What was the inspiration for you to start White Space?
Over a decade in the furniture business led me to a simple conclusion: The furniture industry needed to be reinvented. It was dominated by legacy players who were doing the same things for generations, while the hospitality industry was changing dramatically. Hotels and other public spaces were turning into immersive experiences where design and style statements mattered more than ever. But when it came to furniture, the big players were unable to deliver the quality, speed, and responsiveness that this new world demanded within hospitality players’ budgets.
So, I created White Space to fill this void.
At the heart of our model is a new infrastructure that delivers a custom-built supply chain for every project. We work with — and manage — the factory best suited for the task, no matter where in the world it’s located. This is the big change the industry needed — the ability to manufacture the highest quality furniture, casework, lighting fixtures and flooring with scale, efficiency, and attention to detail.
To put it another way, my inspiration for starting White Space was identifying that there was a white space in my industry — a gap that we could successfully fill.
What is the big change you’re bringing to office spaces?
We’re eliminating the false choice that existed in the market: that you have to choose between quality and affordability, or creativity and efficiency. Buyers and purchasers of all kinds were resigned to picking out generic furniture from a catalogue, because that’s the way it had always been. Now no one has to make that choice.
Can you share a brief history of White Space?
It really started with the epiphany described above, and the realization that I had the experience to start a company like this. I knew the strengths and weaknesses of so many factories around the world — and I had cultivated the professional connections and knew the projects I brought them would get the focus and effort they deserved.
Those connections also mean that we can bring our own quality-control teams on site: they’re there at every stage of the production process to make sure we’re delivering exactly on our clients’ specs. Because of our ability to deliver the highest quality on time, within budget and at scale, we’ve been able to mature very quickly and work with some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry — from Disney to the Ritz-Carlton.
What are some of your favorite projects?
One of my favorite projects is the work we did for the Nakoma Lodge. I feel particularly proud of this — not only because it came out so well, but because it is an honor to be associated with a Frank Lloyd Wright design. That we were able to successfully and seamlessly extend his aesthetic speaks to the power of the system we’ve built, to fully realize even the most complicated and nuanced of visions.
Also, I feel very proud of the work we did with WeWork to open their Tel Aviv flagship. They are clearly changing the workplace and it’s a thrill to be part of that change. They also have high standards and a sophisticated vision for their brand, that’s always extended to the spaces they design, so it was extremely gratifying that they chose us. It’s also always fun to work on such a cool, trend-setting project.
How is White Space innovating office spaces today?
We’re helping to kill the cubicle — and more broadly, the fluorescent-lit, colorless, isolated environments that employees were almost universally forced to work in a few years ago. A lot of modern corporate offices are taking cues from the hospitality industry, surprisingly enough: the shared spaces that encourage socialization and collaboration are increasingly a focal point in corporate office design, as we come to realize that happy, healthy employees who actually like each other end up more productive. People do more when work when it doesn’t feel like work — and creating that vibe and work ethic starts with the physical environment. It’s the main reason people come to us to make their offices feel less like offices.
What are your future aspirations for White Space?
I aspire to continue to expand globally, both within the hospitality industry and within adjacent industries, including co-working spaces. We want to continue to work with creative brands who have expansive visions, and with designers that share these qualities. We’re here to support anyone who has an envelope they want to push.
The system we’ve created is agnostic to the project, and we want to work with people who’ve been boxed in by their previous vendors, that couldn’t deliver as fast and as fully as we can. We help those companies compete through innovative design. Design is a true competitive advantage today.
Photos courtesy of White Space