Designing Duo: Robert Bray & Michael Schaible

Defining roles, responsibilities, and dynamics

CJ Dellatore Bray Schiable

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Design partnerships are a ubiquitous phenomenon in the field of interior design.  Many legendary pairs have risen to the ranks of celebrity, and have graced our world with their contribution.

There are, of course, many duos whose names are historic today.  Amongst them was a team of two talented and knowledgeable men who sprung from the High Tech movement, and continued to work together until 2003.

Robert Bray and Michael Schiable were a truly dynamic duo that created a vast body of work over those years, and were able to assimilate their design philosophy as the fashion changed.

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Robert Bray’s apartment

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They were both trained at The Parsons School of Design, and established their partnership while maintaining their unique and individual approaches to the aesthetic of good and proper design. Though their body of work is considered modern, they had an understanding and appreciation for tradition and period design.  One of the most interesting moments in the 30 year old interview offered here is their eloquent explanation of how High Tech and minimalism were born to their generation of gifted designers.

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Cj Dellatore Bray Schiable High Tech

High Tech by Kron and Slesin

CJ Dellatore Bray Schiable early work

The New York Times Book of Interior Design and Decoration by Norma Skurka

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Though they struggled at first, they eventually formed a strong alliance wherein both their egos could live side by side, and their design work became the epitome of sensuous minimalism.  The collaboration of the two is charged with potency and grace, and how they redefined the human experience through spacial relationships is a trademark of this duo’s designs.  Their rooms within rooms approach is synonymous with their signature style.

Take the time to watch this rare and candid interview Bray and Schiable gave to Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel to understand how a successful design partnership works.

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Together Bray and Schiable created a design collaborative that molded them, and influenced them in a way that produced a true style evolution while maintaining the rigors and axioms of their roots so evident throughout the formal partnership.

Here is an image from one of their last projects featured in AD.  Follow this link for the slideshow of the entire interior.

CJ Dellatore Bray Schiable Interior

Photograph by Scott Frances, courtesy Architectural Digest

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In the coming weeks I’ll be showcasing other famous design teams here on the blog, please watch for the posts, and as always, thanks for reading.

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Written by Carl Lana

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