A Nook of One’s Own

The first time I met Douglas Coupland, I was a little intimidated. One doesn’t know what to expect. He was so open and friendly, just down-to-earth. He had designed a small collection of furniture, and as a result of his personal friendship with my brother Allan, he wanted SwitzerCultCreative to arrange for the manufacturing and to take on the worldwide marketing. This was a year-long process, during which he remained deeply committed to every detail.

He’d been inspired to create this collection from memories of his time in Japan years and years ago. Those images came back for him as he designed a table lamp, floor lamp, bookcase, and writing desk. The whole series (launched in January 2013) was called The Writer’s Nook. He had this idea that the pieces could work together to create a space where a person could be thoroughly inspired. He was able to choreograph this visually to such a precise degree-down to the point where he would be examining paint and leather samples for the perfect match to particular Pantone colours.

I have this strong memory of the day he came out with his partner, David Weir, to our head office in Roberts Creek: we were all inspecting the prototypes built at Nico Spacecraft and he was sitting at the desk, making sure the placement of handles felt exactly right. All the moments of the design process were opportunities for careful and precise decisions. The decisions came from him; we were the stewards.

Renee Switzer and Allan Switzer formed SwitzerCultCreative in 2012 to create and market modern, sustainable furniture designs for residential and hospitality projects


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