~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~
Architect David Carnivale was born and raised in the restored village of Richmondtown on Staten Island, a 100 acre site with 30 buildings dating from the 17th to late 19th centuries – and until the island was rapidly developed in the late 1960s – was surrounded by many thousands of acres of undisturbed woodland. It was a very rural place back then, where families lived for four or five generations at least, where everyone knew one another and had changed little since the Victorian era. In fact, the author started school in the last remaining two-room wooden schoolhouse in New York City; P.S.10 built in 1885. There were horses and a few outhouses and the occasional farm. It looked a bit like Martha’s Vineyard before the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Brooklyn was constructed and hundreds of thousands of new residents flooded the once bucolic island; sadly today it is but another crowed and typical suburb.
He studied architecture first at The College of Staten Island, then New York Institute of Technology (where he later taught architecture students for five years) and at the American University of Rome, receiving his license at age 29.
Living in many diverse places often for a year or two, including Cape Cod, San Francisco, Manhattan, Rome, Paris, and San Jose to experience the world before settling down, he also traveled the country for three years with the national touring company of a Broadway show, tended bar in numerous clubs back in the disco era, worked as a carpenter and mason on many buildings he designed along the way and finally returned to Staten Island to begin his practice full time. His works stand in the all the cities where he lived, and – thanks to commissions obtained through the website – in numerous places throughout the United States, Canada and Europe- about 600 buildings in all.
His book “The Affordable House” was turned down by a publisher in 1994 – but reading an article in the New York Times that same year which said that “someday people will have computers in their homes” he set out to avoid spending years of effort trying to entice publishers and instead to discover how to put the book on what was then only known as the “World Wide Web” (‘internet’ was not yet the commonly used term). He decided to put the book ‘on-the-air’ so to speak, and wait for people to get computers.
It took a year and a half to locate one of the first webhosts and prepare the book for the nascent web; finally it launched March 15, 1996 and became only the second book to appear cover-to-cover on the internet (someone had put the Bible on first) and “The Affordable House” became that day the world’s first architectural website. At the time there were approximately 100,000 websites in existence, although three quarters of them only showed “Under Construction” and were not yet functioning.
As with us all, the heady days of youth become mellowed with time, and he currently enjoys the more sedate pleasures in life; gardening, occasional travel, offering unwanted advice to young people and producing traditional, hand drafted examples of refined architecture for clients who want something better than average ‘builder-boxes’.