“It’s not just about design for design’s sake,” says designer and event planner Ken Fulk, whose creations for clients such as Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom, Sean Parker, and Alexis and Trevor Traina, help turn the real into the surreal. “The places and spaces in which we live and entertain help craft the experiences that we carry with us forever. Every moment matters.”
Fulk’s work at this year’s Golden Globes is a perfect example: He decorated the elevator that took attendees from the ceremony to the after-party, tricking out the lift with Stark Leopard carpet and a fully stocked vintage Aldo Tura bar. The result—stars like Debra Messing, Andie MacDowell, Allison Janney, Debra Messing, Connie Britton, and Lupita Nyong’o cued up to Instagram it.
Fulk’s recent venture, Saint Joseph’s Arts Society, for which he transformed a blighted 22,000-square-foot Romanesque-revival church in downtown San Francisco into an art gallery with boutiques and a performance space, has become a lesson in how adaptive reuse can transform a neighborhood. “I hope this will be a resource to build a community around,” says Fulk, who divides his time between the East and West Coasts. “I’m constantly drawn to folks whose minds work utterly differently than mine. They look at the world through another lens. It’s intoxicating to go on a journey with them.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Spring Issue under the headline Creative Minds. Subscribe to the magazine.