Rodolfo Agrella, Founder & Design Director, RADS

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This week, the gang is joined in-person in New York by a classically-trained, multidisciplinary designer who is always pushing the envelope and finding new ways at his shop, RADS Studios, to blend the traditional with the digital. Rodolfo Agrella stops by to share stories from his classical architecture and design training in Caracas and Milan, how he used technology to create a cookie at Salone del Mobile, the lesson we were all asked to learn from COVID, and how he’s integrating technology into daily practices to unlock the power of classic design. You won’t want to miss a great conversation with this eternal optimist and innovator.

Connect with Rodolfo Agrella on LinkedIn!

Moments to check out:

  • (8:38) How international architecture design training created a cookie at Salone
  • (16:19) Establishing RADS and putting talent and innovation at the core
  • (22:58) Applying AI and technology to design thinking
  • (32:20) Re-thinking talent and design collaboration
  • (37:15) Rapid fire closer questions – blockchain authentication, ICFF in the metaverse and more

 

Connect with our hosts on LinkedIn;

References and resources:

 

Discover more shows from SURROUND at surroundpodcasts.com.

This episode of Barriers to Entry was produced and edited by Wize Grazette and Samantha Sager.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Rodolfo Agrella: [00:00:00] you’re all surrounded by technology and we, I’m a user. of that. the big. question here, and I always, have these conversations with my team, how arewe using technology and the digital world to enhance the physical

Bobby Bonett: Welcome to Barriers to Entry, the podcast where every episode we get into it with the leaders, the designers, the early adopters, and the influencers who are driving innovation in the architecture and design industry. It’s the metaverse. It’s AI. It’s blockchain.

Bobby Bonett: And it’s all happening here. I’m Bobby Bonet and as always, I’m joined by my reality TV loving co hosts, Andrew Lane and Tessa Bain. How y’all doing today?

Andrew Lane: We’re doing great, but we’re a little behind on Love Island as

we picked up in the pre record there. But,

Bobby Bonett: It’s a shame.

Andrew Lane: well, it’s summer shows, you know, you can’t beat, you can’t beat your summer

Bobby Bonett: When does summer end? When does summer, is this still the

Andrew Lane: When does this, when does the summer of [00:01:00] BTE end is really the question

Bobby Bonett: What’s your, what’s your take, Tess?

Tessa Bain: like, as soon as the weather shifts, we’re starting to think about fall, my shopping cart’s full of cardigans. I think the summer of BTA’s starting to come to a close.

Andrew Lane: that’s a really, bittersweet sort of a statement, but I, I like to think we go all the way to, is it called the, the, uptunnel equinox? The, the 20th,

Bobby Bonett: The what?

Andrew Lane: that’s an equinox. I’m pretty sure

Tessa Bain: Google that?

Andrew Lane: I should, but I won’t. not going to fact check myself for once, but yeah, the 20th of September, the 21st of September, one of those, that’s the official end of summer.

Bobby Bonett: back to school is something we’re looking forward to, in the Bonet household, by the way, right around the corner at this point,

Andrew Lane: Have you already gotten all the pencil cases and everything? Do they still do pencil cases?

Bobby Bonett: there’s, even though we have AI technology at our fingertips, even though we have, you know, the power of the metaverse surrounding us, you still walk into school. With a little pencil case with your backpack, with your trapper keeper. so the girls, they’re ready to go, but today enough about my kids, who do we have on tap today, Andrew, for our episode [00:02:00] guest,

Andrew Lane: Well, I was going to say it’s a lot like what you were getting at, Bobby, mixing the old with the new, we’ve got renowned designer who is really taking the classical practices of design, who, you know, went through a very, very classical training between his home country in Venezuela, making his way to Milan, and then now residing in New York City, really doing some exciting work that Fuses in a lot of the technology and the innovation that we’d love to talk about on the pod. So it’s super exciting to have Rodolfo Aguela, from Rad Studio joining us today for what I know will be a really eyeopening conversation about the way in which traditional medium design.

Can be influenced by these technologies. and really, you know, how Rodolfo is bringing it into practice right now.

Bobby Bonett: should we get into it?

Andrew Lane: I think we should

Tessa Bain: do it.

Andrew Lane: We are hanging out live in Vornado’s Pen One, podcast studio in New York City with Rodolfo Agrella, a New York based multidisciplinary Venezuelan designer who’s pushing the [00:03:00] limits at his studio RADS and leading exciting work at some of the biggest trade events in the design industry and well beyond as we’re going to find out today.

Rodolfo is passionate about changing products.

He’s also passionate about the future of design, including AI, the metaverse, blockchain, and provenance. Welcome, Rodolfo.

Rodolfo Agrella: you

very much for having me.

Bobby Bonett: we had to start by doing a deep dive though on, on your Instagram, Rodolfo. the aesthetic is on point. We noticed that. and, we saw a little Prince, a little George Michael, a little Aretha. Does music play a role as a point of inspiration for you when it comes to your design

process?

Rodolfo Agrella: Absolutely. so the music, it’s, for me, it’s crucial. I, we actually have built in in the studio. We have a team that it’s, led by a composer. We do all the soundtracks of everything that we do. even if the client doesn’t need it, we do a video or something. And then the soundtrack that matches that video.

It’s all custom and it’s made in the [00:04:00] studio. so for me, music, it’s super

Tessa Bain: because

Rodolfo Agrella: it guides and

Tessa Bain: enhances the emotion of whatever.

Rodolfo Agrella: these people that I

Tessa Bain: post, they are for sure. Uh, and they

Rodolfo Agrella: were always Somehow in the perimeter

Tessa Bain: of things, like

Rodolfo Agrella: Prince, it’s like that androgynous thing, George Michael, it’s a,

sex symbol for me, and then Aretha, of course.

Tessa Bain: everybody in my family plays

Rodolfo Agrella: something. So I’m not trained in

Tessa Bain: terms of

Rodolfo Agrella: music, but if you give me an instrument, I will play it somehow.

Tessa Bain: So, so that’s why

Rodolfo Agrella: I love music.

Tessa Bain: And I think that’s a, it’s something that.

Rodolfo Agrella: everybody enjoys. It doesn’t

Tessa Bain: matter the language or your culture.

You’re gonna always get connected to a sound.

Andrew Lane: we were walking up with Rodolfo today and he told us that

When this space opened and,

Sandow did the NYC by Design Awards here, [00:05:00] Rodolfo actually did the playlist for that

Rodolfo Agrella: Oh, really?

Yeah, yeah,

Tessa Bain: yeah, I curated like a

two hour

Rodolfo Agrella: playlist about the sound of New York. Oh, wow. And it has

small

Tessa Bain: bites

Rodolfo Agrella: of like the

train station. And then it was a trip from, from Astoria to the Bronx to

Tessa Bain: Soho to, it

Rodolfo Agrella: was really Really cool.

