Five (plus a bonus) questions with architect/designer Tim Campbell.
Who has had the biggest impact on you personally and on your work?
I would have to say my clients. I see my role as a steward through the design process, so getting to know them and understanding the story they are trying to tell by building their home has influenced how I move in the world in really important ways. Designing a home for someone is a very intimate relationship, and so it has made me more sensitive to people in general. They’ve taught me to listen, but not just to what they say, but what they don’t say or how they respond subliminally to a drawing, a fabric sample, or a piece of furniture. Through them I’ve learned the importance of finding a collective point of view that meets their needs for a very specific aesthetic, but that still works within my principles of beauty and peace.
How do you see fashion intersecting with architecture and design?
In my opinion, fashion is the most immediate barometer of our collective social consciousness for a lot of reasons. Fashion is much more immediate and responsive to the now, and colors, styles, and textures convey a sense of where our culture is at any given moment. Fashion, which has to remain somewhat broad in point of view, becomes quite personal when integrated into the wearers’ personal style and how the tastemakers combine pieces and the trends that come out of that; it adds another layer of nuance to the collective consciousness.
What is an essential travel item you won’t leave without?
A great blazer is a must on every trip. I’m rarely not wearing a jacket of one kind or another. For men, I think the sports coat, or more important, a suit, is the uniform of authority and respect and it’s a must. I’m always dressed nicely when I travel. It’s chic and old-fashioned and gentlemanly.
What era (any but the present) would you have liked to live in?
Believe it or not I think it would have been interesting to be alive during the Stone Age. A big part of being a man for me is the making of things, and I think to have been alive at that point in our evolution would have been very challenging and compelling. Of course, I’d have been lost having to make my own clothes, but it would have been a very interesting time to live.
Where is your favorite place in the world to travel?
Africa. I go at least once a year. I’ve been to South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Morocco. This year I’m headed to Botswana and South Africa, and next year to Uganda and Mozambique. I go to relax but also because I’m involved in several organizations that raise money and awareness for the needs of this extraordinary land.
What is your most treasured item?
While not a possession per se, I’d have to say my dogs. They give me the most joy, and I’d trade anything I have for them. Dogs bring out my most authentic nature, and my two rescues, Jack and Boss, are the second and third lights of my life. My first is my husband, Steve.