Ep. 72: Cory Grosser

Industrial designer Cory Grosser grew up quintessentially all-American, lettering in football and winning trophies for his Halloween costumes. He studied architecture, but realized most buildings are built by “old” men, decided he was too impatient and shifted to product design. After years of pushing himself too hard, he is learning to find balance. Now he runs a holistic design studio, focuses on being a good dad, and teaches his students to unlock their creative potential, not strive for perfection.

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Ep. 68: Kate Duncan

Woodworker and furniture designer Kate Duncan grew up feeling like a square peg in a family of pragmatic accountants. She indulged in sewing lessons and endured charm school until she found woodshop class and fit right in. After years as a shop teacher, a motorcycle accident catalyzed the launch of her namesake brand. Shortly thereafter she also founded Address, an annual exhibit of designer / makers in her hometown of Vancouver, which dovetails nicely with another one of her talents: throwing a good party.

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Ep. 64: Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, author and influencer Justina Blakeney, spent her youth teaching art to abused/neglected teenage girls at a residential treatment program run by her parents, where she witnessed the healing power of art and kindness. After formative years in Switzerland and Italy, she settled in Los Angeles and harnessed the Internet to build Jungalow, an immensely popular lifestyle brand inspired by her travels and her multicultural background, fueled by a deep belief in the empowering magic of art and kindness.

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Ep. 63: Chris Schanck

Artist and designer, Chris Schanck, moved upwards of 22 times in his youth. He credits Uncle Rocco with firing up his creative engine at an early age, and an arts magnet school in adolescence with “saving his life.” That’s not an overstatement. Fast forward a few years and he’s developed a distinct visual language, has a solo show at a prestigious gallery under his belt, and critically successful body of work. Now, he’s built a life and studio in Detroit, where he is attempting to put down some roots.

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Ep. 60: Maximilian Eicke

Furniture designer Maximilian Eicke grew up being schlepped around the world to galleries and and antiques shops by his art dealer father. All that input served to make him feel at home anywhere in the world and yet, in a quasi-rebellious sort of way, instilled in him the desire to create something original. His childhood was both blessed by love and privilege and cursed by bullying and attempts to invalidate his creativity—a recipe for gratitude, perspective, and turbo drive to disprove the naysayers.

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Ep. 56: Jerry Helling

President and Creative Director of Bernhardt Design, Jerry Helling, grew up on a ranch in a remote town with 11 people in his graduating class before venturing to USC and a potential career in Hollywood. A personal epiphany combined with serendipity rerouted him into the furniture business, resulting in a long and distinguished career as a keen mentor of talent, a champion of originality, a risk-taking, needle-moving industry voice, and a major benefactor of international design. Plus, he’s really nice!

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Ep. 53: Nika Zupanc

Product designer and installation artist, Nika Zupanc, has always had a strong emotional reaction to furniture, both positive and negative. Born and raised in former Yugoslavia, she was attracted at a young age to books, cinema and art and that sense of drama and narrative shows up in her work. Her path to design is a pretty straight line; determined, focused and passionate, punctuated by a rebellious use of pink, and a fierce protectiveness of her creativity through time spent in nature and the gym.

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Ep. 51: Meyghan Hill

Metalworker and designer, Meyghan Hill, tells us how she opted to send herself to military boarding school and then stumbled into a modeling career before empowering herself after a bad break-up by learning to weld. She operates under the provocative and polarizing name of (wh)ORE HAüS Studios, and while it is a play on words, it is also a very powerful conversation-starter, which she then parlays into meaningful dialogue. This episode contains modeling and metal, yes, but no “blue steel” jokes, we promise.

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Ep. 46: Joe Gebbia

Designer, entrepreneur, and Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia, was known as the “art guy” in grade school when he started his first business selling illustrations of Ninja Turtles. Then, while pursuing dual design degrees, he founded his first legit startup with RISD’s basketball team, The Balls. Now as the leader of innovation and ideation at Airbnb he’s focussed on exploring new attitudes of sharing and trust. Oh, and don’t tell him he can’t do something. He will go to extremes to prove you wrong. Isn’t that so, Professor Jones?

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Ep. 43: Marcel Wanders

International design star, Marcel Wanders, grew up in the Netherlands taking things apart and making gifts from the pieces. After a rebellious and experimental adolescence, he discovered design in school and fell in love. Then he got kicked out. 20+ years later, with many global successes (products, furniture, lighting, and magical hospitality interiors) to his name, he is focussed on celebrating small victories, continually learning something new, and warning against the dangers of design fundamentalism.

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