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Catch Ideas In David Lynch’s Immersive ‘Thinking Rooms’

Step through the velvet curtains into the immersive 'Thinking Rooms' crafted by David Lynch to unlock the deepest realms of creative ideation.

From the red-draped Waiting Room in Twin Peaks to a Room to Dream and many in between, the list of rooms originating from David Lynch’s imagination goes on. The latest addition: A Thinking Room.

Its genesis traces back to the 2017 Rome Film Festival, where professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and now curator of Salone del Mobile, Antonio Monda, presented David Lynch with the lifetime achievement award. At a later date, Monda met up with the director in Los Angeles where he discovered Lynch making furniture at home. That unexpected encounter led to the main design exhibition at the 2024 edition of the famous furniture fair in Milan: Interiors by David Lynch: A Thinking Room, an immersive experience on the grounds of the Rho Fiera.

David Lynch: A Thinking Room in Milan

Two identical but mirrored rooms –Twin Rooms, if you wish– to avoid overcrowding. Inside each room, a single armchair surrounded by thick curtains made of blue velvet. Above the chair, a series of brass tubes rise towards a curving gold ceiling. Around the perimeter, screens playing abstract videos act like portals to the outside world. To construct these sets, Lynch worked with the sensational set builders at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro.

David Lynch: A Thinking Room

In a Skype call with David Lynch, curator Antonio Monda asked him how he came up with “A Thinking Room?”

“When you told me about making a room, your mind goes to rooms. Then you have many, many possibilities. And so you start thinking about rooms, and then I started thinking about rooms. I saw this drawing that I did a long time ago. I looked at this drawing, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is a thinking room.’ And then once I got this idea of a thinking room, the whole thing sprouted. And I started doing small drawings for the room and thinking about these different things. And one thing led to another, and I started working with your great team of architects and it really took off.”

David Lynch's sketch of A Thinking Room
David Lynch’s sketches of A Thinking Room

Lynch was then asked about any specific meaning behind the room’s colors?

“I chose to have this deep blue because of all the colors, it seems to me that’s the most deep-soothing, more silent depth that you need for this get really down into deep thinking. As opposed to the walls, the ceiling is gold, all bright. The light from the ceiling illuminates the room below. So you have very dark walls and floor for thinking, but then this electric light coming from the ceiling for sparking the ideas.”

While deep blue may lead you to believe Blue Velvet may have somehow been an inspiration, Lynch assures us that it’s a unique room and has nothing to do with cinema.

“It’s A Thinking Room, based on ideas that came. But you could be in that room and catch ideas for cinema. You could catch ideas for furniture. You could catch ideas for music. It’s a room to think in to get ideas. You know, that’s the purpose of the room.”

David Lynch: A Thinking Room

“Why a big, wooden throne?” Antonio asks.

“It just felt correct. This place where you sit, sort of regal. It’s important. It should be very significant to catch ideas. It has seven chimneys, and the chimneys are connected to the ceiling so there’s a conduit. There’s a way to go up and go down and to keep in touch with all realms to catch ideas. So you can go very deep or very high and all these different places where ideas exist. And you can catch them.”

David Lynch's Thinking Room
David Lynch: A Thinking Room 2024
David Lynch: A Thinking Room

So, what should you expect when you step into A Thinking Room?

“[T]he visitors [of A Thinking Room] will be much improved. They’ll be lining up outside the rooms. They won’t know what they’re going to see, and they’ll go through a little corridor, and they’ll enter into the Thinking Room. And their eyes will be open wide, and they’ll say, ‘Oh my goodness! What a fantastic little room!’ And they’ll go around and around, and they’ll feel, and they’ll think. They won’t realize it at first, but they’ll be getting happier and happier, and they’ll be getting filled with a kind of energy. And when they leave this space, the ideas will be flowing, and the energy will be flowing, and the happiness will be flowing. And when they go out, they’ll be energized to find things to make their life better, and better, and better.”

‘Interiors by David Lynch. A Thinking Room’ at Salone del Mobile 2024, located at Pavilions 5 and 7 in the Rho Fiera, can be visited from 16 to 21 April 2024. More information at salonemilano.it.

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.

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