Tessa Bain: Eventually we would just

post

Rodolfo Agrella: playlists in the studio account

Tessa Bain: Yeah. In, uh, in

Rodolfo Agrella: We need to get one of those playlists notes, that’s

Andrew Lane: Yeah.

Rodolfo Agrella: so

talk a little bit more about culture growing up in Venezuela and how that, played a role in

the way in which you approach design

growing up

and now today.

well,

Tessa Bain: people

Rodolfo Agrella: know Venezuela

from like the recent

which is

completely the opposite

my experience cause I grew

Tessa Bain: up in a super

Rodolfo Agrella: wealthy

Tessa Bain: the government

Rodolfo Agrella: at

that time,

Tessa Bain: was, investing a lot

in culture. And everybody

had [00:06:00] access

Rodolfo Agrella: to

that high level I was lucky,

 

to study at,

Tessa Bain: the Central University in Caracas,

Rodolfo Agrella: which is a marvel of mid century modern architecture.

that was possible

Tessa Bain: of

Rodolfo Agrella: the cultural level whomever built that at that time and make those

so I

was able to just have coffee next to, Stabile Mobile from Calder or to just

Tessa Bain: go around

and see John Knapp’s

Rodolfo Agrella: pieces and stuff, you

Tessa Bain: know, that

Rodolfo Agrella: kind of things. for me, it was

Tessa Bain: for

granted.

until I

moved.

Rodolfo Agrella: Right.

Tessa Bain: And I

Rodolfo Agrella: started to actually, celebrate that. not just the,

Tessa Bain: art,

Rodolfo Agrella: part

Tessa Bain: everybody

Rodolfo Agrella: had access really deep books I remember my family and not just my family, my context, we will have

like deep

conversations

Tessa Bain: about anything, not just

what’s happening

Rodolfo Agrella: in a very superficial level,

why

it’s

the purpose of something or the of [00:07:00] something.

So that a way informed the way that I behave. And obviously like my childhood.

And for me, that’s

something that I maintain daily basis. as a law,

living.

Bobby Bonett: Yeah,

Rodolfo Agrella: and it’s, it’s

because of that.

it’s because I

grew up in this environment, fertile

environment.

Andrew Lane: So, where did you move to next? Like, what was, you know, you said you didn’t take advantage until it was

Tessa Bain: gone. So,

Rodolfo Agrella: So,

Andrew Lane: know, what was the inspiration to move on? Well,

Rodolfo Agrella: you know

Tessa Bain: that, we as humans are very, I don’t know

what would be the best word to describe this, but like, we always

Rodolfo Agrella: criticize. the immediate

ah, sucks, ah. And when I was studying architecture, scholarship, that, the faculty, just invite

Tessa Bain: me to be

Rodolfo Agrella: part this, exchange program.

So they

Tessa Bain: will,

Rodolfo Agrella: allow me to study two years in Milano, at the Politecnico. I studying [00:08:00] architecture and then we, and

I was like, yes, yes, because the education here sucks and blah, blah, blah.

was a kid.

and then

when

I moved to Milan,

I

Tessa Bain: realized that

Rodolfo Agrella: the level of the

education received In was high

The fact that I was once again, just coffee

next

to Peace Milano that was What?

That’s a huge luxury

So

when I was living there, I could tell, okay, well, I’m very fortunate I have this thing, and now that I

Tessa Bain: can, get it, I really appreciate

Rodolfo Agrella: it.

And then,

obviously when I decided to New York

in 2014, I realized that I came with that, baggage in a way, and that, set of gratitude for my roots, and just

keeping

Tessa Bain: a

Rodolfo Agrella: foot there

and the other one in the future, I

would say.

Tessa Bain: can you tell us a little bit about the roots of starting [00:09:00] RADS and specifically the work that you’re doing today in the studio? Is it what you expected you would be doing when you were

studying?

Rodolfo Agrella: Not at all. Not at all.

I decided study architecture because the option was either, civil engineering.

 or no to say,

Tessa Bain: for any civil engineers out there.

Rodolfo Agrella: Or, like, graphic design or

art.

And then

architecture

Tessa Bain: presented

Rodolfo Agrella: itself as a,

Tessa Bain: meet ground

Rodolfo Agrella: there, where you can… do either engineering or more artistic

in terms of approach.

 

in, the

Central University,

the way architecture school approach the career is that you are presented with a, set of tools and you use it.

Tessa Bain: however

you want it, in the way

Rodolfo Agrella: you want it, in the discipline And then that was highly reinforced when I

moved

to Milano

Because some

reason,

people live and

breathe

Tessa Bain: design.

Rodolfo Agrella: and, architects are in charge

of that. Not just

to build

a, uh, building, [00:10:00] but also to

build

the way

society so

in a

way, I wasn’t aware of these, like, super profound things.

It’s like I was having fun, starting like a super nerd because I’m very nerdy. and then after that, period time in Milano, I got back Caracas that part of the deal. I got my,

title in Caracas and I

started work

in

different, studios, offices

there.

 and I realized that I had more fun.

designing the rails of a building or understanding, how to of

this

presentation, where are we

put floor plan, we put in

Tessa Bain: the

Rodolfo Agrella: text, where are we putting, you know, the images.

And

then I

started to realize

Tessa Bain: that doing

a

Rodolfo Agrella: layout

for a graphic for

a printout or

Tessa Bain: a

Rodolfo Agrella: portfolio.

was the

Tessa Bain: as doing a building So because you work

Rodolfo Agrella: tension,

you

that

Tessa Bain: structure,

Rodolfo Agrella: you work with color and, and you know, negative space

and so on.

And

I was like, okay, well.

this [00:11:00] happens

here.

but it also

Tessa Bain: happens

Rodolfo Agrella: in the details of the small things.

Tessa Bain: then,

Rodolfo Agrella: in

one these studios, they were doing like design as well.

it okay, well, we’ll help

them.

to do that.

because the to

design a building and build it

Tessa Bain: as an architect,

Rodolfo Agrella: it takes years, years. And I was super

Tessa Bain: bored.

You

Andrew Lane: And I was super poor. There’s a few on this podcast that have some ADD,

Rodolfo Agrella: so

Oh my God, we’re with

Andrew Lane: you on that.

Rodolfo Agrella: so, for it was like

a,

really interesting way to approach

my

career.

I have a title. need do something with

and he was like, okay, I’m

going to, take

to

the

Tessa Bain: core,

Rodolfo Agrella: and start using these tools

the want it.

so,

thanks

to

Tessa Bain: a

Rodolfo Agrella: workshop

that happened faculty, because I was by then in 2009, 2010. I was a

teacher there they [00:12:00] invited

the

Campana brothers

to Caracas to do a workshop of

 furniture design

So it was, just 10 people that they

invited

Tessa Bain: and I

Rodolfo Agrella: one them. Again, super grateful that opportunity.

but

the, the Campana brothers

went

to Caracas

because of

Marva

Griffin,

which

is

the

curator and creator

of Salón Satélite

Satellite in Milano.

