Where was your favorite place to live?
My favorite places to live is Chicago’s Uptown – the neighborhood is fantastically diverse and has jazz age venues (the Riviera, Green Mill and Aragon ballroom) that are an outstanding collection of performance spaces; Although, I look forward to my planned retirement in the Netherlands – the region has a defining aesthetic and an aura of open mindedness that is so refreshing!
What are your sources of inspiration?
The line is probably my true inspiration—understanding the line and how it can be constructed, arranged and represented to illustrate a perspective is uniquely powerful; 1920’s terra cotta architecture; shadows and their strong, yet ethereal presence; 1960’s jet era modern textiles and interior design, raw 80’s NYC transit graffiti; and the evolution of urban life.
What do you drive?
A mint colored scooter than I assembled because when I purchased it, the note “assembly required” wasn’t included!
What are your interests outside of design?
I love to travel and go to concerts. I coincidentally caught Gomez live in Amsterdam at Milkweg—it was the ultimate performance experience. Beyond that, I just enjoy searching for delight in the unexpected.
Who are your design icons?
Mies van der Rohe’s clean lines and pioneering minimalism, Tom Ford’s eye for mixing, texturing and layering, Brancusi’s ultra stylized style, Andy Warhol’s change is how we view our daily lives and the items we are surrounded by… and who ever invented the “easy open” Oreo packaging, it’s honestly the best design innovation since sliced bread.
What is your signature?
My mantra is expressing more with very little, finding ways to layer and intrigue with less. I always strive to arrange visual components so that they complement and harmonize with their context in design, art, photography, and/or architecture.
What’s your favorite element/possession?
A rug I designed for a not-for-profit organization—Arzu. They provide hope through design to women in Afghanistan by selling their hand- woven carpets and returning the profits.
To see all of Ben’s current designs for CB2, go here.