STUDIO VISIT | TAYLOR DONSKER

Furniture Designer and Architect, Los Angeles, CA

Taylor Donsker Design is a Los Angeles based modern furniture company designing and handcrafting pieces to age gracefully through generations of use. Founded by architectural designer and LA native Taylor Donsker, every piece is the result of a singular style developed as an apprentice under several of Los Angeles' most well regarded architects. Materials are hand selected in accordance with our philosophy: every material has a grain, a strength and a weakness, an origin and an end. 

Q: You just moved into an amazing new space in south-central LA. Does being in a new space in a different neighborhood do a lot to generate new ideas?

A: Our new space is full of light with industrial steel roof trusses and expansive white walls, it is a blank canvas with room to breathe and has undoubtedly played a major role in our recent new work rollout.

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Q: Material quality is hugely important to your work and as a rule is very high. How important has it been to develop the right sourcing network over the years?

A: Because our style is minimal with a highlight on the wood grain, I have become obsessive over the quality of our materials.  In the past few years we have developed personal relationships with suppliers who share an interest in our material pallet and aid in maintaining the flow of gorgeous materials into our finished pieces.

In particular we have a love affair with California Claro Walnut, which is evident in our portfolio.  Strangely, because it has such a stunning array of colors, many woodworkers choose not to work with it, preferring a more even color range such as steamed Black Walnut.  Our work embraces this variation and highlights it. 

Q: Do you feel like your education as an architect has impacted the way you design furniture?

A: As an architecture student I learned to focus my eye upon detail, the way pieces of similar and different materials become one, and how to balance the proportions of the piece itself as well as its relationship to the human body.  

I see furniture as a miniature form of architecture, each piece is inhabitable in some sense, whether it be a chair that wraps around and supports you or a dining table that unites a group of people.  My furniture attempts to engage with people whether it be consciously or subconsciously, much like a building. 

"I see furniture as a miniature form of architecture, each piece is inhabitable in some sense, whether it be a chair that wraps around and supports you or a dining table that unites a group of people.  My furniture attempts to engage with people whether it be consciously or subconsciously, much like a building."

Q: Your knowledge of woodworkers past and present seems really well informed. Is there any single furniture maker that has had a huge influence on your work?

A: George Nakashima and his work have had a profound affect upon my work and myself.  We share a similar background in the sense that we both studied and practiced architecture before falling in love with the scale of furniture.  We both share a fascination with wood, and his poetic musings about wood and woodworking have helped me to appreciate the natural imperfections that are so commonly discarded as defects.  I also admire the way he was able to incorporate natural, organic shapes with more refined, angular details.

Q: What are your plans for the next year and what are you most excited about?

A: We will release new pieces and products that explore my current interest in materiality and material transformation through techniques such as bronze casting and glass lamination.  We are working with a local foundry that produces work for world-renowned artists, lending an entirely new material pallet and unlimited possibilities.

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Taylor Donsker / Product Gallery