Arkitektura Proprietor Andrew Fisher Marks a Modernist’s Milestone

Andrew FisherFor Andrew Fisher, time spent as a child in his grandfather’s Detroit workshop sparked a lifelong love affair with furniture design. “It allowed me to forge a relationship with materiality, design and execution,” says the Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate and owner of iconic San Francisco furniture showroom Arkitektura. “I developed an ideology that became the cornerstone of all my future endeavors.” Fisher brought that mindset to Detroit in 1985 and then to San Francisco in the nineties, where he helped to pioneer the local market for European and American contemporary furniture by championing lines like Cassina, B&B and Cappellini at his groundbreaking showroom, Arkitektura. Now, 30 years later, Fisher is the proprietor of five furniture venues dedicated to cutting-edge collections, and he continues to champion design thinking by drawing international A-list talent like Jaime Hayon, Omer Arbel, and Tom Dixon to San Francisco for talks and lectures. Here, Fisher reflects on a life at the forefront of design. 

What are three items that should be in every home?
Beauty, design and spirit.

The Charles sofa by B&B ItaliaWhat’s your favorite piece of furniture in your own home? 
My J.J. chairs by Antonio Citterio from B&B Italia. Citterio has a way of navigating history, of combining past, present and future without it feeling forced. Just magical. 

How does your current home compare with the one you grew up in?
 It’s the complete opposite. Growing up, my house was filled with furniture purported to be from the king’s hands. My current home is sheathed in glass and concrete, and filled with B&B, Knoll and Fritz Hansen. 

The Arkitektura showroomWhat’s your favorite thing about the West Coast?
Opportunity. In the Bay Area, I am surrounded by like-minded and creative people. Here, you can have the American Dream of growing a business. There’s an entrepreneurial haze hanging over the city.

If you could be a piece of furniture, what would you be? 
Alessandro Mendini’s Proust Geometrica chair for Cappellini. Why? I’d be the most interesting person in the room. It’s historically important, aesthetically important and represents the highest point in Italian thinking. Alternatively: the Charles sofa from B&B. Then I’d be the most elegant girl in the room.

A version of this article appeared in the April/May 2015 issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Modern Champion.