And she

happens to be Venezuela

and she’s like

a, I top

notch of what

design

is.

She lives and design. and

then

by

the end of workshop, she was You know, at pieces

that we created

was

like, Hey,

you, Rodolfo, you should

apply for Salon Satellite the next year. This piece, it’s really

good. And I was like,

did a table it was like,

Oh my God,

this is so crazy.

So I

applied.

and in order apply, you send a project, or

either

reading. designed [00:13:00] or produced or something.

Tessa Bain: because the

purpose of that, show, it’s just to

connect.

young designers

Rodolfo Agrella: with,

manufacturers,

Tessa Bain: so you need to present something that it’s not, it hasn’t been

Rodolfo Agrella: produced.

Tessa Bain: so I said, okay, well, yes, let me keep this idea of

non-traditional things. So,

Rodolfo Agrella: But

Tessa Bain: want to

show my essence and my, that was a

very intense thing. I said,

I’m Venezuelan, so I need to

take

this to

the international world, whatever. so I designed

a

Rodolfo Agrella: cookie.

Tessa Bain: So

Rodolfo Agrella: it

was more about an experience, an ephemeral So, it was a really interesting thing because

the was like,

I

Tessa Bain: love to cook.

Rodolfo Agrella: Yeah. Is

Andrew Lane: like, is this like chocolate chip or I’m

Rodolfo Agrella: just,

I really

like cooking so I’m trying to culture this

This is actually a cracker. Okay. A cracker that works as a fork.

so it’s made

Tessa Bain: of

Rodolfo Agrella: cassava flour,

Tessa Bain: which is

Rodolfo Agrella: [00:14:00] huge in, in Venezuela and cacao powder.

Tessa Bain: So

Rodolfo Agrella: it was a

black piece that has a groove on it so you can put it of a bowl or just like play with it. Because my idea was like, I wanted people to be able to play with food. you know, Doritos have this like.

Triangular shapes that somebody designed that

Tessa Bain: and

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s, a triangle for a reason because the tortilla,

it’s a circle. So it’s the easiest way to do it. So

Tessa Bain: there are a lot

Rodolfo Agrella: of

Tessa Bain: design

Rodolfo Agrella: components in food.

Tessa Bain: that we give

Rodolfo Agrella: for granted. You cut a tomato in a specific way

Tessa Bain: to do a

Rodolfo Agrella: specific sauce.

You don’t chop the tomatoes in like little cubes

to put it on a

burger.

Tessa Bain: Because it

has

a

Rodolfo Agrella: it

so there’s design

in every,

Tessa Bain: aspect of life.

Rodolfo Agrella: And for me, just to go to a furniture fair, To present a cookie for

me,

it was

being a

a a

a rebel, but

a rebel

with

a heart because

Bobby Bonett: The sweetest

Tessa Bain: the sweetest kind of rebel.

Rodolfo Agrella: [00:15:00] in

my a sentimental one.

Tessa Bain: Yeah.

Rodolfo Agrella: So,

That

me was like, the gateway, and just the seat,

what we do right now at the studio. and we are more and more trying to push

these

boundaries and it took me a little bit to be honest, because once you

Tessa Bain: move

Rodolfo Agrella: From

your,

standard

context, passing from Caracas to, to New York.

Tessa Bain: I

wasn’t planning

it.

there

are

certain…

Rodolfo Agrella: things that you need to learn in order to actually

communicate something

that

people could

and I was highly,

highly

about my, my English accent. I was like, Oh my God, don’t want

anybody to feel that I’m, know, a

foreigner,

It’s

like,

opposite.

that’s what me

be me.

And weird accent, or

not,

or whatever it’s,

speak

many

languages

Tessa Bain: at this point.

And I don’t feel afraid of that. And then that [00:16:00] situation

Rodolfo Agrella: with

Tessa Bain: the languages

is also,

extrapolated

to the design field.

cause yeah, maybe you,

you’re

Rodolfo Agrella: not

the

best, uh, ergonomic,

Tessa Bain: person

or like a specialist, but

you know.

Rodolfo Agrella: when

something works or

Tessa Bain: not, so in a way, it was that,

the Latin

Rodolfo Agrella: American

route,

Tessa Bain: and,

sort

of like discomfort of, of being in

Rodolfo Agrella: a

sell or just like

Tessa Bain: segmented or just, I’m just going to do architecture and I’m going to be very serious

Rodolfo Agrella: with

No, no, no, no. I like you.

Impression architect. Yeah.

Bobby Bonett: I’m

Tessa Bain: I’m serious.

I’m super serious

He would even laugh

Rodolfo Agrella: a lot.

Andrew Lane: So, you know, it’s really interesting to hear an exciting and traditional background in

Rodolfo Agrella: Milan, in Venezuela.

Andrew Lane: Now

you’re in New York. you also came up through a period where digital has really kind of transformed the medium in a lot of ways.

And I know you think about that deeply and, the big topic that we want to touch on with you today is these emerging areas of technology that are now becoming a part of, the work you do at [00:17:00] RADS. So can you talk to us about what that evolution? From, you know, your cookie, at Salone through to the kind of work that you’re doing today.

Rodolfo Agrella: And

Andrew Lane: like, what

was that

evolution? How did, people come along with you in that journey to trust you through the, some of that, experimentation as well,

Rodolfo Agrella: Well, Experimentation and

trust are

crucial

terms this

in terms of dealing

with

you need to build trust. So the

Andrew Lane: clients allowed

Rodolfo Agrella: you to

play,

basically

the cookie experiment was a game

for

  1. but that at that

time

we’re talking

Andrew Lane: 14

Rodolfo Agrella: years at this point.

we did a lot of digital. and use a lot technology in

order

to develop the of that

cookie,

because that cookie needed be baked in something that looks like a, I don’t

know, it’s

a

rounded, piece

of

like stainless

steel was a huge process.

order to do we

have

to do like laser cut.

And then

we

were like,

Oh

the tip of the iceberg

because

like [00:18:00] laser to cut It’s

natural for me. I mean, I’m not 70. you’re all surrounded by technology and we, I’m a

user. of that. the big. question here, and

Tessa Bain: I

Rodolfo Agrella: always, have

these conversations with my team, how

are

we using

technology and the

Tessa Bain: digital world to enhance

Rodolfo Agrella: the physical Because 1%

physical, where

everything this

world, it’s like

a

3D thing,

has materiality. to access the digital

you

Tessa Bain: need

Rodolfo Agrella: a

a physical equipment to that.

so

there are many

possible ways this conversation can go. There

 the

development of that product that allows you,

Tessa Bain: to get

Rodolfo Agrella: into the digital world

the use.

of that digital

tool

to enhance

and facilitate, [00:19:00] a

Tessa Bain: design

Rodolfo Agrella: process.

so

It all

comes out

of,

you

know,

needs,

obviously. my

team, scattered around the world. and

I’ve

been

working that way for, for a long time,

even before COVID. COVID.

