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Celebrity Clients, Egos, and Artificial Intelligence — Renowned Architects Sound Off During Texas Design Week Dallas 2023

Scenes from Stan Dixon, Brian Sawyer, John Berson, and Michael Imber's Appearances

BY // 01.26.24

Texas Design Week Dallas 2023 was a week-long celebration of design with 41 designers and architects in panel discussions, illustrated talks, book signings, cocktails, and dinners. On Day 4, a roster of renowned architects touched on everything from artificial intelligence in architecture to working with a celebrity clientele.

This year’s sponsors include Monogram Luxury Appliances, HN Capital Partners, Dallas Design District, New Orleans Auction Galleries, Frontgate and Cosentino.


What: Illustrated Morning Talk and Book Signing With Architect D. Stanley Dixon

Where: Carol Piper Rugs

High Point: Morning mimosas paired beautifully with imagery from the decorated Southern architect’s debut book, Home: The Residential Architecture of D. Stanley Dixon (Rizzoli). As he walked guests through the details of gorgeous retreats on Jupiter Island and the coast of South Carolina, he also touched on the importance of team collaboration in residential projects.

“It’s important for everyone to be on the same page and put their egos aside, “ Dixon noted. “It’s not who’s been published the most or has more accolades. It’s really about getting in there and creating the story of what this house is going to be about. That’s when a house goes from being good to being really great.”

Dixon’s work has been featured in major shelter publications, and he is a three-time winner of Veranda and Atlanta Decorative Arts Center’s Southeast Architect of the Year award. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art has presented Stan with the Philip Trammell Shutze Award (11 times), Addison Mizner Award (twice), and the Acanthus Award.

Spotted: Carol Piper’s Sanaa Sahi and John Corso as well as Cammie Drinkwater, Barry Williams, Anna Barker, Lisa Luby Ryan, Mark Curtis, Joy Pedrozo, Jennifer Lloyd, Martha Sweezey, Sue Hannah, Martha Justice, Kate Beebe

What: An Illustrated Talk and Book Signing with Landscape Architect Brian Sawyer and Architect John Berson, introduced by Chesie Breen

Where: The new Blue Print showroom in the Dallas Design District.

High Point: Since launching their New York City firm, Sawyer | Berson Architects, in 1999, the power duo’s holistic design approach has earned countless accolades, including the 2023 McKim, Mead & White award for a fashionable new ballroom at The Pierre Hotel. Their seamless blend of architecture, landscape design, and interiors has also attracted a starry roster of clients, including record producer Mark Ronson, Julianne Moore, Bette Midler, and Vera Wang.

When asked about working with celebrities, Sawyer shared, “Really, it’s the same process. You look past their public persona and work extra hard to find out what’s inside their head and heart when it comes to what you’re designing for them.”

Following the talk, the two signed the firm’s debut book Sawyer / Berson: Houses and Landscapes, published by Rizzoli.

Spotted: Blue Print’s Cynthia Collins, Jared Brechot, Jason Shader Smith, Hector and Emma Finch, Rafe Churchill and Heide Hendricks, Priscilla Sandlin, Tonya Trest, Joani White, Michael Imber, Sandra Ayres, Greg Fourticq, John Cone, Marion Palley, Elizabeth Hudson

What: An Illustrated Talk and Book Signing with Architect Michael Imber

Where: Elegant Additions

High Point: Every time Michael Imber signed a copy of his latest book, he drafted a little sketch alongside the inscription. It was reflective of the thoughtful talk the Texas architect gave at Texas Design Week Dallas, as well as his passion for drawing. The Art of the Architect (Triglyph Books) is filled with works that have inspired his projects in Alys Beach, Aspen, and Santa Fe, along with Texas ranches.

The tome marks the first time Imber’s sketches and watercolors have appeared in print, just as AI threatens to fully digitize renderings and architecture schools have begun to stop teaching drawing.

“What does these images mean to us personally if we’re able to just push a button?” Imber shared. “As I sit there and paint, I feel the sunlight on my back. I can smell the juniper and sage. I can feel the cold coming in from the mountains. That’s why I draw.”

Spotted: Elegant Additions’ owner Julie Koch, Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, Amy Donham, Jakub and Gosia Staron, Porter Fuqua, Wilson Fuqua, Yvette Gonzalez, Ryan Terry, Tim Terry

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