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Aug 22, 2017

Interview with Joe Ginsberg

Hosted by Nate Pfaff

Joe Ginsberg is a painter and sculptor and brings that temperament to interior design. He’s an interior designer based in Manhattan and brings an extremely customized and personalized approached to his work. He’s been most influenced by Picasso and Brancusi.

On his website, he states that “The challenge is never to design and build a space but how to create an experience that my client’s and guests deeply connect with, touching upon their sensibilities and emotions, giving them a sense of belonging.”

[1:32-2:13] Intro: Joe Ginsberg is an artist and interior designer. He has a background and formal training in design, art and sculpture, color signs, and photography. He brings a unique approach to designing a space from his art and sculpture background. He starts with a pencil and paint and collaborates with his clients to turn their vision into reality. Joe is a native New Yorker and has been living and working in New York for almost his whole life.

[2:13-3:54] Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you specialize in? My firm is Joe Ginsberg design. First and foremost, I'm a painter and sculptor and I bring this artistic sensibility to the spaces I design. I treat my spaces as a canvas every time. The way I bring those temperaments or those different challenges of when I create canvas or sculptor, is the same approach I use to create a space with the correct proportions and scale.

[3:54-4:51] How did you first get into your field? For painting and sculpture, I started getting involved in set productions in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York. I used to create sets for video and film and I got contracted to do one of the VP’s homes. This gave me entry into designing spaces for clients.

[4:51-5:36] Is there an artist that has been influential in your life? Yes, a number of them. However, I mostly relate to Picasso and Brancusi. These two had a really big impact on me from an early age. I'm always inspired with their work.

[5:36-6:42] How do you know where to start implementing your vision when you first walk into a space? It’s immediate. I'm always excited about recreating space whether it's a renovation or transforming an interesting space to say something original. Light, line, and scale of a space is very inspirational to me.

[6:42-8:10] What are the two most important qualities of a successful interior designer? One is being a master of your craft and understanding your limitations, but also what you can provide and bring to a client with their needs and requirements. It's also important to understand scheduling, price point, and bringing it to a level to something that is original.

The second quality is being able to listen. You need to examine and be sensitive to the client’s needs.

[8:10-10:28] What can an interior designer do to help people through the process of renovating and saving time? First, they need to evaluate the plan and understand what the requirements are. Every client has a priority and limitations. Taking the client through the process makes them feel at ease and assures them that you're moving in the right direction.

[10:28-11:17] Stay in touch with the podcast by subscribing to the mailing list. Text Brooklyn to 66866.

[11:17-11:32] Where is the hottest place in Brooklyn for you in terms of overall activity and growth? For me, it's mostly Williamsburg and Bushwick.

[11:32-13:00] What is it about Bushwick that is so attractive right now? It's on the verge of moving into a commercial nature and artists’ sensibility will always create the neighborhood first because it’s affordable.

[13:00-13:37] If you could speak to the you of 10 years ago, what professional advice would you give? Just stay on course, keep your heart intact, and keep your sensibility and confidence in front. Also, keep honing your craft to make yourself more original and vital.

[13:37-14:34] What advice would you give to someone looking for an interior designer? Check out an interior designer’s past work and look how they take a space and transform it. Look for references from past clients and ask for recommendations on how the designer works with clients.

[14:34-16:00] How would describe your aesthetic? I have no colors I'm attracted to. I'm a painter and sculptor so I have to be versatile with color and texture. I'm very sensitive to color and tonalities when I enter a space. I also tend to be very experimental so that I am inspired. I also tend to never repeat myself twice and I let space and light dictate me.

[16:00-16:53] Do you have a favorite kind of job or specific type of task when designing a space? I like hospitality. It has a very wide range of international clientele and you’ve got to bring universal sensibility to a space. This is challenging but very thrilling.

In addition to that, I love clients who are open to new ideas and who can explore with me through the process. This is something that adds to a productive collaboration between me and the client.


Contact Our Guest:

Send Joe an email at

Give him a ring at 212-465-1077





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