DESIGN

Stanley Felderman and Nancy Keatinge of FKA Studio on This Week's The Scoop [EXCLUSIVE]

The reputable husband and wife design team, Stanley Felderman and Nancy Keatinge, highlight this week's The Scoop.

The founders of the Los Angeles-based design studio, Felderman Keatinge & Associates, are constantly revitalizing our urban environments and looking for new ways to enhance the future as human lifestyles continue to evolve.

With an inherent passion for art and design, along with years of experience researching and analyzing the zeitgeist, the pioneering design duo have become innovative staples in the industry. Their talent has been represented in various forms from working with major clients like Disney, Universal Music Group, Legendary Entertainment and MTV Networks, proving their concepts and visions surpass merely design.

The firm's services include architecture, interior design, product design, sustainable design, brand design and consulting. In the future, Felderman and Keatinge plan to enter even more territories and will be introducing a jewelry collection!

Throughout nearly three decades of design success, their work has received several awards and has been featured in both the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.

Read on to find out find out how Felderman and Keatinge's relationship began and how they continue to flourish together in the highly competitive field of design. 

 


(Photo : Courtesy of Felderman Keatinge & Associates - Stanley Felderman and Nancy Keatinge)

 

MB: How did both of you meet? Can you give us a brief history on your initial relationship? 

FK: At the time, Stanley had offices in New York and California and would fly back and forth working with high profile entertainment clients. We met at a political fundraiser in Los Angeles and afterwards he asked me to join him at an exclusive private supper club called "Touch" (for Touch dancing) which Stanley had designed for Hugh Hefner of Playboy. Our second date was at the Playboy Mansion for Sunday movie night but that's another story. 

MB: Were both of you individually involved in design beforehand? Was design a part for either of your childhoods?

SF: I grew up in the Bronx and attended the High School of Music and Art and then went on to Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Art was always a part of my childhood. My mom was always nurturing of my talent and put the purchase of art supplies ahead of groceries. As a result, creativity comes from the heart.

NK: I grew up in Los Angeles always loving art and spending hours in the art studio in high school. I attended University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in Urban Studies. Coming from a family of doctors and lawyers, I was the black sheep of the family following a more creative path. 

MB: What was the "sign" that propelled you to build a brand — and a brand together?

NK: Stanley already had a successful firm with offices on both coasts. We found that we spoke the same language of design and wanted to work together. We quickly found that our core strengths complemented one another and we decided to join forces.

MB: What is Felderman Keatinge inspired from or by? What are the core attributes of your brand that you strongly value? 

FK: We are constantly working to be current, fast paced and stay ahead of the curve. We are not influenced by the latest trends. We are a client-driven firm and want to create spaces that reflect our clients' core values and inspire their employees. The spaces we design withstand the test of time.

 


(Photo : Courtesy of FKA Studio - Legendary Entertainment Offices)

 

 

MB: What continues to facilitate your growth as creative individuals?

FK: We desire to look at things from a fresh perspective every time we start a project. We try to remove preconceived notions of what a project should be. We have a drive and a passion to reevaluate and develop new solutions. We have clients that trust us and want to go on that journey with us. 

MB: Who is your client? What do you believe it is about your work and talent that intrigues individuals and businesses?

FK: We have a broad range of clients from entertainment, hospitality, residential and corporate industries — all whom we are fortunate to participate with on their journey to their success. And we are brought in again and again to create the next space that reflects their image, whether it be Samsung, Mattel, Viacom, Universal, Legendary Entertainment, Sheppard Mullin, Pilsbury Winthrop, restaurants or luxury residential. 

The common thread for these clients is that they are all looking for creative solutions that function and inspire. 

We make good business sense. Our clients enjoy the process. They feel as though we listen and offer options that stretch them beyond their comfort level, but, at the end of the day, reflect their core values, goals and vision. 

MB: How would you describe your aesthetic? Individually and as a team?

FK: Our aesthetic would best be described as high-octane minimalism, as the spaces are kept minimal but with high energy that creates an active visual. We pare things down but then our work has a lot of layers. We embrace open architecture, much like our home. We were among the first early adapters of the open office concept in the '90s, coining the phrase "Home away from Home" and "casual collision areas" when we designed MTV Networks. The open design allows for a greater community to be created within the space.

 


(Photo : Courtesy of FKA Studio - iCrete Office)

 

 

As a team, we are well respected within our industry for being innovators — we work for Fortune 1000 companies behind the scene looking to the future. In the past, we designed one of the first ATMs, and in terms of materials, we participated in the early use of lightweight honeycomb construction, polarized windows for airplanes, fiber optics and office of the future for Steelcase. 

Our work has been exhibited in the Newport Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. The focus of our work is "not to replicate the past but to build a bridge for the future." 

MB: How would you define your company culture?

FK: Our employees are hired because they have a passion for what they are doing. We encourage them to be involved in all aspects of a project from the beginning to end, including interacting with clients so they can hear firsthand what the clients needs are and how to interpret them.

MB: What is something you would want individuals to know about FKA Studios that perhaps they do not know yet? What would you share?

FK: People look at us as a creative and innovative firm, but we are great researchers. We have worked for Fortune 1000 companies as consultants to research market opportunities. We enjoy being innovators. We get excited to work in new areas that take research and analysis and expand our project base to co-create a brand that goes beyond the design.

MB: What do you believe it is that keeps you both doing what you do?

NK: It is in our DNA. I have a passion for investigating and researching what is out there in other industries and how things relate to us and integrate these ideas into our design. I'm interested in how people enjoy working and function best and then designing a space that nurtures that behavior in ways they had not expected. 

SF: Art. I am very hands on, I love to draw and help envision possibilities. I love the process of design as well as seeing the end result and how it affects people. 

MB: What can your clients rely on you for, what is "that thing" your clients can consistently get from you?

FK: Our clients get both of us — we stay involved and are always available to them. They can rely on us to not be influenced by the status quo and latest trends. 

 


(Photo : Courtesy of FKA Studio - FK Home)

 

 

MB: What can we expect to see from you guys in the near future?

FK: More and more we are creating holistic designs — designing the entire environment including art, furniture and lighting. 

Art and murals are becoming more and more of a driver and are included in the environments we design. Art and product design will expand in the coming year, including larger art installations, furniture design, and we will be coming out with a jewelry line as well!

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