Andrew Lane: Even was fashionable.

Rodolfo Agrella: Yes, exactly. The pandemic was, feel it was a blessing, because it allowed, see, I’m always joking, quote, unquote, it’s like.

universe

said to humanity, go to

your room

and rethink

because you

are not doing it

Tessa Bain: well.

Rodolfo Agrella: And then

I feel like the people, we were all

forced

to pause, rethink we’re

doing.

rethink What do you actually need to leave

And

how are you behaving and, and what are you

living?

because we all

have a purpose

here.

feel like

I’m preaching.

but it’s like

A little bit.

Andrew Lane: It happens it’s the

podcast

Rodolfo Agrella: podcast

media.

Andrew Lane: meant for this, you

Tessa Bain: This is your moment. [00:20:00]

Rodolfo Agrella: so, before that, before, 2020, my was around the world because, you know, I know a lot of people around the world and I, really, Like

to work

with good

people.

I’m

not working with somebody

because it’s

here in

New York. I’m working with because it’s

good

at a And

Tessa Bain: brings something extra to this.

Rodolfo Agrella: know,

mix, of

disciplines or like perspective

that helps

my studio

attack

things

from multiple And

that’s makes us

good, a way,

Because we tackle design stuff from a photography perspective.

or from a, sound

perspective.

so,

Tessa Bain: it was

crucial

Rodolfo Agrella: to work with

a

digital tool that allowed this collaboration

to happen

Tessa Bain: and to

feel that

we’re

all

Rodolfo Agrella: together.

is very hard to

do.

for

me, what

happened during

pandemic I had to

deal [00:21:00] a

lot We had a

lot

of clients

time

that I was like, well, we’re screwed because, this is all about going to a

Tessa Bain: manufacturing

Rodolfo Agrella: facility

look

Tessa Bain: for and see

stuff.

Rodolfo Agrella: And,

I rely a lot on personal connections in terms of, you need to

build that trust, in order

for people to,

to accept your,

perspective on

things.

and, that trust

it’s generated out of conversations and, you know, feeling the energy of the other person.

that’s

super

hard to do

with

a

So I

had to develop a lot of

patience,

Tessa Bain: in order to,

Rodolfo Agrella: okay, how am I using this tool proper way?

so, but I think that over time and over. Zoom after zoom,

after

zoom . I think

that we, achieve a point okay, well

this is

it’s,

falling a little bit short. what else

can we do?

to keep connected

so we use many other tools,[00:22:00] that help us, work efficiently. I’m not talking about management. Soft or anything like that,

essentially, for

Tessa Bain: my

Rodolfo Agrella: perspective on that, it’s like you’re starting to cluttered

digitally, you’re

surrounded

by

a lot of digital trash, and that

in a

Tessa Bain: way for me,

Rodolfo Agrella: every time that I,

particularly think

The pandemic and how many times

I,

I was redoing my closets and

trashing

stuff

and just

cleaning

after cleaning,

after cleaning

after cleaning, I realized,

Tessa Bain: yeah, I just,

Rodolfo Agrella: I just need these couple of pens and couple of

Tessa Bain: shirts and that’s it.

don’t need anything I felt the same way, like this experience of minimalism, like what do I really need all this for?

Rodolfo Agrella: interesting

thing

is that

it’s not a minimalism

you need

only specific things. a matter

of

Tessa Bain: restraint.

And that’s

something

the minute I [00:23:00] identify that, It was like, okay, I’m applying this

Rodolfo Agrella: to everything.

Tessa Bain: And I’m,

Rodolfo Agrella: time

that I

have meetings with all

my,

the clients,

the internal meetings with the team, it’s guys, it’s about

Restricting.

Bobby Bonett: Getting rid of the noise.

Rodolfo Agrella: Correct.

Bobby Bonett: Yeah.

And

Rodolfo Agrella: that’s super hard.

Tessa Bain: So, how do you do that today? Like, how do you apply these emerging technologies to the work you do then in terms of the design process and how do you narrow down all of those tools?

Rodolfo Agrella: Well, it’s a matter of how

Tessa Bain: efficient

Rodolfo Agrella: a tool is.

And

what’s the purpose

of what

we’re

doing? there is something that crucial for me

in terms

of

Tessa Bain: using technology and,

and embracing

Rodolfo Agrella: technology. that you need

a criteria

behind the of that.

same

with AI.

Tessa Bain: everybody’s scared about AI.

Rodolfo Agrella: It’s like, oh my god, what’s gonna happen, ah.

Tessa Bain: well that’s what we wanted to ask you about that today too, specifically. I mean, we’re in the middle of the revolution of AI, but specifically [00:24:00] from an ethical perspective, from an IP perspective, I mean, how do you approach that?

Rodolfo Agrella: Listen, people get freaked out I

narrow two One, because cannot what’s happening.

So if I cannot control

it,

I’m gonna.

you freak out. and other one

is because they don’t see

the,

results of it immediately. this

is a

baby that it’s walk.

Well, I don’t know

if it’s starting to work. It’s just barely breathing

at this point. the good

thing and

and the way it the studio, it’s like we use AI to process

a lot

of

information

information

In an

efficient manner, in a, it’s super fast.

Tessa Bain: but

what happened

Rodolfo Agrella: that the

efficient that,

at least from

my perspective,

is that

 need

somebody behind that.

Because

Tessa Bain: when you’re doing a

Rodolfo Agrella: mid

Tessa Bain: journey,

image of,

Rodolfo Agrella: I [00:25:00] don’t know,

Tessa Bain: a building that

Rodolfo Agrella: looks like a cookie,

Andrew Lane: we’re all

Rodolfo Agrella: waiting

for, made of gluten free flour. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Somebody the prompts

Tessa Bain: there.

So it’s not like,

Rodolfo Agrella: a

self

generated

thing.

Andrew Lane: Yeah, it’s not Skynet Just yet.

Rodolfo Agrella: Correct. Exactly.

Just yet.

 that’s, an important thing, but

We need to live in the present,

thinking the future, but

acting in the So what’s happening now is that, yes, everybody’s freaking out, but

Tessa Bain: the thing is that, well, I see a,

Rodolfo Agrella: I see a horse there.

running. Somebody,

at

some point in human

history,

went

Tessa Bain: that

horse

Rodolfo Agrella: and says, I

can, can on top of this.

And then, know,

the rest

is,

is history.

so I

feel

Tessa Bain: that’s

Rodolfo Agrella: what’s happening with ai. we use it in a way

that help us confirm the

ideas.

