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Finding the Character in Design, with Calvin Tsao

  • New York School of Interior Design, Arthur Satz Auditorium 170 East 70th Street New York, NY, 10021 United States (map)
Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe

Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe


Calvin Tsao is often asked how he typically approaches each new project. The answer might surprise some, but the detail of a project isn’t necessarily the straight lines or geometry or symmetry – those are important of course, but for him it’s largely about the character of the project. Much like an actor in a play or a musical, a project takes on a specific character, and he is always eager to study and understand the mood or the feeling of the space, what it is intended for, and how it will be used. 

Tsao likes to compare his design process to how an actor might prepare for a role. The stage or set is his platform, and the same way in which an actor is given a wardrobe or a prop to help portray their character, his design elements help convey the emotion that the space needs to evoke when someone walks into the room. Join Calvin Tsao at the New York School of Interior Design for an intimate look into his process, projects and design approach.