Name: Larah Vanessa Moravek
Occupation: Interior designer…for now.
Hometown: Not sure how to answer as I spent my formative years in a few places and do not really have one hometown. I did grow up in Esher, Surrey, England until I was 11 and then moved to the States.
Studio location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Describe what you make: I am passionate about creating tactile and tangible environments that imprint positive experiences on those that inhabit them—whether for a brief moment or a longer span of time that incorporates disciplines of interior design, product design, and branding.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: As for a particular project I’ve designed, I do not have one that is most important. For me, what is the most important is the evolution in this endeavor: it is all about the process and the emotional impact our spaces have on the guests that experience them. I learn daily how to create a foundation of positive, inspired, discord that fosters a collaborative effort by all disciplines.
Describe the problem your work solves: In my work, I aim to solve design propositions that are sensitive to the vernacular of the project, to be cognizant and mindful of who and what this project means to the community it sits within and how it can make a positive impact in its environment.
Describe the project you’re working on now: Our studio is working on a multitude of hospitality projects, hotels, and restaurants that are keeping us all on our toes, as well as some licensing collections, one of which is STRIA in partnership with Jamie Stern Design, inspired by Sol LeWitt.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: Our upcoming Hotel Marcel is a labor of love for Dutch East Design. This is an adaptive reuse project of the iconic Pirelli Armstrong building designed by Marcel Breuer and completed in 1970. Dutch East Design is stewarding both the interior design and branding of the renovation, debuting winter 2022. The hotel will take the title of the country’s first net-zero-emissions and Passive House-certified hotel. Our approach to the interiors is to be a counterpoint to the bold Brutalist exterior, and use inspiration from the Bauhaus in all the textiles and artwork. Our approach to the branding was to celebrate the iconic form of the exterior in all its glory.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Well my workspace has been within my home this past year and a half. I am a creature of comfort so some essentials are my notebook, Workaday handmade mug, garden view, and of course, our pup Basel always close by.
What you do when you’re not working: Walks in the woods, gardening, DIY projects for my home renovation, yoga, discovering my new area in upstate New York, hammock time, pup time, and dancing.
Sources of creative envy: Modern contemporary dance, Pina Bausch, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Large scale artists, Donald Judd and Richard Serra.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Negative and stagnant energy
Concrete or marble? Concrete. Its attributes of mass juxtaposed with imperfection is sublime.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse (in a dream world) as the scale and sense of place is relatable to me.
Remember or forget? Both are essential. As Anais Nin says, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens. I am fascinated by how vast the universe is and all the space it takes up.
Dark or light? Dark. Because without it, we would not know the light.