[00:26:00] we don’t use it. As

a main.

design tool, because our main design

Tessa Bain: tool,

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s our

brain.

Tessa Bain: Do you feel if you used it as a design tool that that, you know, would be controversial or would be loaning IP or like, how do you feel about Yeah, actual application of AI in design.

Rodolfo Agrella: I don’t mind. It’s

Tessa Bain: another

Rodolfo Agrella: It’s

Tessa Bain: another

Rodolfo Agrella: and it’s a necessary tool because

the, bigger

the, the communications

the world and the globalization, is a lot

of

Tessa Bain: information.

Rodolfo Agrella: there

And we some sort like a filter to process that information.

Before, there were

like libraries

And

people would go to

the

library and

spend months

just to,

Tessa Bain: look through, Publications

Rodolfo Agrella: and stuff. Well, this is the best example.

When,

Tessa Bain: newspapers

Rodolfo Agrella: started to

do digital, formats,

everybody

was

freaking out because, this [00:27:00] is the end of

printing

in life! Ah!

Tessa Bain: Well, no.

Rodolfo Agrella: It’s not the end. It’s an evolution.

Now, if you have a book, it’s because it’s a piece.

It’s an

object.

It’s

Tessa Bain: object

Rodolfo Agrella: that holds information.

obviously

you can reach out to more people digitally, which help us connect. But

once again,

there is a criteria

behind that,

the use of that

Tessa Bain: so

Rodolfo Agrella: the studio,

what we do, it’s just like, okay, we need to do this thing.

We’re trying to achieve this

thing, X, on a of

time.

We can do it

Tessa Bain: in two ways.

We use technology

to help

Rodolfo Agrella: us, or

Tessa Bain: or we just,

Rodolfo Agrella: like, need

Tessa Bain: invest

Rodolfo Agrella: more time,

Tessa Bain: in order

Rodolfo Agrella: to confirm

Tessa Bain: For me, the important part

of this whole

Rodolfo Agrella: puzzle is that in the end,

Tessa Bain: whatever we do,

it has [00:28:00] physical repercussions.

And we design for a physical

world.

And the digital is there to enhance,

to

facilitate that.

It’s not

the, the, the, the main fear is that, Oh,

all of

these like

AI and like Web3, all of

Rodolfo Agrella: that.

Tessa Bain: The

metaverse, it’s gonna,

Rodolfo Agrella: Right, we’re all going to be living in the metaverse. Yeah,

Andrew Lane: that we need to

yeah, replace

Rodolfo Agrella: one with

Tessa Bain: No, that’s not,

it’s, it’s

not about

Rodolfo Agrella: replacing. Right.

Tessa Bain: It’s about embracing.

Andrew Lane: Ah, there

we go.

Rodolfo Agrella: there’s a new tagline

Andrew Lane: the pod.

Rodolfo Agrella: for the pod. T shirt, T shirt. Casey, work on that. I’ve already… I’ve, I’ve, so… you seem to

Bobby Bonett: be

in a really great

headspace right now it relates to where AI is being adopted and leveraged at RADS. I think many of the designers talk about

are

leveraging AI in

their firm

Rodolfo Agrella: have

Bobby Bonett: shifted

mindset from AI is, design tool to AI is a [00:29:00] data tool or AI

Rodolfo Agrella: as an enhancement to the design

Bobby Bonett: process.

But we were at a conference yesterday. and when you speak with people in the room who, who are, who are still intimidated by AI, like Tess was saying, I think they still view it as.

AI is going

to be a button that I push and

it takes

Rodolfo Agrella: my

Bobby Bonett: job away, or,

Rodolfo Agrella: becomes

the de facto

Bobby Bonett: new

design process.

And

I’m wondering,

Rodolfo Agrella: like, when you first dove into AI, how was your perspective different and a little bit about where, where you,

Bobby Bonett: Where your journey

Rodolfo Agrella: you at RADS and as a, as a firm leader to get to where you are now, which is well adjusted and you’ve made peace with the fact

that there

may be some

unknowns

coming, but you’re, you’re in a good place with your studio.

That, that, that path started with… Embracing the unknown.

Tessa Bain: I don’t know what this is, but I know

it’s

Rodolfo Agrella: here

Tessa Bain: and it’s,

Rodolfo Agrella: it comes to

Tessa Bain: stay.

So

Rodolfo Agrella: let’s

Tessa Bain: give it a shot without

any

Rodolfo Agrella: pre judgmental mindset.[00:30:00]

I think that’s

Tessa Bain: Listen, I,

I,

when I

was studying

architecture,

Rodolfo Agrella: the first

semester,

Tessa Bain: we were obliged

to do

all the

drawings by hand. By hand. Dude, that was

20 years ago, like

everybody

could use AutoCAD.

and we were all

really,

as young kids,

Rodolfo Agrella: saying,

Tessa Bain: Oh

my God,

but

Rodolfo Agrella: there

are all of these digital tools. And I remember

Tessa Bain: clearly my teachers saying, If you

cannot draw it by

Rodolfo Agrella: You

don’t know

how to draw it

in digitally,

which true.

absolutely

true.

there are certain

aspects

of

that, of a drawn,

plan, yes, it has character. It has, the human touch.

it’s more efficient the

way.

With

these emerging

technologies,

it’s

basically,

yes, we’re using it,

but

that cannot

[00:31:00] be the only

Tessa Bain: thing to use.

It needs to have many, many layers, which one

of

these layers,

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s provided by several, new technologies

Tessa Bain: and new platforms And,

keeping in mind

Rodolfo Agrella: that

person that controls

this, whomever controlled this,

Tessa Bain: it’s you,

Rodolfo Agrella: a human.

Tessa Bain: It’s like

we are… bombarded about

the future,

and it comes up,

Rodolfo Agrella: and I think

that’s,

Tessa Bain: that’s

that’s because of the

Jetsons, to

a

Bobby Bonett: start. that

Andrew Lane: the Jetsons every day,

day.

Rodolfo Agrella: a certain

Tessa Bain: that, you know, we’re

going to be all controlled by robots,

and

in

a way we are already. You just don’t know it. it’s a matter,

well,

that

Rodolfo Agrella: robot, let’s say that the cell phones, come on,

Tessa Bain: everybody has it. and 20

years ago,

Rodolfo Agrella: you would never imagine that you will

Tessa Bain: answer an email or

like

Rodolfo Agrella: listen to

Tessa Bain: music or whatever

from that, you know,

a

three [00:32:00] by

Rodolfo Agrella: six inches device.

Andrew Lane: Oh, exactly.

Tessa Bain: And

it’s a matter

of

not

Rodolfo Agrella: being afraid

Tessa Bain: of that, uh, because

it’s a, it’s, people that it’s

Rodolfo Agrella: like very,

Uncertain about these

Tessa Bain: and they’re

scared. It’s

Rodolfo Agrella: It’s because,

Tessa Bain: nobody has

fully proved.

