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Tuesday
Aug032010

artist profile: ben holiday

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.

Wednesday
Jul282010

artist profile: maria berrios

Created in partnership with San Francisco’s Creativity Explored, a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—animated birds, critters, bugs and fireflies buzz whimsically within the warp and weft of the entre flores y pajaros rug.

Born in El Salvador in 1959, artist Maria Berrios has been gracing Creativity Explored with her dynamic artwork and jovial nature since 1999.

Berrios works in a variety of drawing media and also enjoys printmaking. From family groupings, flora, and fauna, her favorite color—red—is well represented with all of her typical subjects. Berrios’ art making process is very slow and meticulous. After sketching a composition, she often places her subjects around the picture plane so that the piece may be viewed from any direction.

Her fantastical, naïve vision, which translates to “among flowers and birds”, is hand-tufted in great detail—using no less than in 28 colors of wool yarns—with her signature woven in each.

To spend one minute with Maria Berrios in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.

Tuesday
Jul202010

designer profile: scot herbst

Where was your favorite place to live?
Milan Italy. I was designer there in 2000 and learned so much about form and craftsmanship…and wine.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a little craftsman outside of San Francisco, with so much hardwood inside that people remark that it’s like being inside an old sailboat. The kids room is like a really colorful captain’s quarters.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Our zen wagon —a hand-built children’s wagon styled in the mid-century bent-ply aesthetic. Charles Eames would have designed it 60 years ago if he’d had two little ones that constantly needed to get outside after destroying his house.

What do you drive?
1960 Ferrari Gran Turismo, bright red, baseball glove leather interior…in my head…as I’m riding my bicycle around the city…

What one item do you wish you owned?
Lately I’ve been more interested in Paul McCobb furniture from the ‘50’s…but wow, good luck affording an original. Maybe his grand-daughter will read this and sympathize with me…

Who are your design icons?
I love the great modernists, Saarinen, Bertoia, George Nelson…and it’s unbelievable to think they created in a computer-less age, this was impossibly sophisticated stuff.

Form vs. function?
Oh it’s not a competition. Form + Function both win and hug it out after the game.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I’ve always had this amazingly cool Marimekko framed tapestry, which was on my wall when I met my wife 6 years ago. She’s super talented and works with textiles and fabrics… I’m convinced that sealed the deal when she realized what an uncanny sensitivity I have to graphic textiles.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Color. The biggest bang for your buck—-you can give a room an incredibly sophisticated feeling with the right use of a really special color. Bring a Pantone chip to Home Depot—-they’ll match it!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Just do what you love, the rest will fall into place.

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

Thursday
Jul152010

designer profile: stephen crowhurst

Where was your favorite place to live?
It would have to be in the 3000 square foot loft I used to rent about 10 years ago. A handful of artists living under one giant roof. Loved it. Sad those days are over.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
To be honest it has to be my bedroom. I love sleeping.

What do you drive?
Proud owner of a second hand bicycle. I’ll never go back.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Enough solar panels to get my condo off the grid.

What are your interests outside of design?
I’ve been obsessed over the past couple of years with cooking. I’ve made the final switch over to eating nothing but organic raw food and it’s totally changed my life.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Recession chic.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Music. Every time I sit down to make something I always owe the result to music. I don’t design to music.. it just becomes apart of me in that moment and it brings things out that I don’t think I could do without it.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I love my vinyl record collection. They’re utterly useless but I love them all.

Form vs. function?
I think at this moment in our culture these terms are just selling points. The discussion had it’s day in the 60’s. To me the new discussion and admittedly a less sexier one… should be influence vs mediocrity.In other words, does this design or does this product have a profound influence on my life or does it swell in the mediocrity of the prevailing majority. Let’s have that discussion.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Well I picked this up from art school—Trash Day! Find something someone is tossing into the bin and refurbish it.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Don’t let one person’s perception of reality overtake your own.

Tuesday
Jul062010

designer profile: a|r studio

Where was your favorite place to live?
We moved to Milan from Tuscany, as this is the place to be if you are involved in design, so we just live where we should. We are indeed in love with Paris and New York and we dream about having a little place there.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I (Antigone) am a good cook, and we both love to have friends coming around for dinner, so I guess kitchen/dining room is the core room in our house. We sit around an old wooden table I took from home in Tuscany and love to drink good wine and chat.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Creative professionals should always be turn on: inspiration can come from anywhere and the less likely situation is in front of a blank white page. Traveling, cinema, literature, people… inspiration arrives through experience.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Matches.

Who are your design icons?
Jean Prouvè, Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams…

Form vs. function?
Function is engineering, form is decoration, good design should be both.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Our house.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Food and sleeping late.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Some good low cost items can be mixed up in an outstanding way even with the most sophisticated furniture—and taking a trip to granma’s!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Never lose passion and interest.

To see all of A/R Studio’s current designs for CB2, go here.