304 Hudson Street  FL 3   New York, NY   10013   |   212.431.4242
Richard Cleves
How do you apply your technical skills at CX Design?
At the CX Design Lab I focus on transforming basic designs into customized solutions for clients. Our designs must not be only what our clients want but also what they need. By understanding both wants and needs, I can facilitate our creations around the similarities in both.

How have you engineered your lighting products to be “green?”
We are strong advocates of sustainability and ecology. Our products are timeless and meant for a lifetime of use. Sustainable instead of disposable means things last longer and that also saves on energy and transportation.

All our lighting is made to be compatible with energy efficient CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) which we encourage people to use. They are 70% more energy efficient than incandescent, and in fact, they work very well and even enhance the color of the glass. CFL’s are particularly appropriate for the Scavo collection.

In addition, we reuse all packaging materials. After assembling the products in the US, we repackaged them in the original Italian shipping material to ship to our customers.

Is ecology also a family interest?
Absolutely. Monica and I are married and have a son Nicholas. We maintain an urban lifestyle with a low carbon footprint. We don’t own a car and use public transportation. Recently, Nicholas and I rode in the New York Century bike ride around the city sponsored by Transportation Alternatives who are advocates for increased bike paths in the city. On weekends we like to get away to the north fork of Long Island to fish, relax, and enjoy nature.

When did you discover your ability to combine both a technical, scientific interest with creativity?
My technical creativity got an early start when I was about 10 years old and a family friend gave me a bunch of old switches. I got interested in electrical circuits and mechanics and was always tinkering with them. I had an erector set kind of building toy and I enjoyed making things and showing them off to my family. I always thought I would go into some kind of science-related career.

Where did you learn the business side of your work?
I came to the US in the early 80’s and got a job with a small clothing company. There I picked up hands-on training in marketing and wholesaling and got lots of pointers on the practical side of buying, selling, and shipping. That experience with a small business inspired me to start CX Design with Monica.
What other interests do you pursue ?
I’ve had a life-long absolute passion for music particularly Reggae, African, and Indie Rock. We always listen to music at work and keep up with current trends. In fact, when I came to America my luggage contained a pair of speakers and 100 albums and that was about all.
I also enjoy the culinary arts. I love to cook and to try new foods and recipes. I enjoy photography, and I’m an avid bridge player and play almost weekly.
What was your first introduction to Italian art and culture?
My family traveled in Europe a lot when I was a child. One of my first memories of Italy was when I was about 5 years old and climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa. As a young adult I hitchhiked to Venice and Florence; I particularly loved the street markets in Florence.

Do you have a favorite lighting installation?
You can see a lot of our installations on this web site. I particularly like “Wish” in Miami, named one of world’s 50 best restaurants. The entire ceiling is made up of more than 60 lights. But every installation is different and they’re all beautiful.