David Shaw Nicholls

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For other people with the same name, see David Nicholls.

David Shaw Nicholls (born 27 February 1959 in Bellshill, Scotland)[1] is a Scottish architect and designer based in New York City.[2] Nicholls is known for his work on furniture, modern area rug and textile designs. Nicholls studied art, architecture and design at Edinburgh College of Art (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Domus Academy (Milan, Italy), before starting his own product and textile design firm in New York City.

Nicholls has exhibited at the "British Design Craftsmen", the "Edinburgh International Festival" (1980), the "Charles Rennie Macintosh Furniture, Fine Arts Society, London" (1981), the "3rd Biennale di Venezia" (185), and the "International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York" (from 1990).[1]

Furniture, Interiors and Architecture[edit]

While in school in Scotland, Nicholls gained recognition for his two-seater welded tubular chair at Edinburgh College of Art.[3] In 1980, "Design reg. No.995257", his first prototypal piece, was acknowledged as “uncluttered and straightforward," “a clean starting point and an attempt with John Makepeace and British craftsmen designers to reduce the object to its original state”, and was shown at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1980, in Fine Arts Society in Glasgow in 1985, at the “Light” exhibition in Milan in 1983.[4] The prototypes were also editorialized extensively throughout the world during this period.

In the early 1980s when he moved to Milan. He worked briefly for Sottsass Associati[5][6] after completing his master thesis with Sottsass at the Domus Academy from 1985 to 1985 (the year of its inception). Whilst in Milan, Nicholls also collaborated with Prospero Rasulo of "Studio Alchimia" and Nanda Vigo of "Bar Montmartre" in 1985.[7]

In 1985 he moved to New York and launched his "BEAST" furniture line. Hand fashioned in wood and metal. The design prototypes comprised: Angus, Arianne, Arno and Aston credenza.[8] At its source, this period also inspired a portfolio of energetic freehand sketches in charcoal and silver.[9]


The creation of his own design firm in New York City allowed Nicholls to introduce an array of textile designs that have been widely recognized for their unique color palette and original design. Nicholls' work has been published in many prestigious media and he has been at the forefront of Hi-End design for twenty years.[10] Architectural Digest, The New York Times Magazine, Elle Decor, Interior Design Magazine, Home Magazine, House & Garden, World of Interiors, Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, Southwest Style, Phoenix Home & Garden, and Traditional Home have all published designs by David Shaw Nicholls.

Nicholls' current design firm Process Unlimited produces Tibetan 100, 80 & 60 knot carpets in wool/silk, fine wool, flat-weave & Bessarabian and an 'Aquaterra' line of floor textiles launched in 2004.[10]


  1. ^ a b Mel Byars. 2004. The Museum of Modern Art Design Encyclopedia. (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
  2. ^ "The New American Entrepreneurs". Metropolis, May 1991: 66-67
  3. ^ Domus Magazine, Italy, no.624. January 1982. pp.66 “News”
  4. ^ Interior Design, UK, June 1982. pp.35 “This England”
  5. ^ Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy 1985. “Ponte Del’Accademia”
  6. ^ Sottsass Associati (Rizzoli), 1985
  7. ^ Casa Vogue, Italy, no 173. 1986, pp172-174 “Bar Montmartre”
  8. ^ Modo, Italy, no 124. 1990, p 30”BEAST” - Araianne table
  9. ^ Metropolis, USA, May 1991, pp 63-71”New American Entrepreneurs”
  10. ^ a b The Design Guide

External links[edit]