On a rainy day in Manhattan last month, designers and the like came together to enjoy a design discussion between Dwell’s Editor In Chief, Amanda Dameron, and Thos. Moser’s Creative and Design Director, David Moser. I was one of the many amazed listeners in the audience, and simply HAD TO interview this inspiring man! So here we are… with David Moser and his take on design, the family business, and life in its general fabulousness!
Robin Baron: What do love most about what you do at Thos. Moser?
David Moser: Every day I get a chance to make something. It’s a rare opportunity. My love for what I do came to life about ten years ago when my dad asked me to take over the Moser prototype shop. There I explored new, more contemporary furniture concepts. At the time, we had just begun to embrace technology as part of our craft. The shift allowed us to explore new approaches to building and designing furniture. I was a part of bringing a new way of thinking to the shop and to our talent. Now, as then, that ability to interface with peers who challenge and encourage is huge.
RB: The Family Business – Is it easy to work together with your father and brothers?
DM: Family is an interesting business – Especially when you’re in business together. Luckily for us we all share a similar love of what my dad began over 40 years ago – making really good furniture from really good materials. We also have figured out who does what really well. My brother Aaron has a real passion for the contract business. He’s cultivated some excellent relationships with pretty prestigious architects over the years, and has facilitated Moser furniture specifications in libraries and corporate offices like the Duke University Perkins Library System, the NC State DH Hill Library and the new George W. Bush Center in Texas. My brother Andy is in the shop. He’s a true craftsman who loves to build. His expertise is especially valuable if a client wants to reshape or repair a Moser piece. Dad has decided to turn the work of the Company over to us. He is enjoying writing, traveling and time with my mother, Mary.
It’s an exciting time.
RB: In your opinion what’s been the key to Thos. Moser’s success?
DM: We’ve stuck to our knitting. We know what we do, and we do it well. Our aesthetic is understood. It may not be fully embraced by everyone, but those who know us know our look and quality. They also know that we know what we’re doing. The integrity behind every design and in each built piece is highly valued – so much so that many consider ours to be heirloom pieces – to be shared by and with future generations. In short, our clients count on us for authentically crafted furniture that will last lifetimes.
RB: How would you describe your personal décor?
DM: I am entranced by the Far East. Whether in architecture, sculpture, calligraphy, or furniture, Japanese design offers the perfect balance of form, line and materials. We live in a contemporary home. Lots of glass, wood, and stone make up the space. Much like my Edo Collection, my home finds its place where the practical meets the esoteric.
RB: What’s the one piece in your home you could not live without?
DM: I have a buffet hutch given to me by my father; it was the first piece he ever made. I don’t necessarily need it or use it for its intended purpose, but I covet it because it serves as a direct connection to him and me as a steward to future family. That piece served to form my life and taught me to build furniture and a legacy for future generations.
RB: You lived in Kenya? How has that experience affected your work?
DM: The Peace Corps. was an amazing experience. It infused my soul. My parents set me up beautifully for the whole deal. They taught a strong work ethic, respect for the power of nature, and an appreciation for simplicity and form. Africa was all that and more. My time there was hard. It reminded me to look for beauty in darkness.
RB: What does “fabulous” mean to you?
DM: Fabulous for me is building a home both physical and metaphoric where I feel a sense of comfort and familiarity, and know that this is the natural purpose of my life…I can rest in its grace and peace – I am home. I have designed and built my own home and most of the furniture in it. I am defined by my family and my work…for me there is no separation from my person and my career – it is all one and the same which is a “fabulous” life.