Rodolfo Agrella: that this is successful or And

the

only

way to know that is

trying it.

Tessa Bain: You don’t

know if you like,

I don’t know,

oysters if you don’t try them.

Try them,

and then you make your decision

and

Rodolfo Agrella: that’s

it.

as

Andrew Lane: you’re doing some of this experimentation, are you thinking differently about

the construction of

your team and the kind of, the kind of talent and personalities that you’re bringing in to collaborate

Rodolfo Agrella: Well,

yes.

Tessa Bain: but

that’s been always a thing. I’m a Libra.

And

Rodolfo Agrella: so I

Andrew Lane: you

Rodolfo Agrella: Why are you looking at me?

Andrew Lane: are Tess

Bobby Bonett: with,

Andrew Lane: Tess Answers [00:33:00] far too many questions with, I’m a Capricorn, so

Rodolfo Agrella: So I really like to, you know, I mean, it’s all about justice.

Tessa Bain: I don’t like conflict.

Rodolfo Agrella: Even if I have to pass through something, I want to hear everybody’s opinion and just like make a decision or blah, blah, blah.

Tessa Bain: so I love

beauty and

that has a lot of

influence in the people that I hired to be part of my group.

and, one of the,

the the first

Rodolfo Agrella: thing that I,

test

Tessa Bain: on

the

people

that is,

you

know, either willing

to work

Rodolfo Agrella: with me or

I’m,

Tessa Bain: really, attracted to their,

Rodolfo Agrella: talents, that

how flexible

Tessa Bain: are you?

need to be, your mind

needs to be flexible,

Cause if

you, in the design

world, if you

are

not

flexible.

You’re screwed Because

you need

to

Rodolfo Agrella: move out of comfort in order to embrace new technologies [00:34:00] without feeling, you know, uncertain or whatever. It’s actually exciting.

so that’s the first thing.

like that And then, What other things are you

Tessa Bain: bringing to the table that it’s not

Rodolfo Agrella: that you are a great, designer?

Tessa Bain: Do

you play

Rodolfo Agrella: something?

Tessa Bain: Do you like to

Rodolfo Agrella: paint?

Do

Tessa Bain: you,

Rodolfo Agrella: are you into fashion? Are you into, what books are you reading? What was the last movie that you know,

Tessa Bain: that kind

of

things, It always

Rodolfo Agrella: informs. Do you like to cook? Mm That’s crucial. That’s crucial. Because everything, it’s connected.

Tessa Bain: And

Rodolfo Agrella: I tend to do something on purpose,

Tessa Bain: just to, you know,

Rodolfo Agrella: rough feathers every

it’s like, okay, have… talented, super talented

Tessa Bain: in my team. Thank God.

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s

Tessa Bain: okay, well,

you’re

getting

too comfortable doing

Rodolfo Agrella: graphics.

Tessa Bain: show me

Rodolfo Agrella: an idea [00:35:00] for a But

Tessa Bain: a graphic

Rodolfo Agrella: designer.

Do a

It’s

okay, I’m not, I’m

not

putting all the weight on you. I just want to, to, as

Tessa Bain: an

Rodolfo Agrella: exercise.

Tessa Bain: To

practice this

Rodolfo Agrella: elasticity of mind. And that’s it.

Tessa Bain: Oh, how, how would

Rodolfo Agrella: you

plate,

an ideal,

dish or

what if we do,

Tessa Bain: a

dinner

Rodolfo Agrella: in

the middle of the desert?

Tessa Bain: what’s

Rodolfo Agrella: the, the production aspect of that just

Tessa Bain: to have like a high end

meal in the middle of

Rodolfo Agrella: the desert.

Tessa Bain: it’s like, we don’t do that.

Rodolfo Agrella: we

might.

Eventually. I don’t know. So, so those are the kind of. It’s intimidating. Why?

Tessa Bain: AI, it’s intimidating. Hahahaha!

Bobby Bonett: true.

Rodolfo Agrella: I walked into that.

Bobby Bonett: that.

Rodolfo Agrella: No, it’s a, it’s a. It’s, it’s, it’s intimidating because you’re not used to it.

Tessa Bain: and the best way to

pass through that [00:36:00]

is

literally

Rodolfo Agrella: passing through you know, embrace that fear or whatever. And then there is no right or wrong answer to it. do you find that that also drives collaboration within your, within your firm as well?

Of course, because it’s, it’s presented, it presents itself as a challenge. And

people want

to be challenged.

Tessa Bain: Creative people need

Rodolfo Agrella: to

And

that’s

part,

Tessa Bain: that’s why I

feel it’s so important the

Rodolfo Agrella: restriction

Tessa Bain: aspect

of the design.

Rodolfo Agrella: that’s

Tessa Bain: the first

thing that I

realized

when I

started to work here

in the United

it’s like, here we have

Rodolfo Agrella: access to almost

Tessa Bain: everything,

design

Rodolfo Agrella: wise,

Tessa Bain: and in many

Rodolfo Agrella: other

aspects,

Tessa Bain: too.

Rodolfo Agrella:

the

Tessa Bain: highly

Rodolfo Agrella: successful people is the one that, that

Tessa Bain: reach out

to all of these.

Rodolfo Agrella: It’s different, sources with a

Tessa Bain: criteria

because that

helps you

filter

Rodolfo Agrella: a lot of [00:37:00] so when you

restrict people specific the creative

Tessa Bain: answer

Rodolfo Agrella: is

Tessa Bain: you cannot find

it

anywhere else, because you need to come

up

Rodolfo Agrella: with a,

with an, an innovative solution.

And that’s why innovation in general comes from

Tessa Bain: people

Rodolfo Agrella: outside the discipline where the innovation is

Tessa Bain: happening. Because

they are not

Rodolfo Agrella: biased.

At least, that’s what I feel.

Andrew Lane: And it’s that’s a great, a

great approach. We’ve got a few kind of quick fire type topics we’d love you

to

take. on as we kind of head to the finish line.

Did you want to get started?

Tess?

Rodolfo Agrella: Let’s it!

Tessa Bain: Ready, set, go. you know, in our pre call, we talked a little bit about some of these emerging techs and, the ways you use them and the tools and the value you see. And so one of those tools is blockchain and specifically as a ledger for provenance.[00:38:00] How do you see the blockchain helping the design industry?

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s crucial because

thing

about

blockchain

is that

helps you

trace

Tessa Bain: the

story

 and, uh, Well, the provenance of

something.

Rodolfo Agrella: And that’s

Tessa Bain: how I

feel

Rodolfo Agrella: it

Tessa Bain: will be

a,

a more

Rodolfo Agrella: sustainable

thing.

