5 Questions with... Michael Gabellini, Gabellini Sheppard

We peeked inside the mind of Michael Gabellini, founder and creative director of Gabellini Sheppard, to see what inspires and drives his creativity when he transforms a space into an experience. Known as an innovator in spacial branding, Gabellini has led ambitious design projects from hotels to retail to cultural environments.

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Your place to get creative:

I get the most creative inspiration in our studio in New York City. Our firm’s location is like a “cockpit” of design that allows us to develop projects all over the world with a growing team of international staff that sends creative ripples outward in new directions.

Photo :  Roden Crater

Favorite new original design:

James Turrell’s massive land art project, The Roden Crater. He is transforming a 400,000-year-old, 3-mile-wide crater in Arizona into a colossal, naked-eye observatory. It’s an unbelievable life’s work—a masterpiece of original creation.

Favorite iconic original design:

The humble paperclip, invented in the 1870s, and the Post-It note, invented a century later, show how simple and universal design can make an object absolutely indispensable. Amazingly, neither product has changed much since they were designed all those years ago. Improvements have been made, but the original concept remains.

The best advice you’ve ever gotten:

“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well, you just might find you get what you need.” (Mick Jagger, 1969)

What’s your design mantra: Keep it simple and grow yourself small.

Gabellini Sheppard Associates is an architecture and interior design firm based in New York City.