Antonio Rodriguez began his journey with RAYMOND NICOLAS after graduating from The Miami International University of Art & Design with a degree in interior design. Having grown up in five different countries, Rodriguez developed a unique creative and cultural lens that shines through in his work. This nomadic upbringing was the catalyst to his interest in human behavior and the way that we inhabit and experience our surroundings. He began his career with a simple goal: to design appealing interiors while placing the human experience at the beginning of the process.
What made you want to be a designer?
I feel like growing up I have always been interested in the arts. My career started in film production until I realized I mostly just enjoyed building the sets and scouting the locations where the films would be carried out. That is when I deviated to the world of interior design and architecture. There is something so unique and personal about telling the story and implementing the character of our clients through the selection of furniture, lighting, materials, colors. When it all comes together, it can be enchanting.
What’s your life philosophy?
I feel like everything is “figure-outable” and you shouldn’t be constrained by the traditional guidelines of whatever your job description is. I am driven by the wide possibilities I have of exploring and delving into other disciplines while being a designer.
You’ve grown up in five different countries. How have those experiences shaped how you approach design?
Growing up amongst a variety of cultures and beliefs has given me a very open mind and has broadened my view on the world and its cultural influences. I approach design by implementing what I have seen and what I have experienced everywhere I have lived.
How does your background in film production inform your designs today?
Making movies is to me still one of the highest artistic achievements you can do. I feel like it encompasses so many aspects of the arts. I would say the ability to tell a compelling story is something I learned in film school that helps me in the world of interior design today. Being able to create a story and an experience through design can make a project really stand out.
What is your all-time favorite project you’ve designed, and why?
Captiva Residence. This project is near completion, but I have been there since the first conceptual presentation with the client and to see how far it has come since then and how the vision has evolved is definitely fulfilling. I have a strong feeling that it will be one of the nicest projects we have completed this year.
Any recent design trends you particularly like?
I love how we have started to embrace rough and unfinished surfaces more and more. The principles of wabi-sabi are being used more frequently, and I am all for it.
What’s something you haven’t accomplished yet that’s on your list?
One of my dreams is to one day be able to direct the design vision for a hotel. There is something so unique about hospitality design. Hard to explain.