Tessa Bain: one

  1. its

Rodolfo Agrella: applications in terms of furniture, specifically.

It

also happened with art, fashion, uh, items, it

will help

you

trace

this.

Not

even who

has it before me.

Tessa Bain: who

actually

Rodolfo Agrella: did this?

Luxury

items,

Tessa Bain: They are in a specific price

range

Rodolfo Agrella: because the quality

of the goods.

And that quality

and the craftsmanship

behind a luxury

has

a name artisan has a name

and

you want to [00:39:00] know that even if, I don’t know,

from 15 years from now, if we do a limited edition

Tessa Bain: collection.

With

an

artisan, an upholstered

person

Rodolfo Agrella: in Como,

Tessa Bain: in Como in Italy,

Rodolfo Agrella: in Italy, I want

Tessa Bain: great

grandchildren to know them.

Rodolfo Agrella: that

Tessa Bain: this Giuseppe blah blah blah did this

Rodolfo Agrella: with his own

bare

hands. Right.

So

it’s

a,

it’s

a

Tessa Bain: way to

Rodolfo Agrella: ensure

and to

trace

the human aspects of something. Interesting. Digitally.

Andrew Lane: I think that, that humanity

piece is, is so important and again, staying with more the practical, you told us about an experience you had that was a metaverse type experience, but it was used to collaborate and help create when you were preparing for ICFF this year.

And maybe you can share a little bit about, you know, a lot of people, when they think about the metaverse, they think about it as like, I’m going to go live there or I’m going to, you know,

Rodolfo Agrella: go into a showroom or

Andrew Lane: or whatever, but this was a very practical example of what this technology can allow

Rodolfo Agrella: for.

Yes.

of [00:40:00] people think the metaverse, it’s

like. God.

you know,

it’s Mark Zuckerberg. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

On

a,

on

a field of like cherry blossoms behind. It’s like, that’s not true. It’s a,

there are more

practical ways. So

because we have team around

the

world, the

Tessa Bain: person in

my

Rodolfo Agrella: that makes

all the 3Ds, it’s in Europe.

Tessa Bain: The other one that makes the

graphics,

Rodolfo Agrella: it’s in Venezuela. And then

Tessa Bain: we are

Rodolfo Agrella: all, you know,

around.

So

we

needed a

tool

to

help the production

team of ICFF and

the clients and the everybody involved. huge

take things

ICFF

plus

Tessa Bain: wanted

 design.

Rodolfo Agrella: We need to deal with

more than 80 different

vendors.

Each one of these vendors

has

own [00:41:00] expectations.

then plus

Tessa Bain: the production team around it that makes everything happen. So,

Rodolfo Agrella: we basically, did this, live, 3D platform

That we, you

can share with the

clients. They don’t need to have the software. They don’t need

  1. It’s just you just

need a screen, basically.

That’s a bare

Andrew Lane: No

Rodolfo Agrella: So

you, exactly.

So you can

Tessa Bain: get into the model. Confirm that

Rodolfo Agrella: your chair

Tessa Bain: as

Rodolfo Agrella: a

sponsor, it’s… place

Tessa Bain: that you want it, that it’s

Rodolfo Agrella: going

to

be, well displayed.

that’s

Tessa Bain: client perspective, then

Rodolfo Agrella: the

production

team, they don’t have to go

the site.

 after the pandemic, everybody works from everywhere. so we don’t need it to have

Tessa Bain: side meetings.

Rodolfo Agrella: and move

teams from around

the world to come to the Javits and then just

see how

these things will look,

But also, after a side meeting, to do it

realize

an with a rigging point or we cannot [00:42:00] egress stuff

whatever, you name

it and then you can solve that live on the 3d model So then everybody’s aware that this is happening and then what it does it’s enhance the efficiency of the process

Tessa Bain: but also

Rodolfo Agrella: for example, at

Tessa Bain: the same time

we

Rodolfo Agrella: were

doing that with Heller for the show

that designed,

because we were aware that that show was an ephemeral thing that will leave digitally later on.

So, we were able to, coordinate with the the people that was documenting

the space in

advance

Tessa Bain: where the shooting happening, what will

be the best,

way to do stuff

And

we’re not reinventing the wheel here. We’re just like

Rodolfo Agrella: getting

Tessa Bain: people

Rodolfo Agrella: access to the wheel,

without, you know,

being, encrypted

about the wheel.

Yeah,

Andrew Lane: exactly.

Rodolfo Agrella: exactly. Productivity is

Andrew Lane: [00:43:00] just something that

is sometimes overlooked.

You know

Rodolfo Agrella: what I mean? Yes.

Andrew Lane: It’s

important to the

creative process because

you do have stakeholders. And you know, it is a

business. At the

end of the

day.

it was really

cool to hear that

example.

Bobby Bonett: we always like

Rodolfo Agrella: to give

Bobby Bonett: our

guests the opportunity to plug what they’re working on. I know you’ve got a lot

Rodolfo Agrella: under

NDA, you talked about that. A lot of secrets.

No, he’s not a

Andrew Lane: Did we spike his

Rodolfo Agrella: coffee

Andrew Lane: to get him?

Bobby Bonett: but I’m wondering, you know, through, your work at RADS, if there’s, anything that you’ve, recently wrapped up

Rodolfo Agrella: that

Bobby Bonett: particularly proud of that our

Rodolfo Agrella: listeners

Bobby Bonett: check

out, whether it’s related, AI aI inspired, metaverse related, virtual world related, digital tool enabled, or something

Rodolfo Agrella: that’s

Bobby Bonett: completely animal analog that Folks check out.

Rodolfo Agrella: yes, I cannot say

much.

we are doing

a couple of

projects.

I’m actually really, really excited about this.

It will,

be… Out, I hope

Tessa Bain: in November.

Rodolfo Agrella: it has

cultural

Tessa Bain: implications

Rodolfo Agrella: worldwide.[00:44:00]

and, super happy

to be the person that channeling

That kind

of

projects, we’re

using a lot of, AI design

and

confirm things,

But also a lot of,

technology to build out this thing because it’s

going

to live

the physical world, but also in the, I will say in a, a more elevated realm.

I will say,

Andrew Lane: definitely don’t call that

Rodolfo Agrella: one thing.

Andrew Lane: Yeah.

Rodolfo Agrella: That’s one thing. The

Tessa Bain: other thing.

Rodolfo Agrella: that

I’m very excited

Tessa Bain: about

Rodolfo Agrella: is the possibility of building

the bridge, which

Tessa Bain: we’re

Rodolfo Agrella: actively working on between

the physical world and the digital world. it’s

a

secret. Everybody’s trying to do.

their

part, we’re not just it,

we’re

doing And we it out

there, [00:45:00] and it will ready at some

it’s not a

platform, it’s like just, leading by

And that’s it.

