The FORM Questionnaire: Talking to Terri Moore

At Moore + Friesl Design Group, the firm she co-founded, Terri Moore’s projects have included Van Cleef & Arpels’ Fifth Avenue showroom in Manhattan. There, Moore and her team were tasked with developing specific pieces, including sales and display tables, podiums, pedestals, belles, a dining table and a reception desk, following concepts created by Jouin Manku of Paris. Image courtesy courtesy of Van Cleef and Arpels.Since Terri Moore and Marcus Friesl founded LA–based Moore + Friesl Design Group in 2011, the pair have taken on international architectural projects in the worlds art, fashion and finance, producing tour-de-force work generated from their facility with cutting-edge software and deep knowlege of high tech materials and their properties. At the firm, Moore, who caught the design bug early from her interior designer mother, works on project management and as a project designer. She’s also actively involved in the Step Up Network, which mentors young girls for college and professional careers. With such wide-ranging interests, we were intrigued to hear her thoughts on design and architecture, and she gladly obliged. Here, she shares her passion for design–and Nutella.

What direction do you see the profession heading?

I see the rise in digital fabrication technologies continuing. Architects are only just beginning to explore the possibilities when it comes to digital fabrication. The technology is becoming more and more accessible everyday, what you design at your desk has a more direct path to the finished product. There is an opportunity for architects to take advantage of the technology and have a more direct role in the production of the final project.

What buildings inspire you?

There’s something about large railway terminals and airports. The spaces are large vibrant with the hustle and bustle of hundreds of people moving to get to their destinations. A few years back I was lucky enough to get look at some of the original drawings for the TWA terminal at JFK.  It’s amazing how all those curves and shapes were created by hand.

Where else do you find inspiration?

Looking to artists and designers in other industries, Joseph Walsh makes incredibly fluid expressive furniture. Also the work of artists like James Turrell. James Turrell transforms light, color and space into beautiful immersive environments. I love the work of sculptor Andrew Goldsworthy and the way he manipulates natural elements in his site specific works.

What are your three favorite objects?

My Ipad, it goes with me whenever I travel. A large handbag from Roots that holds everything and my small Moleskine sketchbook.

Who are some of your favorite young architects?
Define young?  One person that comes to mind is Junya Ishigami, formerly of SANAA, he is doing some really interesting things with transparency and the feeling of weightlessness. Moore + Friesl Design GroupDo you listen to music while you’re working?

No, I listen to podcasts, current favorites are 99% Invisible and Radiolab.

If you could live anywhere, where it would it be (a location or specific structure)?

I would live in Kyoto, I spent 3 months there as part of a study abroad program while in architecture school. I fell in love with Japanese Architecture and craftsmanship.

A decade from now, what trends will be cringeworthy?

Hipster fashion and the reclaimed wood and worn-in look currently popular in trendy restaurants.

What current trends will stand the test of time?

Sustainability has to become a long term part of our culture.  Part of that is quality craftsmanship, there’s a reason that people scour flea markets and garage sales for old furniture. Those things were built to last and will continue to serve generations ahead. The flat-pack generation of furniture will all end up in landfills eventually.

Do you collect anything?

Pens, I am on a constant search for the perfect sketching pen. Also small wooden boxes, I love looking at the  intricate details of handcrafted objects.

Color—yes or no?


What are you reading?
Creativity Inc., by Ed Catmull, one of the co-founders of Pixar.

What are you wearing?

Black skinny jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops.

What are you eating?

Toast with Nutella.

Are you a sketcher or a computer person?

Both, I tend to go back and forth. They are both tools at the end of the day and each process allows differenct expression. Sketching helps me gets a bunch of ideas out and then I use software programs like Rhino to refine the ideas and finalize designs.

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