Joey Roth designs products to articulate the beauty of everyday rituals. He combines simple functionality with honest, unfinished materials that become more personal as they take on a patina of use. He’s especially interested in designing tools for ephemeral experiences like tea and music.
Joey was born in 1984 in San Francisco and grew up in Montclair, NJ. He graduated from Swarthmore in 2006 with a BA in Industrial Design Theory. His favorite musicians are the Dirty Projectors and Ghostface Killah, and his favorite authors are Umberto Eco and Haruki Murakami. When taking a break from design, he likes long-distance skateboarding and cooking with kale.
I’m moving to Portland this fall, so here are five things I’ll miss about San Francisco, my home for the last two years:
1. Wood grain concrete
This texture exists outside of San Francisco, but It’s well represented in the city’s hospitals and parking garages. The grain pattern forms when wooden slats are used to build the temporary mold into which concrete is poured when a building is being built. The slats are removed when the concrete sets, but their grain pattern remains. This interaction between wood and concrete demonstrates the material’s quality as “liquid stone,” and looks amazing when it isn’t covered by tiles or some other unfortunate siding.
2. TAD Gear
Meticulously designed and constructed clothing for mountaineers, special forces operators, and people who like thoughtful design like me. They have a giant t-rex scull in their Dogpatch shop, and their merino wool hoodie is the best garment I’ve ever owned.
3. Eucalyptus trees
When I moved to SF, I bought an old longboard and started scraping myself up in the Panhandle. As my body slowly developed balance, the board’s wheels began to smell more and more like eucalyptus, having crushed countless nuts to pulp. Small, unintentional feedback loops like this get me excited about bringing new objects into the world.
4. General Store
This is the most quietly beautiful store I’ve ever visited. It completely captures the relaxed, foggy surf feeling that pervades the Outer Sunset. It’s collection is also well-curated, and nothing about it screams “Design Store.”
5. 48HR Magazine
Again, not strictly an SF thing, but started by people who live there. The idea was to create an entire magazine from scratch within 48 hours, then publish it with a print-on-demand service. I was honored to have my submission included in their first issue, called “Hustle.”