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Coffee with a Designer Presents Our President, CEO and Principal Architect, Rod Rowbotham

At onespace we love talking to people and continuously learn from their expertise and experiences. Our goal is to get inside their heads to find out what fuels their passions. To start off we are hearing from the one who started it all Rod Rowbotham.


Where do you get your inspiration from?


“There isn’t a single source for my inspiration. Of course, there are many fellow architects and interior designers whom inspire me. But I am also influenced by music and pop culture in equal portions. In general, I’m influenced from an emotional perspective often more than visual experiences.”


Do you ever read or explore other work from other designers in your industry?


“Absolutely. This is one of the best ways to learn. When visiting cities, I seek out built spaces I’ve longed to see in person. I also really enjoy those “unknown” surprises I often come across whether it be a detail, new material I’ve not seen or an interest form. Improving my craft is a life-long pursuit requiring full commitment.”


What is the most important aspect of architecture and design in your opinion?


“Architecture and interior design need to work cohesively to make the user experience comfortable. This dialogue is essential to the success of proper place-making. They don’t have to be the same; sometimes contrast adds interest. However, there’s nothing worse than a jarring stylistic difference between the two within the same project. It shows the design team was not working together in collaboration with a single focus or vision.”


If you could pick your favourite piece of architecture what would it be?


“Tough question. I have many favourites. Most of those have been designed by Richard Meier. His body of work is visually stunning, articulate and clean.” I’ve visited several of them in person and love the quality of light throughout the interior spaces. For me, the serene quality of the space activated by the natural light is similar to the experience of entering a church.”


If you could live in any city in the world, where would you go and why?

"Presently, I live in the countryside north of Toronto. The quiet, open space is peaceful and often settles my mind into a creative mode. However, city-living offers many things I miss in the countryside. Immediate access to cultural centers, restaurants and the like are a few of those things. So if I had to choose I think my choice would be somewhere enriched with all those things yet warmer than our Canadian climate! Perhaps Florence, Italy or Paris, France would be on the list. But for the moment I have a job here so that will have to wait.”

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