the same challenges. Learn and employ techniques from this panel of branding experts.

Moderated by: Josh Cooperman, Convo By Design
Featuring: Alex Abramian, Journalist and Magazine Editor; Jeff Andrews, Jeff Andrews Design; Cleo Murnane, Project M+; and Keon Khajavi-Noori, Xander Noori Design

11:45 AM-12:45 PM | What’s My Line: Learn from Experts How to Create Your Signature Design Line

Creation of a signature line is on the bucket list of many if not most design creatives.  Don’t know where to start? This is the place for you. Learn strategies about design, manufacturing. From shipping to showroom sales. If you are ready to launch a signature brand. Don’t miss this conversation.

Moderated by: Alex Abramian, Journalist and Magazine Editor
Featuring: Sue Firestone, SFA Design, Interior Designer; Christopher Grubb, Arch-Interiors Design Group; Gray Malin, Photographer; Xander Noori, Xander Noori Design; and Leslie Shapiro, Shapiro Joyal Studio

1:00-2:00 PM | Southern California Economic Outlook for Design, Architecture and Real Estate

Southern California has a dynamic economy. Development is robust, real estate is booming, and prices are rising. What is fueling this vibrant economy and what are the current projections for the next two years? How do designers, architects and developers plan for what is expected? We take a look at prevailing factors and present an informed conversation about the future.

Moderated by: Lisa Bingham Dewart, Homes Editor, Luxe Interiors + Design
Featuring: Doug Burdge, Burdge and Associates Architects + ReBu; Tatum Kendrick, Studio Hus; and Bret Parsons, Compass Real Estate


2:15-3:15 PM | Media Masterclass: Content Creation Workshop 

Designers and architects who are on social media and have a website are publishers. Are you producing and distributing the content your clients want? Does your message and delivery draw them in to return for your engaging updates? Raise your game, elevate the conversation and publish like the media pro.

Moderated by: Josh Cooperman, Convo By Design
Featuring: Becky Allison, BEQ Design; Sheila Gibson, Aura IP Law; and Peter Christiansen Valli, Photographer

3:30-4:30 PM | Your Canvas for Outdoor Memories

Join passionate, industry-leading designers and specialists for a fun and dynamic discussion on the emerging trends of outdoor design, cooking and space activation. We will explore fast-evolving consumer preferences in outdoor living, the growing popularity of women and grilling, and how progressive brands are addressing needs of designers, builders and consumers with innovative offerings to elevate outdoor experiences for unforgettable moments for years to come.

Moderated by: Ryan Bloom, Urban Bonfire
Featuring: Patty Dominguez, VP of A+D Sales, Cosentino North America; Cesar Giraldo, Interior Designer; and Annette Reeves, lifestyle advisor with PIRCH

Presented by:




10:30-11:30 AM | Modern World: Life Without Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on design and architecture has been profound to say the least. But what if he had chosen another profession over architecture? Join us for an exploration into Frank Lloyd Wright’s contributions to modern design with reflections on a world without him.

Moderated by: Carol Bishop, FORM Magazine
Featuring:Margaret Bach, Margaret Bach Design; Carlo Caccavale, Executive Director at American Institute of Architects; David Coffey, Director at The Design Thinking Academy; and Michael Lehrer, Lehrer Architects (LA)

11:45 AM-12:45 PM | Epic Spaces & Favorite Places

Online access has given us the world at our fingertips (minus the smells and tastes). We are closer to more global experiences now than ever before– watching a volcano erupt, riding the longest elevator in the tallest building, and entering the newly designed lounge in Paris’ Hotel Crillon are just a few of the experiences available to us virtually. But for some, that’s just not good enough. True desire for travel is tasting, treasure hunting, discovery, and connecting with local people and cultures, which all add fuel to the fire of design inspiration. Journey along on this conversation about amazing spaces and exotic places, and see how these top design talents bring their experiences back with them to create lasting impressions.

Moderated by: George Smart, Host of US Modernist Radio
Featuring: Massimo Buster Minale, Buster + Punch; Tom Parker, Fettle; Alison Pickart, Interior Designer; John McClain, Interior Designer; and David Thompson, Assembledge+

1:00-2:00 PM |Rock Stars, Rebels & Raconteurs

Strong ideas and magnetic personalities have catapulted certain designers to fame. Learn how these designers have buried their fears and learned to embrace authenticity, as they share their stories most effectively and encourage you to do the same.

