196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Lauren Coleman.
196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Colin Miller.
DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Designer of the Day: Alex P White

Having launched his eponymous design firm in 2017, the Kelly Behun alum is on the path to becoming a total auteur—he pioneers a provocative approach to masterminding textural interior environments, the result of an insatiable cultural appetite that spans everything from Siouxsie and the Banshees and Issey Miyake to the hidden treasures found within his stacks of vintage magazines.

Having launched his eponymous design firm in 2017, the Kelly Behun alum is on the path to becoming a total auteur—he pioneers a provocative approach to masterminding textural interior environments, the result of an insatiable cultural appetite that spans everything from Siouxsie and the Banshees and Issey Miyake to the hidden treasures found within his stacks of vintage magazines.

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: Old enough to know better.

Occupation: Designer.

Instagram: @alexpwhite.

Hometown: Atlanta.

Studio location: New York and Los Angeles.

Describe what you make: I make highly curated, custom environments for people I admire and love. I also make furniture, gallery exhibitions, and performances with my art rock project, SKOTE.

196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Colin Miller.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The exhibition “After” at R & Company was that moment when I saw all the different creative things I’d been doing finally come together. I stopped asking myself if I was an artist or a designer and just got on with it. It was a dream project and I wouldn’t be here today doing what I do without this experience.

Describe the problem your work solves: I create living spaces that are more than just containers for people and their stuff. The objects that people surround themselves with must have purpose but they must also be chosen and juxtaposed to create narrative and to inspire meaningful experiences. This can be a hard balance to achieve.

Describe the project you are working on now: I just completed a show apartment for 196 Orchard St in New York. I went with an “unfurnished” concept, opting for custom, carpeted built-ins and throw pillows instead. This nod to the “high-tech” vibe of the late ‘70s extends the architecture and provides function without the visual clutter. It makes sense for the smaller spaces you find in New York and contributing to this historical narrative was fun.

196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Lauren Coleman.
Partnership
196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Colin Miller.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’m working on a renovation in Beverly Hills for an avid art and design collector. The home is classic California indoor/outdoor living with great bones but the spaces really need some love. I’m using a limewash plaster finish everywhere, replacing the existing staircase with a dramatically lit, cantilevered one and adding a floor-to-ceiling plaster, Art Deco–meets-PoMo fireplace. The client and I have a mutual love for Bob Mackie, the Cher show, and Stevie Nicks, so you can expect some glamour, some magic, some leather and some lace—stay tuned, we’re finishing up this summer and I’m excited to share it.

What you absolutely must have in your studio: I need positive energy, fresh perspective, my moodboards, loads of samples, and stacks of my favorite design books. I make specific playlists for projects too so one of these is definitely playing on blast.

What you do when you’re not working: I like bathhouses and spa treatments, my acupuncturist, and long drives in the country with my babe.

Sources of creative envy: More like sources of creative orgasm: Archizoom, UFO Group, Studio Alchimia, Vito Acconci, Nanda Vigo, Gaetano Pesce, Alan Buchsbaum, Octavia Butler, Paul Rudolph, Bob Mackie, Gae Aulenti, Garouste et Bonetti, Peter Greenaway, Pedro Almodovar, Issey Miyake, Factory Records / 4AD, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jean Paul Goude, Robert Mallet Stevens, Dan Friedman, Andrea Zittel, and so many more.

The distraction you want to eliminate: iPhone notifications and all the associated sounds that come with them.

196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Colin Miller.
Partnership
196 Orchard by Alex P White. Photography by Lauren Coleman.

Concrete or marble? I’m obsessed with inflatable concrete but marble is really sexy.

High-rise or townhouse? High-rise (Mon-Fri), Geodesic Dome (Sat-Sun).

Remember or forget? It’s very important to remember everything.

Aliens or ghosts? Aliens, of course. I’m living proof.

Dark or light? I like shadows so I need a bit of both.

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