Virtual Keynote Speakers
From his start at renowned design firms, Parish-Hadley, Robert Metzger and Bilhuber & Associates, Thom Filicia launched his acclaimed enterprise, Thom Filicia Inc. and emerged as one of today’s most influential and respected interior and product designers. His projects range from residential, hospitality and commercial interiors all over the world.
Gaining fame on the Emmy-winning “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, Style Network, HGTV, and most recently Bravo’s Get A Room with Carson & Thom, he is a best-selling author and has been praised as a top designer and international tastemaker.
He is also the driving force behind the Thom Filicia Home Collection, which includes furniture, artwork, bedding, textiles, wallcovering and more, and has a flagship showroom, called Sedgwick & Brattle, at The New York Design Center.
The office of Robert M. Gurney, FAIA is dedicated to the design of modern, meticulously detailed and thoughtfully ordered residential and commercial projects that are sensitive to site, program and budget. Materials are employed with honesty, integrity and ecological awareness. Interior spaces are active and intricate, tranquil and minimal. Regardless of project size or budget, our office is committed to producing buildings and spaces that strive for design excellence.
Whether working in complex historical districts or on a vacant site, the design process involves an understanding of site specific issues of location, landscape, history, availability of materials and construction methods, while including considerable client interaction.
Design solutions arrive through the thoughtful manipulation of light, color, texture, form and geometry, culminating in architecture that is simultaneously complex and distilled. An understanding of current technology, attention to detail, and awareness of location, landscape and history, lead to design solutions that respect historical, topographical and regional context, without being revivalist.
The office of Robert M. Gurney, FAIA has created a body of work that has won more than three hundred thirty local, regional and national design awards, including two National AIA Honor Awards, six National AIA Housing Awards, six American Architecture Awards and three National AIA Small Project Awards. The office’s work has been published in numerous local, national and international magazines, books and periodicals, and is the subject of two monographs, “Modern Order: Houses by Robert Gurney” and “Robert M. Gurney Architect”, part of Images Publishing Master Architect Series.
Foster attended Woodstock Country School in South Woodstock, VT, Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT where he received a BA in Fine Art (classical sculpture) along with a Mathematics minor. Moving to NYC in 1984 Foster worked in construction to support his art, and in 1988 enrolled in Parsons School of Design to pursue his Master of Fine Art (classical painting) in the Beaux Art style atelier program lead by Leland Bell and Paul Resika. The focus on history, materials, and old master techniques married well to Foster’s growing knowledge of the building trades, and it didn’t take long for him to start experimenting with the medium of plaster as “art in construction”.
Foster had an eye-opening experience in 1989 when working for a contractor who was also an historian of the building trades in NYC. When he applied some basic plastering techniques he had learned while working summers for a builder in VT, this contractor/historian commented on how rare it was to find people who can do this sort of work. Foster was perplexed that in such a populous city, this would be a rare talent. He was summarily taken out for a beer after work and told the sad story of the demise of the plaster trade, which began in earnest after WWII. Thus, began a journey into the understanding of the materials and techniques, and a commitment to the renaissance of this amazing trade via modern methodologies.
After 30 years of exploration and executed work, Foster has amassed a group of standard products and practices that he feels embody the best and most beautiful aspects of plaster. Foster never tires of expounding on the health benefits, the green environmental aspects, and the maintenance free nature of plaster products. Add to this the almost unlimited design potential, for both classical and modern buildings, and you have the foundation of a career that continues to inspire Foster and the many whom he has touched with his passion.
Foster and his amazing team have been the recipients of the Trumbauer Award, the Mizner Award, and the Bulfinch Award, all for excellence in craftsmanship. Foster is a board member of the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, and is on the preservation committee of Old Westbury Gardens, where he helps oversee the restoration of the Phipps mansion. Foster dedicates much of his time to educating craftsmen, builders and designers in the modern techniques and uses of plaster.
Celerie Kemble’s priority is always to express the personality and sentiment of her clients through gracious interiors.
Celerie is known for her professional versatility in terms of budget, location, and style. She’s full of clever solutions that deliver a mix of pragmatism and beauty. Never one to dismiss nuance or drama, Kemble seamlessly engages both forces to create dynamic and comfortable rooms. Over the past twenty-two years, her work has included homes and commercial spaces across the United States and the Caribbean, many of which have been featured in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, Luxe, Florida Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, The Wallstreet Journal, the New York Times, and more.
Celerie is the author of “Island Whimsy” which will publish with Rizzoli in March 2021. She has also published “To Your Taste” and “Black & White (and a Bit in Between)” with Clarkson Potter. She has been included in Architectural Digest’s AD100, House and Garden’s 50 New Tastemakers, House Beautiful’s Top Designers, Elle Décor’s A-List Designers, Luxe’s Gold List, and more.
Her licensed product lines include fabrics, trims and wallpaper for Schumacher, lighting and occasional furniture with Arteriors, outdoor furniture with Lane Venture, decorative accessories and bar furniture with Maitland-Smith, decorative wood flooring with Mirth, drapery hardware with Classical Elements, tufted, broadloom, and natural fiber rugs with Merida, and mirrors with Mirror Image. All of which aim to provide designs that delight Celerie and eliver the utility she believes must always be present in any item purchased for the home.
Celerie received a B.A. from Harvard in 1995 and graduated with Cum Laude honors.