Andrew Lane: That was, that was so cryptic. I, I

Rodolfo Agrella: I want to see, I want to walk on this bridge. You better follow Rodolfo in your studio on Instagram because we’re all going to be waiting for that. In

Andrew Lane: for now, in the meantime, it’s just George

Rodolfo Agrella: Michael.

right? Correct.

Arethra.

George

Tessa Bain: Michael. We love to end every show by asking our guests the same question, and that’s what piece of advice would you give or a resource that you can share to our listeners that are trying to, you know, step into this space or learn more?

Rodolfo Agrella: Okay. So, there

are

two things.

very important for me.

one is

Tessa Bain: to listen to

Rodolfo Agrella: podcasts. of

Not just this. The Surround. The

Andrew Lane: the entire Surround

Rodolfo Agrella: Surround podcast. Correct. There is

a lot of

information that will

Tessa Bain: help you ignite [00:46:00] some,

Rodolfo Agrella: research.

That’s one thing. The other I

have a criteria selecting

what listen to.

and

for

me,

what’s important even,

it’s

have conversation with your friends.

with your family. You know, I get

a

lot of information out of my nieces and nephews

And,

you know,

for

some reason,

there are

masters,

at doing

memes

Tessa Bain: and stuff.

Rodolfo Agrella: this is a, society

And the best way to learn about that and to, get informed

in a

way or

just

to, it’s just to speak it.

That’s,

Tessa Bain: that

Rodolfo Agrella: will be my recommendation

Andrew Lane: it out in the world. I love that. Love that.

Tessa Bain: Very good.,

Rodolfo Agrella: simple.

Andrew Lane: I think that’s been the theme

today,

Bobby Bonett: in the WhatsApp

Rodolfo Agrella: chat,

by the way.

Andrew Lane: ants,

Tessa Bain: Oh, no, you

Rodolfo Agrella: Oh no, you don’t, you don’t want to be on there. It’s, it’s, I love them, but it’s annoying.

Andrew Lane: I mean, It’s a

lot like

Rodolfo Agrella: you don’t send them this video. My dad’s YouTube subscription list. It’s [00:47:00] like, yeah,

Andrew Lane: I love the, theme of simplicity throughout this Rodolfo and it’s been, it’s been, you know, an inspiring conversation, from that standpoint and many others.

Thank you so much for

joining

us

today

and for sharing your story. And, we’re looking out for when this bridge gets

Rodolfo Agrella: Oh

my

God.

It’s Yes.

Andrew Lane: We’ll be eagerly awaiting, but thanks so much for, for joining us today on

Rodolfo Agrella: podcast.

Thank you for the invitation and open up

Tessa Bain: the

mic to

all

Rodolfo Agrella: of these words, We appreciate it. Amazing. We do.

Is everybody, still smiling? Because that guy Rodolfo is all energy and all positive, wouldn’t

Bobby Bonett: sure. He’s intoxicating. I mean, My cheeks are sore from laughing along with Rodolfo, over the course of that interview.

Andrew Lane: Yeah, that was a fun day in the pod cave.

Bobby Bonett: I mean, obviously we talked about his upbringing, but we started right at his passion for music. I didn’t know he was the playlist maker for the NYC by design awards. The way in which music then permeates throughout his firm’s design process.

and then the quote that stuck with me, going to paraphrase the pandemic was a message from the world that we all had to go back [00:48:00] into our rooms and think for a bit. that’s something that has continued to stick with me. in a couple of weeks since the interview, Andrew, I know you’ve been thinking about the way in which Rodolfo’s firm, tackles physical and digital and the ways in which, we’ve seen that come to life.

Andrew Lane: Well, I love that about his work. And like, we first met in person at, an event that our friends at a Heller had put on during NYC, by design this year. And, you know, he talked about it in the pod, about the process of preparing for that and really just his process in general. And he really. is acutely aware that we live in a digital world, but physical things are important.

And those physical things are often, you know, the things that, that he’s designing. And so he just has this, complete absence of, trepidation or fear to sort of step into exploring how those things play off of each other. and I think that’s such A great mindset to come to these things with, but then he takes it a step further by really leaning into the practice of, understanding the technology and understanding how, you know, the technology, or even just the presence of digital as simple as like the fact that people are going to put something on Instagram, he’s really [00:49:00] thinking about that.

In his process thinking about how he’s building out his studio, to meet a world that’s increasingly looking for that

Tessa Bain: Yeah, I thought that’s really cool. his approach specifically to talent, like he’s from Venezuela, that culture permeates everything he does. He was a student in Milan. You can see the influence there. And now he resides in New York. You know, when we asked him about where and how this change in innovation starting to affect the way he looks for talent.

His answer being that he likes to pick the best people regardless of where they are in the world, I thought was such a different and unique approach, in our industry. And so you can see that in the work that RADS puts out in their studio. It’s obviously very multicultural. but I thought that was one of the most exciting things.

Andrew Lane: and in the work that he’s teasing for the future, which, you know, we’re going to have to do some kind of a BTE update or something when his super secret high end, the world’s going to know about it,

project launches.

Bobby Bonett: You’ll know. You will know.

Andrew Lane: Yeah, that’s, that is it.

Tessa Bain: will know. We’re gonna all, we will be waiting for this.

Andrew Lane: Yeah. A bold, statement. And we’ll, I think, be right on top of [00:50:00] it.

maybe it’s going to be like a year end sort of a show that we’re going to need to do because there’s been now a couple of those sorts of moments in the pod where people are just, you just wait. and so, you know, it’s going to be really exciting to see the stuff that we’re catching up with in mid flight, what it all looks like when it plays out, even beyond the summer of BTE.

Tessa Bain: Wow.

Bobby Bonett: Well, speaking of playing out, I’m going to play us out,

Andrew Lane: I like what you did there.

Tessa Bain: very

Bobby Bonett: much. And I’m going to give you a big thank you to the barriers to entry production team. Why is Grisette and Sam Sager and everyone else back at the studio by Sandow pod cave. Barriers to Entry is part of the Surround Podcast Network.

Make sure you go to surroundpodcasts. com. That’s podcasts with an S. Smash or slam the follow button, whatever is your preference, and join us next time as we continue to break down the barriers to entry.

Tessa Bain: when was Pod Cave cleared as a branded part of the show?

show
host
Andrew Lane Host profile picture

Andrew Lane

Andrew Lane is Co-founder of digby, co-founder of Interior Design Magazine’s (MAD) Awards and co-host of the podcast Barriers to Entry.

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Bobby Bonett

Bobby Bonett is Chief Growth Officer and EVP Strategy at SANDOW DESIGN GROUP and co-host of the podcast Barriers to Entry.

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Tessa Bain Host profile picture

Tessa Bain

Tessa Bain is a digby co-founder, co-founder of Interior Design Magazine’s MAD Awards and also co-host of Barriers to Entry.

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