Friday Five with Chad Jensen

Chad Jensen is creative director and leading designer for the Naples, Florida-based Thomas Riley Studio, a creative interdisciplinary extension of American manufacturing brand Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild. The Detroit native graduated from the College for Creative Studies where he was mentored by industrial designers and modern masters in studio arts, while formally studying wood, metals, hot glass, ceramics, and fibers, and became one of the first graduates of the integrated art and design curriculum. He continues to work following that principal of melding both art and design throughout his professional 17-year career, with over a decade at the Thomas Riley companies. Besides spotting his work in a variety of publications like Interior Design, Art Basel Guide, and Case de Abitare, he was one of the first North Americans to participate in the Shanghai Art Fair, China. For this Friday Five, let’s pause and take a look at what this master level woodworker finds inspirational in these five picks.


1. Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen
Koen’s Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) is an amazing breakthrough in art, concept, science, and social observation. I appreciate the extent to which the artist examines his work and the many manifestations he creates to interpret and illustrate the process.


2. The Haas Brothers
Incredible work, I really enjoy the intense craft of these pieces and their sophisticated playfulness.

3. Detroit
I grew up just outside of Detroit and spent my most formative years living downtown as a young adult. The city has been a strong source of inspiration ever since I was a kid and I am finding great pleasure in following its creative resurgence.


4. Design ≠ Art
Just great, read it…


5. Flavor Paper: Brooklyn Toile
This print never gets old and is soon to be a modern classic, I love the contemporary spin on a traditional pattern with such specific references… Jon Sherman and Vincent J. Ficarra/Adela Qersaqi of Revolver New York, maybe Detroit Toile next??

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.