You may remember him as a guest speaker if you took Fundamentals with Eleanor Schrader, or crossed paths with him at the Pacific Design Center (PDC) or an event around town. This month we are not spotlighting an interior designer as we typically have in past months, but rather Rocky LaFleur, who has become a central fixture, guru, and mentor many in ASID. Having his finger on the pulse of the interior design industry in Los Angeles and Paris, we were excited to ask him a series of questions because he boasts a unique and unparalleled perspective.
There is no question he cannot answer, or seemingly anyone who is better connected than he. Rocky recognizes students are the future designers of the Industry, and donates much of his time to the enrichment and growth of those who are interested.
You may have heard the whispers of Paris in the halls at school recently. Rocky has invited UCLA Extension ARC-ID students to join him in Paris for Design Week next month (January 17 – 21, 2018). While students are fully responsible for all aspects of the trip themselves, they will be seeing the latest materials, designs, colors and learning the lay of the land of Paris, first hand. Here is what he had to say:
Where did you grow up?
A small town of 430 people in South Dakota. I am the oldest of nine children.
What attracted you to the industry?
Creative nontraditional people.
Current occupation within the industry?
Hospitality sales for Needler Fauchere.
What are 3 qualities that got you to where you are today, professionally?
Listening, empathy, and curiousity.
What is one of your biggest challenges?
What does your typical day look like?
Up at 5:30 read the papers and meditate. Go to the showroom in the PDC and jump on the carousel. Ending dinner with design friends.
Best career advice you've gotten?
Never expect from other people what you expect from yourself.
What is one helpful design resource you can recommend to our students as they enter the field?
The PDC and its people. Get to know them.
As someone who is in the thick of the LA Design scene, how do you suggest students break into the industry and get involved?
Show up. It’s always been and always will be about relationships. Go where designers go and see what designers see and speak up and introduce yourself. Get on mailing lists, event lists. Museums and art openings. Lectures. Parties. Make friends in the industry.
How have you been involved with ASID, professionally?
I got involved with ASID when I moved to LA forty years ago when I knew no one. Got on committees and attended events and made friends. These are still my friends today who shared with me how to be good in this business and a how to receive value from community. And as time moves on and enormous challenges change this business ASID helps keep me in the current world of business and design. I show up and give back. ASID is the base of my design universe for sources, clients and satisfactions.
Who do you admire and why?
Interior Designers who have great passion and want to make a difference.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Nature, museums and travel.
What is your favorite 'thing' in your home?
Huge map of old Paris.
What is something on your bucket list?
Japan, a culture that draws me and I want to experience before my time is up. Keep moving!