Moderated by: Erika Heet, Editor in Chief at Interiors Magazine
Featuring: Jean Brownhill, Sweeten; Lori Dennis, Lori Dennis Inc; Ryan Saghian, Ryan Saghian Interiors


2:15-3:15 PM | California Crafted: Amazing Kitchens

What’s new in kitchen design? Innovative technologies, new materials and creative uses of traditional spaces are just a few ways designers are changing the way we think and look at kitchens. Learn from top designers how they are redefining this ‘heart of the home’ and elevating the space where we cook and connect.

Moderated by: Susan McFadden, Editor in Chief and Co-Founder of California Homes
Featuring: Barry Bredvik, Signature Kitchen Suite; Shirry Dolgin, ASD Interiors; Laurie Haefele, Haefele Design; Kristi Nelson, KM Nelson Design; and Julia Wong, Julia Wong Designs

3:30-4:30 PM | Small Space, Big Style

As tiny living gains popularity and the micro luxe concept grows, learn how you can maximize every square foot for maximum effect. Here’s an insider view of how innovative ideas and design solutions can help create a high-impact, small-space environment. Size doesn’t necessarily always matter, right? Often cleverness wins!

Moderated by: Christopher Grubb, Arch-Interiors Design Group
Featuring: Pietta Donovan, Pietta Donovan Interiors; Jason Lai, L2 Interiors; Lynnea Schweiters, Lynnea Jean Interior Design; Nicolette Tsukamoto, Studio Akiko



10:30-11:30 AM | The Collectors: Collected Clutter Made Impeccably Designed Collections

Many if not most of us have gathered and keep “treasures.” These collections represent the curiosity and vitality of life adventures and are, at least we hope, to be incorporated into our living spaces. Today’s ensemble of creatives have achieved mastery incorporating treasures into the design of their clients’ dreams. Learn strategies that make for a smoother process when showcasing collections.

Moderated by: George Smart, Host of US Modernist Radio
Featuring: Kevin Isbell, Kevin Isbell Interiors; Laura Muller, Four Point Design Build;  Jules Wilson, Jules Wilson Design Studio

11:45 AM-12:45 PM | Design Diversity: Crafting Our World the Way it Should Be

Diversity is crucial to great design, not only in style and materials but perspective as well. How is the design and architecture space addressing social issues regarding race and gender? How can we do better and be the best we can be?

Featuring: Bridgid Coulter, Bridgid Coulter Designs; Breegan Jane, Designer, Entrepreneur and Lifestyle Expert; Brian Pinkett, Landry Design Group; Ron Woodson, Woodson & Rummerfield‘s House of Design

1:00-2:00 PM | Inside Out: Blurring the Lines Between Indoor and Outdoor Living

California has long led the design world in providing new ways to blur the lines between inside and outside. The climate, lifestyle and California mindset provide everything, but the bottom line is the design itself. True indoor-outdoor living is less about windows, doors and walls than it is about a combination of skill, material mastery and topographical strategy.

Moderated by: Christopher Gialanella , Modern Luxury
Featuring: Joan Barton, Dirty Girl Construction; Stephen Block, Antiques Dealer and Exterior Landscape Designer; Bret Englander, Cerno; Duan Tran, KAA Design


2:15-3:15 PM | Learning from Masters to Becoming One

Mentoring, historically known as apprenticeship, is a gift ~ from those who already know, to those wanting and willing to learn. In turn, the gift can pay it forwards and backwards, bettering the entire industry. Such is the story of Genevieve Trousdale, cultivated by master designers Timothy Corrigan and Michael Berman, who has gone on to blaze her own design trail. None of us get where we want to go without some help; from a generous few willing to give it. This is a story about giving back and the return of the favor.

Moderated by: Josh Cooperman, Convo By Design
Featuring: Michael Berman, Michael Berman Limited; Timothy Corrigan, Timothy Corrigan Inc.; Genevieve Trousdale, Circa Genevieve

3:30-4:30 PM | Healthy Places Make Healthy People

presented by the US Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Did you know that air quality in your home or workplace is typically two times worse than air quality outside?  Join our round table discussion on the materials and environment in the places we live and how your choices affecting the health of the space are just as critical as those affecting your style.

Moderated by: Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA
Featuring: Brady Zaitoon, Angel City Lumber; Gordon Stott, Connect Homes; and Lori Tierney, Tierney Management, LLC

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