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January CONTRACT/designer profile/7 of 8

take [[strikethrough]] by Larsen [[/strikethrough]] from planes [[strikethrough]] during his many travels, [[/strikethrough]] will be a source of new patterning for the studio's designers.

Discussing the firm's design philosophy, Larsen says, "Our policy is to be relatively save in color, pattern, and price, which permits us to 'subsidize' our more experimental work. If we err on the side of security, we can try some new and radical departures. The biggest mistake we can make is to be too cautious."

A firm believer in being in touch with the marketplace -- his own and others around the world -- Larsen makes periodic trips to his over-200 production facilities which include dye houses, printers, and weavers. Often, dyeing and printing of Larsen fabrics takes place in a separate location from weaving. He started working abroad in the early [[strikethrough]] B [[/strikethrough]] '50s, seeking out hand-spun yarns in such far-flung places as Haiti, West Africs, China, Bali, Bhutan, Laos, and Peru and developing his lay interest in anthropology. Travel for him is an escape from "voluntary ghettos -- especially cultural and intellectual ones."

Larsen's forecast for the future of product design: "We are getting ever better craftmanship on on the better end of the market -- a great new sophistication in corporate interiors.

"The 19th and 20th centuries both began with a classic and intellectual focus; perhaps the 20th will