Thank you to our WestEdge Theater presenting sponsor Banana Republic Home who created a beautiful stage curated in partnership with Marbé Designs.

The WestEdge 2023 programming and panel talks were co-produced with Convo by Design (CXD) and we are excited to further bring these conversations to live with a 10 episode podcast series that will kick off in January 2024.

We’re offering a limited number of brands the opportunity to sponsor the entire “WestEdge Wednesdays” series and align with the content and ideas shared by 40+ industry thought-leaders at WestEdge 2023. To see the sponsorship outline and benefits, CLICK HERE.

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.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17

11:00 AM- 12:00 PM
Leveling Up: How Minimizing Waste Leads to Better Design and Better Business

The design industry disposes of over 12 million tons of furniture and generates 500 million tons of construction waste in the U.S. every year.  Interior designers, architects, general contractors and manufacturers are spearheading design solutions for a low waste future.  Learn how this is better for our health, the planet and your business.

Moderated by: Jennifer Convy, Women in Luxury Design
Featuring: Claudia Afshar, Claudia Afshar Design; Rachael Grochowski, RHG A+D; and Greg Roth, CarbonShack

12:30-1:30 PM
Behind the Scenes of the Living by Design Virtual Showhouse
+ Book Signing with Bobby Berk

California Home+Design Editorial Director Lindsey Shook catches up with Embello CEO Laiza Cors, and the designers behind the brand’s trailblazing all-virtual showhouse, Living by Design. Design expert and Emmy-nominated TV host Bobby Berk and designer MA Allen weigh in on creating a dream space, digitally, and what the showhouse’s success tells us about the architecture and design industry. Signing with Bobby Berk in honor of his newest book, Right at Home immediately following.

Moderated by: Lindsey Shook, California Home + Design
Featuring: Celebrity interior designers Bobby Berk; Laiza Cors, Embello and MA Allen, MA Allen Interiors

2:00-3:00 PM
Back to Work. From Home?

Hybrid work. Distributed work. Flex work. Remote work. Work work. There is sometimes confusion and often times palpable tension between employees striving for a greater work/life blend and their employers who want to see employees “in” the office.  Designers are defining and showing companies how to make the workplace more optimal, hospitable, and flexible, but will employers listen and adapt? Will the workplace rebound, and will employees return to the office?  Historical data might indicate “yes”, but we are indeed in the midst of an office evolution. Hear from industry experts about the now and next of workplace design, productivity and employee satisfaction.

Moderated by: Cheryl Durst, IIDA
Featuring: Bill Bouchey, Gensler; Sarah Devine, Revel Architecture; Scott Parker, Studio One Eleven; Ashley Richardson, EYRC Architects; and Bjorn Schrader, Abramson Architects

3:30-4:30 PM
How AI Will Revolutionize the D&A Industrial Complex?
Machine Learning is about taking a data set and, through statistical analysis and an algorithm, making predictions for future activities or results. Artificial Intelligence is taking those predictions and, through an interactive model, engaging with us in new ways. How might AI and ML alter the future of the design and architecture industry? Because AI and ML are progressing so rapidly, it is impossible to predict what will be available in 3, 6 or 12 months from now.  But one thing is certain: change IS coming. Will designers lose clients? Perhaps more likely is that those creatives who learn to adapt will gain clients, work more efficiently, and harness the new power of these tools.

Moderated by: Josh Cooperman, Convo By Design
Featuring: Joshua Dawson, Designer/Director and Rachel Joy Victor, Strategist/Designer

5:00-6:00 PM
Empowering Representation: The Asian American Pacific Islander Experience

Sharing their stories and individual journeys toward a career in design, members of the Asian American Pacific Islander Design Alliance (AAPIDA) reflect on the common thread that unites them. Join us for a lively discussion about the importance of representation and advocacy while highlighting how their unique experiences have been the catalyst for creating a diverse and inclusive design community.

Moderated by: Erika Heet, Interiors Magazine
Featuring: Julie Benniardi, ReWeave LA; Peti Lau, Peti Lau Design; Edel Legaspi, LEGASPI COURTS DESIGN; and Will Nguyen, Collective Form

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18

10:30-11:30 AM
Under Construction: Building Communities with Purpose

How can a structure, an inanimate object lead by example? A space can serve as a beacon to what is possible, and address social justice, societal shortcomings, and celebrate excellence, all while fostering a creative environment with those who are like minded. Bridgid Coulter Cheadle, founder of Blackbird House and 3 current members will be sharing their stories and speaking to the benefits and challenges of building community in this fashion.

Moderated by: Bridgid Coulter Cheadle, Blackbird House
Featuring: Lauren Dandridge, University of Southern California; Kynderly Haskins, Kynderly Connection, LLC; and Malinda Williams, Actress, Author, Entrepreneur

12:00-1:00 PM
Up-Cycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Local and Fabulous:
Specifying and Sourcing Locally

Material circularity is ushering in the next level of sustainable design practices. New ideas for  up-cycling, repurposing and bypassing traditional supply chains in support of locally sourced and produced product are gaining momentum. Learn how some of the absolute best in the industry are utilizing previously inconceivable ideas and a new client mindset to craft sublime spaces, shrink their footprint and help build a vibrant and robust local maker community.

Moderated by: Kelly Phillips Badal, Luxe Interiors + Design
Featuring: Lenora Aguilar, Vintage Junktion; Judy Davis, Vintage Junktion; Moya O’Neill, Moya Living; and Nancy Russert, Twist Custom

1:30-2:30 PM
Next Level Design and the Future of Residential Architecture

The idea of home is evolving in response to social, environmental and cultural changes. How do these changes and innovations affect dwellings built to accommodate current and future needs? Hear from this seasoned panel how modern materials, practices and a change in thoughtful design is leading to another golden age of architecture.

Featuring: Duan Tran; KAA Design Group; Alice Kimm, JFAK Architects; David Pascu, Abramson Architects; and Bryn Garrett, EYRC Architects

3:00-4:00 PM
All Roads Lead to SoCal:
Long Live the Creative Experiment
Southern California has long been a place where adventurous creatives of all disciplines could come to create with other like-minded dreamers—where a designer could draft and see their masterpiece come to life only to realize it wasn’t right, shake it out like a giant Etch-A-Sketch and start again. Now, in a post-pandemic world, it is incumbent upon that very spirit for a new generation of creatives to address and overcome the seemingly endless barrage of challenges. And, they will, because that’s what they do. This is how…

Moderated by: Frances Anderton, Design Journalist
Featuring: Sara Malek Barney; BANDD/DESIGN; Leo Marmol, FAIA; and Christine Vroom, Christine Vroom Interiors

4:30-5:30 PM
The Importance of Design with Cliff Fong
Interior designer, Cliff Fong and his firm, Matte Black, have earned critical acclaim for their authentic and meaningful design. Fong’s new showroom, faire du vert, features indoor and outdoor garden space with an emphasis on architectural vessels and rare plant material. Join this one-on-one conversation exploring form +function lead to spaces that inspire and improve the quality of life.

Moderated by: Josh Cooperman, Convo By Design
Featuring: Cliff Fong, Matt Blacke, Inc.