15 Minutes with Adam Blackman and David Cruz


A certain magic is palpable when stepping into the Blackman Cruz showroom on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. To document and celebrate their 30 years in business, Adam Blackman and David Cruz have pulled back the veil of their creative partnership with the book Beauty & Mischief: The Design Alchemy of Blackman Cruz, written with Stacie Stukin and featuring a foreword by Ryan Murphy. With decades of historically informed, unorthodox thinking and honed expertise under their collective belt, Blackman and Cruz will continue to influence the design world in Los Angeles and beyond.

-What was the experience like of taking stock of your careers through this medium? Adam: It was revealing. It was humbling. It was wonderful.

David: Putting together a visual document of the 30-year run of Blackman Cruz was an exciting, grueling, humiliating, rewarding and confrontational stew.

Did producing this book impact how you think about your work moving forward, and Blackman Cruz’s legacy?
Adam: It has been exciting to acknowledge that we still love the hunt. Our 30 years of blood, sweat and tears have gone by so quickly and there’s still so much we want to see and do. As for our legacy, let others decide.

David: My take is that if we can keep Blackman Cruz’s forward momentum going, we would be very fortunate. It has been a great ride.

-Who are some of the design talents you’ve been most proud to help champion?
Adam: We’re most proud of the craftspeople we work with. Many of them have been by our side from the start and we couldn’t do what we do without them. And then there is furniture artist Lika Moore.

David: I am proud of all the designers we have represented. They are all courageous, talented and original.

What continually inspires you about the L.A. design community?
Adam: The vast diversity of ideas and cultural influences that are around every corner.

David: Youth is always exciting, and L.A., being a young city, is a tabula rasa to experiment with new takes on design.

What else in California is exciting at the moment?
Adam: Ojai still holds my excitement. There is so much inspiring activity going on.

David: The beauty and diversity of California continues to excite and be a source of inspiration.

-Where do you love to travel?
Adam: Like the way I conduct my business in the search for vintage items, I like to visit places I’ve never been to before. Currently on my list of places to visit are Japan and small towns in the U.S.

David: I travel a lot, but one of my favorite places to visit is the Museo de Antropología de Xalapa [in Mexico’s Veracruz state]. It’s an amazing brutalist building by Paul Balev and its collection focuses on the main pre-Hispanic civilizations from the Gulf Coast.

-What is one change you’d each like to see within the industry?
Adam: More young people.

David: I would like to see a more collaborative spirit. I think we are much too driven by a competitive one.

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