We never formulated a set of guiding principles but there is a lot of learnings compressed in briefings and the international creative sprit and friendship brings us closer together. However, if we would need to sum it up, all comes down to three major points: We always wished to establish local networks and be relevant in those. Considering this, we have creatives from global places who interview and shoot the locals, eventually leading to professional satellite teams around the world which are also supporting us internationally within our Creative & Cultural Consulting and Production Agency FvF Productions
The second major point is our digital workflow and the internet which makes it possible for us to easily stay in contact with everyone around the world. Our whole workflow is based around digital tools like google docs, skype, dropbox, email and do.com and makes it easy for us to work remotely and have a scaleable and organically and international growing team.
The third major point is that all of the contributors, similar to our guests, are people and friends who inspire us, enrich our magazine, and above all are the very base of Freunde von Freunden.
Hailing from literally all over the world, from urban faces like New York, Beirut, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Istanbul and of course Berlin, it is thanks to those particular beings that we have been able to spread our social core from one foreign place to the next.
They are the ones who have taken meaningful, unadulterated portraits of our guests and friends in their homes. They are the ones who have had genuine conversations with known strangers and written interviews that only wished to narrate the real picture.
Who are these people, what do they look like, what inspires them to do what they do, what’s one of their favourite memories or misfortunes, where do they like to hide when it is necessary, what epiphanies have they had lately?
From this week on, we want to introduce to you on a weekly basis our contributors from around the world, providing you with answers to all those questions and we will start with our good friend David John from Los Angeles.
We also want to take this chance and let you know that we are always open for creative and inspiring suggestions that can contribute to our magazine. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas or if you would like to join and support the team.
David John, Editor, Los Angeles
To work together with David doesn‘t feel like work at all. Every email and conversation on skype provides new inspiration and thanks to him, we already feel a little at home in L.A.
He enriches our magazine by introducing us to great personalities such as Brett Cody Rogers and our latest guest Coryander Friend. As an interior designer and editor, David John is naturally an expert on design and architecture, while also contributing to magazines such as Apartamento, Sight Unseen, and Yatzer. In addition, he recently edited the Wallpaper* City Guide Los Angeles 2013 by Phaidon.
If you wish to see and read more about this creative mind, take a look at his wonderful journal, You Have Been Here Sometime, or view his interior design portfolio at DISC Interiors.
1. What’s essential to your daily routine?
2. Where do you relax or get inspired?
Viewing the sunset/sunrise on our 6th floor rooftop pool in downtown L.A. Our building is in a warehouse district of L.A., and L.A.’s air quality can make for psychedelic paintings in the sky.
3. How has technology influenced you?
I’m eternally grateful for technology. It has given me a chance to collaborate and meet editors in London, Berlin, Madrid, New York, and L.A. with ease. In terms of our interior design work, technology allows us to communicate with our clients, whether through photos on our phones, or through 3-D modeling programs. The internet has completely changed the field of interior design, clients are more informed than ever. I’ve embraced technology and social media, and for me personally, it’s worked.
4. Best travel memory or destination?
I was a suburban and naive teenager, and I traveled for a month in 1990 to 7 different cities in what was then called the Soviet Union. It was one of the most difficult trips of my life, in terms of emotion, but it also awakened me to the world. Perhaps, one day I’ll be able to capture my thoughts and emotions more eloquently in words.
My second favorite travel destination was in Western Nevada at Diana’s Punch Bowl, an enormous geothermal crater in the middle of nowhere. A few friends and I spent a full day driving on dirt roads searching for this place we had casually read about in a book. Enduring the sun’s heat, looking for this crater, while feeling completely lost and free. There were many points we thought we would run out of gas in the middle of Nevada on these dusty roads, a little bit afraid. Eventually we found the punch bowl at sunset, and the entire sky felt like it opened up. I highly recommend getting lost in Nevada at some point in your life.
5. Your latest artistic discovery (musical, art or design)?
CASTE, who design evocative lighting and furniture out of Montana. They work in materials of bronze, leather, wood, marble, and somehow it comes off as feeling completely futuristic and primal at the same time. Sort of refined chic Mad-Max meets Louise Bourgeois. Another artist that I feel I continue to discover time and time again is Catherine Willis, working out of Paris and Normandy. Her language and sculptural forms intrigue and inspire me to no end.
6. What current global or local topics are you currently fascinated with?
The food revolution and collapsing governments.
7. What is your favorite place when you want to escape from Downtown LA?
Angeles Crest National Park, (20 minutes from our home in downtown L.A.). “A thousand square miles of open space” with waterfalls and views to the ocean on a clear day.
8. Where in the US did you live before and how did LA as a city influence your work?
Prior to living in Los Angeles for 12 years, I lived in San Francisco, Chicago, Scotland, and Tennessee. I’m a bit of a nomad. L.A. is everything to my work, writing and interior design. It is a city full of contradictions and essentially, dreamers. Lots of people come to LA for the opportunity to work in film and find their idea of fame, but that sort of “dreamers” philosophy is present in so many other fields, like architecture and design. There is a certain “space” to the city, that allows people to disappear, to disconnect, and to work, which I personally value.
9. Favorite Gallery in LA at the moment?
Matthew Marks Gallery in West Hollywood. ZELLNERPLUS designed this minimal, almost awkwardly placed gallery on a residential street. Peter Zellner collaborated with Ellsworth Kelly, and they mounted a Kelly sculpture on the outside. If I could live here, I would.
10. Do you have a favorite Design Classic?
Lighting by Jean Royere, furniture of Jacques Adnet, and anything Swedish from the 1930’s.
11. What is your favorite working environment – location, place setup and equipment?
A laptop on a dark plane late at night.
If you wish to find out more about David, visit his blog You Have Been Here Sometime and receive some interior inspiration from the LA designer. Also, watch out for a new portrait hailing soon from the sunny Californian city.
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