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designer profile: manuel saez

Where was your favorite place to live?
Brooklyn. It is a true multicultural experience. It has the small friendly neighborhood feeling and quick access to Manhattan and all the good things new York can offer.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. Big and practical!

What are your sources of inspiration?
Everyday things. Sculpture, art, science shows, nature… Depends… Yesterday I found a chewed up dog stick at the park and I am going to do a sculpture with it.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Phillip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan.

What are your interests outside of design?
Sports—I play rugby and squash. Also like motorcycles and bicycles.

Who are you design icons?
In terms of product the Eames aluminum series. As far as designers I like Phillip Stark, always criticized but he knows how to control what people feel…

Form vs. function?
Yes! The true is Balance between them, in the context the design will be used.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The screw! Not big task can be accomplished without it being involved at some point.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Minimalist. However I also like my girlfriend’s style. She is an interior designer that uses textures and earthy tones to create a feeling of cozy comfort.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
A vintage long, black leather coat I bought on the street in Malaga Spain.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Good food and great company. I love to cook and entertain friends.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
White paint! Anything looks good in white spaces and objects…with white you can hide or highlight.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Received: you need to exercise some restraint!!!—Niels Diffrient Gave: do what you love and be patience.


designer profile: amanda ip of slate design

Where was your favorite place to live?
This is tough. I’ve lived in Singapore, London and Sydney—but I think Chicago wins. It has the perfect mix of everything you could possibly want in a city.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My living room. I absolutely love the way the city looks at night out the floor to ceiling windows. Not only is it a great open space for entertaining and, despite it really not being that big, it’s managed to accommodate people in the double digits for Lollapalooza sleepovers.

It’s also full of things that I’ve made or collected over the years that totally paint a picture of who I am. One of my favorites is a black stained Baltic birch plywood bench I made in college. It’s the first piece of furniture I designed that someone tried to buy.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My Absolut Vodka ad collection. Their old print ads were just so cool. My obsession began in 7th grade and 12 years later, I’m still on the hunt! For years my collection of about 200 sat in plastic sleeves in a huge 3 ring binder. Now my favorites are framed and proudly cover an entire wall of my living room.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Collect something and display it.

What’s your personal decorating style?
Eclectic modern…in limited colors of black, white, beige and green.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?

Who are your design icons?
Frank Gehry. Andy Warhol. Frank Lloyd Wright. Mies van der Rohe. Zaha Hadid.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Everything and anything around me… but there is nothing more incredible than traveling somewhere new and exploring foreign cultures.

In your opinion, what is the best-designed item of all time?
Matches. The ability to create fire whenever you want with a single strike with something that fits into your pocket? Mind blowing. And they smell so good.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
My Dad, when I briefly considered going to college for business instead of industrial design…things are not a straight line. You can’t predict where you will go or what you’ll end up doing some day. You can only do what makes you happy, every single day.

You may study one thing, find yourself a job in another, meet someone or go somewhere that leads you down a totally different path and before you know it, you may not know how you even ended up where you are.

But, however unimaginable or unattainable your dream may have been from the beginning, you only get there in the end by loving what you do and following all those little paths.

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


designer profile: diana lu of slate design

Who are your design icons?
To name a few… Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Hans Wegner…

What one item do you wish you owned?
A pair of Verner Panton’s Bachelor chairs.

Form vs. Function?
Both. ­Good design cannot exist without the other.

What do you drive?
A Mini Cooper S.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Everything. People, places, art, music, fashion, materials, buildings, life.

Where was my favorite place to live?
I’ve traveled many places but never lived anywhere else—Chicago’s a great place to come home to.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The bedroom. I live in a first floor flat where adjoining rooms lack sunlight. So I recently swapped the bedroom and the living room and absolutely love waking up to the view of our garden.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The clothespin. Some things are simple—while other things are beautiful—the clothespin is both.

What are your interests outside of design?
Travel, bike riding, ping pong, cats, video/board games and getting ready to be a new mom.

What’s your signature?
My design style—honest forms with unexpected details meant to be discovered and make you smile.  

What’s your personal decorating style?
Creating a space that looks lived in using vintage and modern pieces—simple, clean and comfortable.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My blanket from when I was 5.  It’s #1 on my list of things to grab if the place were to go up in flames.

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


artist profile: pablo calderon

Born in El Salvador in 1952, Pablo Calderon came to San Francisco with most of his family when he was in his late thirties.

In 2002, he started creating art at Creativity Explored—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art.

What we love about Calderon’s work is that he paints on a very large scale, uses saturated hues, broad strokes, and his subjects are usually single or repeating faces or animals.

Calderon alters his color palette and the surfaces he paints on—canvas, wood, paper, glass—but the wide eyed, curly-haired subjects consistently look very much alike; he refers to them as ‘munecas’, Spanish for dolls.

His artwork is well collected and though Calderon speaks only limited Spanish, he is happy and enthusiastic to show and explain his work to potential patrons.

To spend one minute with Pablo Calderon in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.


the feitelson fellowship, 2011

What: The Feitelson Arts Fellowship, 2011
When: May 19 thru July 3, 2011
Where: The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LAMAG
Featuring: Artists early in their career—including CB2 team member, Nuttaphol Ma

photo by: Clinton Steeds The Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Feitelson Arts Fellowship is awarded through the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Associates, LAMAGA, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that supports the Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.

Conceived by the Feitelsons, seminal Los Angeles Modernist painters, and their friends, as a way to give encouragement to artists early in their careers by offering financial grants; it is issued in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles, C.O.L.A., Individual Artist Fellowships to twelve exemplary mid-career international artists.

Congratulations and good luck to all participating artists.

…for the 2011 Feitelson Arts Fellowship, multi-disciplinary artist—and CB2 Santa Monica team member—Nuttaphol Ma combined references to Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ with a performance where he, Ma, set sail with a boat over his head on May Day from Badwater Basin to the trailhead of Mt. Whitney.
…the approximately 130-mile personal odyssey meditates on the ebbs and flows of our existence, the power and the abuse of power subjected upon the powerless, the dreams of leaving and the dreams of roots.  Ma’s installation distills the performance to a two channel video projected onto sewn fabric walls. 
…to learn more about the installation, check out Ma’s website or experience it by visiting the gallery.
…thanks to julio, CB2 sample handler, for the heads up on this one.