David Shaw Nicholls

David Shaw Nicholls

David Shaw Nicholls (born February 27, 1959 in Bellshill, Scotland)[1] is a Scottish architect and designer based in New York.[2] Nicholls is known for his modern area rugs 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 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" (191), the "3rd Biendi Architecture, Venice" (185), and the "International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York" (from 1990).[1]


Furniture, Interiors and Architecture

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 to reduce the object to its original state”, and was shown at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1980, in Fine Arts Society in 1985, at the “Light” exhibition in Milan in 1983.[4] The prototype was 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.[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' design firm produces Tibetan 100, 80 & 60 knot carpets in wool/silk, fine wool, flat-weave & Bessarabian and an 'Aquaterra' line 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

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