What’s in my travel bag: David Rockwell

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Few architects can claim that they have both an Emmy and a Tony. While most chase awards such as the Pritzker and the Aga Khan, David Rockwell is thrilled with his television and Broadway honours.


He established his cutting-edge architecture and design studio in 1984, and over the past 32 years it has grown exponentially. At any given time, Rockwell Group is working on dozens of projects, from an interactive computer-generated art installation to the sets of Broadway musicals, and hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships, in locations as far-flung as China, Maui, and even Doha.

“I love South Africa. Kruger National Park has one of the most incredible hotels that I’ve ever visited – the Singita Sweni Lodge. It’s located on the grounds of the park at the edge of the Sweni River. It’s fascinating to watch animals and birds gravitate towards the river to drink or wallow in the water.

“In Doha, I think the Corniche is stunning. I visited it a few years ago when we designed our first free-standing Nobu restaurant, Nobu Doha, on a peninsula at the northern end of the Corniche. The Middle East is a laboratory of creative activity and experimentation in terms of architecture, and it’s been incredibly exciting to observe and be a part of the region’s growth.”

The Bag:
I always take a classic black nylon Prada Vela backpack on trips. It’s lightweight, holds all of my essentials, and is polished enough that I can take it to meetings.

The Contents:
Black James Perse T-shirts. Their shirts are incredibly long-lasting and comfortable, making them great for travel. A blue Prada button-down shirt. During a flight, I like to sketch and read, so I always bring a Pentel Sign Pen and a stack of design magazines.

These days I am reading Ping Pong Diplomacy by Nicholas Griffin. My son developed an interest in ping-pong a few years ago, and now plays competitively around the world, so I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the sport.

A stainless-steel black Dial Aquis watch by Oris.

A pair of Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones that were a gift from a client. The handcrafted quality of the headphones adds a bit of luxury during long-haul flights.

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