T W G : Design Journal


Paul Wiseman and Inner Spaces author Brian Coleman signing books
Photos by Kate Jerde Cole of Editor At Large

What better place than Carlton Hobbs Antiques, located in the exquisite "Birdie" Vanderbilt Mansion on the Upper East Side, to have a New York City celebration of The Wiseman Group's new book,  Inner Spaces? Owners Carlton Hobbs and Stefanie Rinza were the consummate hosts, and the setting, filled with antique pieces of exceptional merit, made for a spectacular backdrop for the East Coast book launch event. Paul Goldberger's warm introduction sang the praises of Paul Wiseman and his firm's work. Mr. Goldberger's remarks set the stage for a standing room only lecture by Mr. Wiseman covering three of TWG's finest design projects conceived by three of the world's most talented architects.

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger introducing Paul Vincent Wiseman

In addition to showcasing the firm's range of work, the lecture was intended to elucidate The Wiseman Group's design philosophy -- that interior design is very serious business, and not simply the art of making pretty rooms. Human beings have deeply ingrained needs to create homes that are both sanctuaries and reflections of what is meaningful to them. "I believe that good interior design must tap into what the Iroquois called the 'long-body,' our deep psyche’s personal and collective history of meaning. We bring in this element by finding objects, art, or antiques that have 'soul' and are appropriate to the home and client. We feel we have truly succeeded in our work if the resulting living space provides beauty, safety, and creative expression of the psyche!"

Mr. Wiseman giving his talk on "Mindful Design and the Art of Storytelling"
Video by One Dream Sound

Phil Benson, Paul Wiseman, and Brian Coleman

TWG design principal Brenda Mickel and designer Louis Navarrete

TWG CEO Kevin Peters, designer Bunny Williams, and Chase Roberson, assistant to Mr. Wiseman

Joy Venturini Bianchi of San Francisco, Paul Vincent Wiseman, and Jeanne Lawrence of the New York Social Diary

TWG design principal James Hunter and Trevor Watt

Bruce Honeyman, Hara Woltz, and TWG blog author Kirsten Honeyman

Gretchen Berggruen (R) and guest

Hon. Rebecca Wiseman and Brian Coleman

Chiles Wilson, Leslie Wilson, Stacy Benson, and Phil Benson

Phaedra Wilson (left) and John Danzer (center) of Munder Skiles with Taffy Dahl and Donald Kaufman 

Exceptional antiques on display at Carlton Hobbs

Nina Reeves, designer John Lyle, Kory Drahos, and Andrew Joseph of Andrew Joseph PR

Kate Bergeron and Jessica Robb

Kirsten Honeyman and TWG designer Victoria Kennedy

Lovely setting for the bar

Guillermo Martinez and Todd Henderson of Ralph Lauren with Steve Brister of Nella Vitrina

Joseph Aldrich of OC South Magazine and Brian Coleman

Henry Neville of Mallett Antiques and guests

Designer Faye Kitchener Cone with guest

Drew Stevens of Feminist Press and Joel Barkley of Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects

Brina Gehry, City of New York archeologist David Pagano, and Richard N. Snyder

Sondra Whitney, Jeanne Lawrence, and Joan Budd

Bunny Williams and Paul Wiseman

Phaedra Wilson, Ron Brick, and Michael Hill

Kerry Howard and Toma Clark Haines

Kevin Peters, Louis Navarrete, and guest

Robin Seegal and Joy Venturini Bianchi 

Brian Coleman and guest

Edouard Daunas of Martin Patrick Evan, design writer Jorge Arango, and host Carlton Hobbs

Glenn Gissler, Taffy Dahl, Donald Kaufman, and guest

Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli Antiques and Decorations and guest

Jorge Arango and TWG design principal James Hunter

Guest and host Stefanie Rinza

Beautiful gallery of rare pieces



The Wiseman Group is proud to announce that, in addition to an Inner Spaces foreword written by architect Frank O. Gehry, the book will also include a foreword by esteemed architecture critic Paul Goldberger. Given TWG's goal of working seamlessly with the architecture of their projects, it is fitting that these two giants of the architectural world weigh in so enthusiastically on the firm's work.

Mr. Goldberger has an impressive biography. He lays claim to publishing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair -- a triple crown for talented writers. He is the author of several books, most recently Why Architecture Matters, published in 2009 by Yale University Press; Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, a collection of his architecture essays published in 2009 by Monacelli Press, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, published in 2010 by Taschen. He is now at work on a full-length biography of Frank Gehry, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Goldberger!



Kirsten Honeyman with Frank Gehry's "Rose for Lilly" at the Disney Concert Hall in L.A.

Photo - Kimberly Dougherty

Regular readers of the Design Journal will have noticed a lack of activity on the blog of late. Kirsten Honeyman, our blog author has been focusing her full attention on the firm's first interior design book, Inner Spaces, to be published in 2014. Kirsten is part of a team that includes TWG President Paul Wiseman; CEO Kevin Peters; Design Principals James Hunter, Brenda Mickel, and Mauricio Munoz; staff members Chase Roberson and Carrie Swing; author Brian Coleman; and photographer Matthew Millman. The team has been working furiously -- selecting photographs, supplying information about projects, providing design input, and reviewing the manuscript -- to meet deadlines for publisher Gibbs Smith. Everyone is pleased with the progress, and the finished book promises to be a wonderful exploration of the firm's work. There are many exciting aspects of the book project (more on that later), but one of the most thrilling is the contribution of a foreword by Frank O. Gehry, arguably the world's most famous living architect.

A façade of the Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California
Photo - Kirsten Honeyman

With Gehry so much in the forefront of the team's consciousness, Kirsten decided to make two excursions to experience the master’s work. First stop: Gehry's acclaimed Disney Concert Hall. Paul Goldberger, currently a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and previously the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker (1997 through 2011), has described the hall as “surely the most distinguished building” in downtown Los Angeles. “The auditorium is the finest interior Gehry has ever made," Goldberger opined in 2003, noting that the “shape of the hall and its warm rich wood, suggest a musical instrument.” Kirsten was not able to tour the interior of the concert hall, as there was a matinée being performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, but she did capture several images of the building's exterior. She enjoyed roaming the hall's interior public spaces as well as strolling around the perimeter of the building.

Photo - Kirsten Honeyman

Photo - Kirsten Honeyman

Photo - Kirsten Honeyman

Kirsten was completely humbled by her second stop at the Stone Photography Studio in Davis, California. Recently retired from careers as mental health professionals, Andrea and Rob Stone have turned their avid interest in photography into a second career. Andrea has created a portfolio of photographs called the "City Reflections Project," which has been published in three international publications. Many of these large-scale images were taken at Gehry's Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Frank G Interpreted #2
Photo - Andrea Stone

The Bishop
Photo - Andrea Stone

In Gehry's highly reflective metal surfaces, Andrea's artful eye has composed and captured "paintings." She has taken the experience of Gehry's architecture in a wonderful and unexpected direction; her images offer a unique avenue for enjoying Gehry's work -- one that the architect himself might not have foreseen!

Photo - Andrea Stone