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Meet the Curbed Young Guns Semifinalists: Joshua Greene

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Curbed Young Guns, now in its first year, aims to identify promising up-and-coming talent (35 and under) in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development. For the next few weeks, Curbed National will run individual stories on each semifinalist; the inaugural class of Young Guns will be announced in mid August. In the mean time, though, here's a look at a semifinalist based in NYC:

Many souls have been inspired by the rich architectural history of Southern California, and Joshua Greene is no exception. Growing up in San Marino, with its abundant green homes and Wallace Neff designs, "I think that from a very young age always influenced me," he says.

Yet Greene never formally studied design until after college. Looking to move on from a short stint as a fashion journalist—"I realized I wanted to get into something more three-dimensionally creative instead of writing all the time"—he enrolled at a summer program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. An internship working under David Mann at MR Architecture and Decor led to a position in the store-design department at Ralph Lauren, where he served on what was essentially the brand's in-house interiors and architectural studio to design, merchandize, and open stores around the world. Shortly after the unmatchable high of opening the stunning Ralph Lauren flagship on Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, he was tapped by big-time interior designer Michael Smith—yep, Obama's decorator—and moved to L.A.

In 2011, after a year with Smith, Greene moved back to New York to work for the firm Sawyer Berson. "It's been primarily known as an architecture firm, but they've always done interiors. Now we're doing it more, and on a bigger scale. I've helped set up a more formalized interiors department," he says of his role as interiors director. Whether it's a ground-up home in the Hamptons, a gut renovation and restoration of a Manhattan townhouse, or a Madison Avenue retail space (currently in the works), all of Greene's interiors are ultra high-end. Plus, he admits, "I always like a bit of a texture."

How designing stores for Ralph Lauren translates to residential interior design, this way. >>