By Kimberly Hundley
Award-winning designer Anita Lang has designed hundreds of pieces of furniture in her career, but this spring she’s launched a furniture company and is debuting her first line. She tells us more about Design 528’s “Planes” collection, which plays with positive and negative space, as well as her craft in general.
What was the inspiration for the “Planes” table?
It was inspired by nature. I love when you’re in a canyon, you can see the strata layers on the wall, and the table has that effect with the macassar [ebony groove] down the middle—that beautiful dramatic graining on it.
What is the significance of “528” in the furniture company name?
My core values are love, truth, beauty and joy. And I really try and show that in the work that I do. With my furniture line, I wanted the pieces to resonate with a sense of those qualities and have an effect on the people around them. The note of C vibrates at a frequency of 528—it’s known as the love frequency, and we respond to it on an emotional level. It took me forever to find a name, but when I did, it was a eureka moment.
What is your approach to working with natural materials?
Every material has its own vibe. Even when picking something as simple as countertops—travertine, granite, quartz—each one of those has a different presence and evokes a different emotion. Stone feels softer than granite. It’s subtle. Stone, metals, woods—they get me super excited [laughs], like shoes do.
How did your business go during the recession years when so many people in the design sector faltered?
It was brutal … Tons of our projects were put on hold. But at the same time, it has taught me so much. We’re much more efficient today, we work faster, we work smarter and we’re so much more streamlined. Another thing is I have such great appreciation for my clients. I always did, but now in a different way. Not being able to practice my craft felt like my arms and legs were cut off. So I am so appreciative for what [clients] give us. They are the ones that are the inspiration for everything. If they weren’t there to tell us what they wanted, and to trust us, and, of course, if they weren’t there to fund it, what would we do?
What trends are you seeing in Scottsdale this year?
We’re doing a lot of modern design, very transitional design. And I think this is very appropriate for our desert environment—the simplistic lines and textural, natural materials. So a lot of people are asking for that look, vs. anything Old World. I think it’s the whiplash effect: when the market gets so saturated and it starts to get done poorly, people start to want something different.