NYC Design Agent John Patrick Talks Inspiration, Design Philosophies & Speeding: Exclusive Interview

John Patrick
(Photo :

Like a gallery owner or a curator, ABOVE THE FOLD C.E.O. & Founder John Patrick represents a cadre of talent whose focus is on the built environment - architects, landscape architects, interior designers, photographers, all disciplines - to present institutions, companies and individuals with fresh, less-obvious design teams. Applying an agency model to the design and construction industry establishes a win-win collaboration while advancing constructed environments across disciplines.

Currently, ABOVE THE FOLD's talent is working on five continents, including projects ranging from re-adapting industrial warehouses and historic parks to designing buildings for the arts and private houses, with a commitment to environmental stewardship and enduring design.

Check out our interview with Patrick below and learn about his design rules and philosophies. 

Were you always interested in the design world?
Yes. As a child I was very aware of the design of things - cars, shoes, houses, even interiors. When I was 12, I moved from my native Midland, Texas to Seattle and it opened up my eyes to a whole new world of design.  

What makes a home happy?
I don't think it takes much. Fresh air, very little dust, real flowers and plants, colorful artwork, music. A happy home is an essential part of life. 

Do you have any rules?
Personally, I really do not like when people go into work and eat breakfast right away every day. It's too informal and repetitive behaviors like that in general tend to bother me. 

What inspires you today?
The environment, emerging cities and artists, animals. 

What's some of your design philosophies?
That the budget of a project does not and should not define its greatness. The intention of both client and designer shall define its greatness. Looking at the work of ABOVE THE FOLD's talent, one can see numerous examples of eye-catching, award-winning projects done for a fraction of their competitors' who win the same awards, grace the same magazine covers, etc. 

What do you look for in a client?
Great taste, consistency in representation and articulation, a passion for getting the job done and a commitment to building a long-term relationship. 

What's your next big project with ABOVE THE FOLD?
Besides beginning to promote the agency itself, I am thinking to exhibit our talents' work in a physical space. Almost like a showroom. 

Are there any tips you can give to those looking to get into design?
Expect highs and lows. 

What are your vices?

How do you define luxury?
Luxury is feeling some sort of divine comfort or pleasure through possession or experience. 

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