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artist profile: gordon chin

Only artist Gordon Chin from the Creativity Explored studio in San Francisco—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—could have created such playful imagery.

One of his favorite foods—besides pizza and ice cream—this variety of donut appetizer plates is a quick study of a subject that could be endlessly explored.

Born in 1962 and of Chinese descent, Gordon has been experimenting with the many mediums offered at the studios since 2005. But since 2006, he has produced hundreds of greeting cards—most often with an image, a curious phrase, and a wash of watercolor.

To spend one minute with Gordon Chin in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.


artist profile: hope goodall

From the Creativity Explored studio in San Francisco—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—comes a quirky watercolored menagerie by artist Hope Goodall.

Born in St. Louis in 1965, she made art at Creativity Explored for these past 20 years—sadly, Hope passed away earlier this year.

In 2010, Goodall completed a series of self-portraits—similar to other figurative works such as these seven critters—composed of loose lines layered with washes of muted color.

Furry friends frolic…hedgehogs and cats cohabitate with a bear, a mouse and a dog…as Hope’s memory lives on.


artist profile: camille holvoet

Created in collaboration with San Francisco’s Creativity Explored—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—couple print is a colorful expression of affection.

Oil pastel artist Camille Holvoet teaches a way to deal with life’s anxieties—through the repetition of favored objects like desserts, Ferris Wheels, and cross-eyed expressions—by allowing the joy of the creative process to alleviate negative or frightful thoughts.

For the past 10 years, Camille’s been luring fans into the studio with her charm and honesty—we think she’s having her cake and eating it too.

To spend one minute with Camille Holvoet in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.


designer profile: liora manné

What are your sources of inspiration?
Everyday life, travel, colors…

What are your interests outside of design?
Yoga, meditation, reading, pottery, travel, and art.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
It may sound crazy but I love my iPhone… It meshes practicality, ease and sophistication.

Form vs. function?
They are inseparable.

What’s your personal decorating style?
Simple with color in the right places.

Where was your favorite place to live?
I love where I am right now! I have the best of both worlds with a home in the middle of NYC and a country home about 1 hour north of the city, that lets me see just trees… I have access to both culture and tranquility.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a little spa area where I meditate. All the essentials are there… cappuccino machine, comfortable meditation space and a big hot tub!

What do you drive?
I take taxis.

What one item do you wish you owned?
I am not really a big consumer. I don’t lust over things, if I really want something I buy it. But generally I’m not into “stuff.”

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Traveling led me to so many beautiful craft items at bargain prices—textiles and wooden pieces from Guatemala, amazing furniture from India…

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Believe in your vision and work hard to achieve your goals. Positive thinking really works!

To see all of Liora’s current designs for CB2, go here.


designer profile: giorgio biscaro

Where was your favorite place to live?
Even if it’s not particularly exotic, since i live 20 minutes from it, Venice is the most lovely city I’ve ever been…everything moves with a strange pace there, and when it’s not too much crowded with tourists, you can really lose yourself among its little paths and think you’re in 1600.

What is your signature?
Well, I always wear strange shoes: in my opinion they reflect my passion for research. That’s why, even if people thinks I’m always wearing loafers, I always have a pair of Po-zu shoes around my feet. They’re made in natural materials, like hemp, cork, or wool (according to the season) and they have a soft mattress made of pressed coconut fibers. The sole is made from natural latex, extracted from rubber tree without cutting a single tree. They’re so natural you could even leave them in a field and see them naturally decomposing little by little! Gee, I love them.

What are your sources of inspiration?
People’s behaviours are a constant source. I mean, by watching people you can really innovate, because sometimes they can put you in contact with needs an actions really far from your typical habitat or background. I love learning by people!

What are your interests outside of design?
I like listening to jazz, cool jazz and vibraphonists more, and playing guitar. Then I like have an addiction for movies, with a special preference for some oldies but goodies like Mediterraneo, Il Postino and similar. Moreover, during my life I shooted many photos with my loyal reflex, from sport reportages to underwater sessions. I often read essays about design, and intelligent graphic novels (something drawn by Chris Ware, for example). Lastly, people, foreign cultures, understanding how men live, their traditions and habits.

I really appreciated the lecture Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University about connecting dots…check it, if you haven’t heard it before, it’s really inspiring. Well, that’s why I constantly try to increase my interest: they are my dots.

Who are your design icons?
Castiglioni for his irony, Grcic because he’s still so radical, Mari for his thoughts. The list could continue…I refer to old and new master very often, since they help me remember where design come from and which is my role as a design, a very ethical affair.

Form vs. Function?
The little payoff on my business card says “Forms, functions, behaviours”, which are the three things I have in mind when I design something. I think it’s clear, nowadays, the close connection—nearly identity—between these elements. So, there’s no battle, in good design, just harmony.

What’s your favorite possession?
Entertainment-wise, I really love my Apple TV, but professionally, instead, I love my coloured Moleskines. Since I draw and sketch, really a lot, they’re always my companion everywhere I go so I can quickly put on paper everything is going on my mind. Although I’m a big fan of new technologies, and hope we will at last convert paper magazines into digital editions, writing on paper is still too practical to abandon.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
My honeymoon: me and my wife traveled across Japan first and then we moved to French Polynesia, where we visited six different islands. We spend nearly two months, and boys, we enjoyed every single minute!

To see all of Giorgio’s current designs for CB2, go here.

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