We do about 50 Friday Fives each year so we can’t review them all, but let’s take a look back at our favorite 10 (in no special order):
Jacob Granat – We love that he chose five inspirational people.
After spending three winter seasons snowboarding in Chamonix, France, and a year in Hanoi, Vietnam working with students, Swedish designer Jacob Granat started his own company importing and selling furniture, lamps and textiles back in 2006. He quickly realized that selling them wasn’t as much fun as making them himself, so he enrolled in a cabinet-making course, then in university. Now, freshly degreed in furniture design, Granat showed his line ”The Sound of Forest” at the Stockholm Furniture Fair and Superstudio Piu, Milan this year.
Søren Rose – Every item he chose is a joy to look at.
Designer Søren Rose merges Scandinavian simplicity, craftsmanship, and tradition with design that reflects the way people live today. His Copenhagen studio specializes in furniture design and interior projects, and recently took on architecture. The goal? “To make sure that Copenhagen develops a ‘green’ culture and will be full of Urban Farms, roof top gardens and beehives.” Rose’s Friday Five highlights gorgeous furniture and accessories.
Jen Bilik of Knock Knock – She is as hilarious as the products she makes.
If you’ve stuffed a Christmas stocking in the last ten years, chances are you’ve used a product conceived by Knock Knock. You know them, those tongue-in-cheek sticky notes and pre-printed grocery list pads in perky colors. Berkeley, California native Jen Bilik, who founded the company in 2002, achieved her goal, which was to create witty, design-driven goodies. Let’s check out her inspirations, some of which should make you smile.
Molly Luetkemeyer – Because she chose Ice Cube.
Molly Luetkemeyer of M. Design Interiors, whose personality is as sunny as her looks, creates modern interiors with a ’70s vibe. She started out in the film industry, having headed West from New York City with director Mike Nichols, but ended up enrolling in a design program at UCLA, meeting Kelly Wearstler at a party, snagging an internship, and the rest is interior design history. You may have seen her work in In Style (actress Julie Bowen’s house), as well as House Beautiful, Angeleno, Sunset magazine, and others. Her five picks lend a bit of insight to this groovy girl with great taste; they’re both classic and eclectic, just like her designs.
Reiko Kaneko – For celebrating the beauty of food and tradition.
Reiko Kaneko designs bone china steeped in the English tradition, but with a Japanese twist. She established her design studio in London’s East End in 2007, after studying Arts and Design at Central St. Martin’s College. Kaneko’s Friday Five gives us a glimpse into her world of modern-day London, and illuminates her Japanese roots.
David Trubridge – For the most ethereal Friday Five we’ve ever had.
New Zealand-based furniture and lighting designer David Trubridge is trained in Naval Architecture (or boat design), has worked as a forester, and taught himself how to create furniture. He presented his inspiration in terms of the five elements, along with gorgeous landscape photographs he took himself. Not coincidentally, this also happens to be the structure of the book he is writing about his life and design.
Thomas Paul – Because you can see his past life as a scarf designer in his choices.
New York City native and textile designer Thomas Paul is a former neckwear and scarf designer for Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, and DKNY. He eventually went off on his own — in an entirely new direction: the home. You can definitely see the neckwear inspiration in his designs, which range from bedding to pillows to rugs and our favorite: the Luddite collection. P.S. he still does scarves, too!
Josh Owen – Because he chose the things he was wearing and using at the time.
You’re probably familiar with Josh Owen’s cast iron menorah for Areaware, which we believe is on its way to iconic status. Owen, who is currently based in Rochester New York and teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology, turns out some pretty amazing clean-lined designs. Most recently he debuted the WC Line for Kontextur, a series comprising a plunger, toilet brush, and waste bin that elevates the mundane. As you can see from his Friday Five, Owen revels in the functional and simple.
Rex Ray – Because he’s awesome.
Rex Ray is a San Francisco-based fine artist and commercial artist whose work ranges from collage on paper to canvas and resin boards to digital pieces that combine a mid-century modern aesthetic with a psychedelic color palette. He’s designed home furnishings under is brand Rex Ray Studio and stationery and accessories under the R2 Lab label. He’s designed for big name corporations including Apple, Dreamworks, and Swatch, in addition to Blik wall graphics, Flavor Paper wallpaper, and tiles for modwalls. Ray has shared five sources of design joy with Design Milk.
Studio Gorm – Because we can respect those who find beauty in the USPS mail truck.
John and Wonhee Jeong Arndt of Studio Gorm met while studying in the masters program at the design academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. They set up their first studio in Rotterdam, though today, they are located in Eugene, Oregon. See what inspires the pair who make simple, practical, and always beautiful products and environments.