The ninth-annual Design Leadership Summit (DLS) was a feast of live content that engaged design professionals for three days and at four locations. The occasion also marked the presentation of the inaugural Design Leadership Award, which was given to architect Marc Appleton during the Summit.
“It was very gratifying to be able to use the Summit to recognize our first Design Leadership Award winner, Marc Appleton, for his incredibly broad and significant contributions to the design community,” said DLS co-host Peter Sallick. ”He stands as a model that I hope will inspire others to contribute the way he has.”
Video "roast" for Marc Appleton's Design Leadership Award
Appleton is the founding Principal of Appleton & Associates, Inc., which has offices in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, California. Prior to opening the practice in 1976 he worked for several architectural firms, including Benjamin Thompson and Associates; MacAllister, Rinehart and Ring; and Frank O. Gehry and Associates.
His design work has received many awards from the American Institute of Architects and other organizations, and has been widely published in Architectural Digest, Town and Country, Sunset and other periodicals. He is one of only eight designers who have been consistently named among Architectural Digest’s AD100 designers since its inception in 1991.
Peter Sallick, John Edelman, Kate Kelly Smith, Marc Appleton
Last month during the Summit, Appleton was awarded by Sallick, and co-hosts Kate Kelly Smith and John Edelman, at the Parsons: The New School for Design. The award itself, provided by Baccarat, was a recreation of a 1930s design by Georges Chevalier, who led design at Baccarat for 50 years from 1916 through the 1970s.
Editor at Large chatted with Appleton about the honor. Read on for a Q&A.
How did it feel to be awarded the first-ever Design Leadership Award?
It feels great, but also humbling, considering the talented and deserving number of leaders who are involved in the DLN and our design industry.
What was your goal when you first started working in the industry? Have you met that goal?
When I first started as an architect, my principal goal was to learn how to be a good one. It was only later in my career that I learned that there was more to it than individual achievement, that we are all part of a community.
What is something you are always trying to improve?
I am still trying to do the best work possible, but it is within the context of a more collaborative firm. Architecture is the art of constructive compromise.
What would be some words of advice for newbies entering the industry?
My advice to young designers is observe and learn from the world around you, study history, avoid fashion, be generous with your competitors, and share what you know. Most of us make the mistake when we are young and insecure of thinking that success is all about making a name for oneself in competition with others. The concept of “branding” probably doesn’t help much in this regard.