I wrote about Mad Man Bryan Batt’s lecture in Baltimore and I seem to have been the only person to do any PR on this event. Mr. Batt is in Baltimore for a few days to buy for his shop, Hazelnut in New Orleans, and to promote his new book. The fantastic lecture he gave was so poorly attended, I was embarrassed for Mr. Batt. And I was annoyed at the staff at the American Crafts Council for not promoting it at all. In fact, the people at the check-in desk didn’t even know what we were talking about when we arrived – and the lecture was in a room right around the corner from where they were sitting.I think that if the lecture had been properly promoted, it would have been packed with fans of Mr. Batt’s talents in acting and design. He was funny, charming and even poignant. He talked about his formative years in New Orleans with a father who loved mid-century modern, and a mother who loved classical French.
One of the points he made, which is the same exact point I’d made in a fund-raising letter for the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, is that someone designed everything… the chair you’re sitting on, the walls around you, the device you’re reading this very blog on… Not all design is good, but someone, at some point, thought it was good enough to manufacture.
From the time he was a child, when his parents took him along to architects’ meetings while they were designing their house, to his shop in New Orleans, and his new book, Big, Easy Design, Mr. Batt has had an enduring love of good design.
He offered the group some tips on design, which included:
- If it looks right, it is right. Trust your eye, have things around you that you love.
- If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Don’t have things around that you don’t love!
- Every room should have either a point of departure or an anchor.
- Give your eye a place to rest… You don’t have to display everything you own.
I was so pleased to have a chance to chat with Mr. Batt after the lecture and he was lovely and gracious, and talked about his recent experience at Maison et Objet in Paris. He was even nice enough to take a picture with me, although I replaced the dull hotel wall with MY toile, the Toile de Baltimore.Thank you for a wonderful lecture, Mr. Batt!