David Shaw Nicholls (dsn) was born in 1959 in a mining village named Bothwellhaugh. A Hamilton coal pit-head nicknamed “The Palace”, now under a man-made lake, hence Atlantis re-born “under Strathclyde Park”.
Bothwell Castle, Lanarkshire. He grew up drawing and painting up the hill, his family having moved to Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland, escaping to Bothwell Castle, beyond the coal and steel works.
He now resides and works between New York, Scotland and Italy.
1972, David Shaw Nicholls attends Bellshill Academy Grammar School, Lanarkshire, where he is encouraged to follow his creative sense by his “art teacher”, the venerable Mr. Beattie. As such, he (Beattie) served as the road to survival.
2017, after 45 years, he is invited back to address the 400 or so, graduating students at Bellshill Academy and present “The world is your oyster and do what is in your heart; do not yield to peer pressure.” Jury is out on that…….
At 15 years of age, David Shaw Nicholls commenced evening painting classes at Glasgow School of Art in the class of William Crosby. This was a giant leap for DSN and his two years at the place of his dreams. “An intimate, yet vast labyrinth of beauty, a fine piece of living architecture. The painting studios diffuse with light.” DSN
The Glasgow School of Art, David Shaw Nicholls attends life studies class and draws the students.
Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. In the class of Sir. Robin
Philipson, mainly looking to “Humanities” and asking why design? No
furniture projects for now. Architecture beckons, but first – Begin
afresh and get to work.
“DESIGN”. Furniture design at Edinburgh College of Art. Left college after second term to form Asflexi Ltd and manufacture minimalist furniture he designed. Jake Harvey permitted the prototype to be welded in the ECA sculpture lab. Launched at Edinburgh Festival, Scotland in 1978. Invited by the Prescote Gallery, along with John Makepeace and the British Designer Craftsmen launched the inaugural furniture exhibition at The Edinburgh City Arts Centre. Subsequently the Fine Arts Society in Glasgow, curated by Roger Billcliffe.
A walk down the road to De Marco Gallery and Joseph Beuys was setting up his installation (just saw him with Domus Magazine in Milan with Pierre Restany, verifying the decoration of Domus Showroom on Via Mazzoni, Milano
Visits Count Panza Di Biumo, Varese, Italy to evaluate his collection of American Artists for possible re-positioning in Edinburgh. The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, designed by Richard Meier became the ultimate destination. Credit to Richard De Marco for his energy.
Exhibition at The Fine Arts Society, Glasgow, curated by Roger Billcliffe, “Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement”.
Re-connects with Ward Bennet, (Sunar, USA) at the opening reception and they head-off to Hill House, – “Toshi” Mackintosh Appreciation Society is formed in Glasgow. 1981
New York City as he receives a design scholarship from The Royal Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, London. Visits NYC and America for the first time and is guest of Willem De Kooning. Time with Michael Graves, Ward Bennet, Philip Johnson and George Nelson, Larry Cadwallader of Knoll and George Beylerian of Steelcase. Falls for New York City. “love and hate it, every day.”
High Tech Showroom, Milan Furniture Exhibion. 1983.
Many young designers first show of furniture.
“One-on-one” with Ettore Sottsass Jnr. in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Boilerhouse Design Gallery. The London launch for Memphis and this encounter, a turning point for David Shaw Nicholls.
In 1983-84 “David Shaw Nicholls” attends Domus Academy (the year of its inception) where he graduated under Ettore Sottsass Jnr in the course of Urban Architecture (Arredo Urbano). Active in “DA” workshops by Achillie Castiglione, Clino Castelli, Gianfranco Ferre, Rem Koolhaas, Rob Krier, Mario Bellini, Pierre Restany, Andrea Branzi and El- Wakil.