Suzanne Lovell’s Art Tour of San Francisco’s Dogpatch

Suzanne Lovell is a residential interior architect headquartered in Chicago known for her unique approach towards designing couture environments. A passionate art collector, Suzanne is constantly searching for new collaborations with the best artists and artisans from around the world, seeking craftsmanship at the highest level. Suzanne has been recognized by Architectural Digest’s AD 100, and her work has been published internationally. Suzanne’s book, Artistic Interiors: Designing with Fine Art Collections, showcases her work weaving together personal stories for clients. She took us along as she got a gallery tour of San Francisco's coolest new neighborhood: the Dogpatch.


Travel offers me the opportunity to explore new areas, discover artists, and connect with creative people around the globe. On a recent visit to San Francisco, Alisa Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens magazine, hosted me on a tour of San Francisco’s hottest emerging neighborhood. The once industrial Dogpatch is now a hotbed of creative culture. Anchored by Third Avenue and the area roughly between 20th and 23rd Streets, the district has a cool, eclectic vibe and is home to some of the city’s most creative destinations. It is an exciting time to experience the transformation here, from a largely industrial area to an enclave of artists, artisans, and creative leaders.

The Museum of Craft & Design is the centerpiece of this incredible neighborhood. Founded in 2004, the superb new space, built in 2013, is an environment for experiencing innovative contemporary work in craft and design. Founding director Jo Ann Edwards treated me to a tour of the current exhibit: Hands Off: New Dutch Design.


Ted Noten’s Wanna Swap Your Ring? (2010) installation reminded me of Roman Ondák’s Swap performance at the 14 Rooms installation at Art Basel in 2014. In that work, the performer tries to swap his object with any object the visitor might be carrying with him in an endless exchange of barter and communication. Here, the experience is more passive, but it is fun to participate! The museum installation includes personal objects from visitors, and now includes my (Chico’s) bracelet. I was able to take a 3D printed ring designed by the artist in exchange.

Martijn Koomen’s Weather, Feathers and Frost, is presented in a transparent pavilion that makes temperature, atmospheric pressure, and wind visible with periodic blasts from the floor that send feathers flying.

I loved our visit to the Workshop Residence, and could have stayed for hours! Founded by visionary arts patron Ann Hatch in 1997, this retail and studio space is dedicated to showcasing and cultivating the latest in art, craft, and design. Workshop has hosted and collaborated with leading artists and designers including Dutch wunderkind Dirk Van Saene, performance artist Ann Hamilton, and lighting designer Johanna Grawunder. Each year they highlight eight makers and their work and host a series of workshops and events. As an interior architect, I thrive on collaboration with artisans every day, so it was inspiring to experience Ann’s passion for the artists and designers that she is supporting.

Dirk van Saene’s Wilma cup features a whimsical animal as a handle. Available in white, light blue, red, and green, these are great to mix and match.

In just the last three years, one can see an incredible amount of development in the Dogpatch—my son and his new wife live here and love it. The special dynamic between old and new is what makes this area unique, one can only hope that the new isn’t taken too far!

Come back tomorrow for part two of our exclusive tour of the Dogpatch with Suzanne– a view of the great restaurants dotting the neighborhood.  Find Suzanne at her homepage. Follow Suzanne on Pinterest, and make sure to visit her blog, which is updated daily. Her book Artistic Interiors is available on Amazon.

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