Friday Five with Yabu Pushelberg

This week’s Friday Five checks in with renowned interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, who are now marking more than three decades in business. The partnership between George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg began at Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1972 and just a few years later, they established what is now one of the most recognized design firms in the world. The pair oversee offices in both Toronto and New York City with projects that span worldwide, most notably in the hospitality and retail design realm. Here, we jump into their design brains for a look at what inspires them.

Photo by Yasuhiro Ishimoto (Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto)

Photo by Yasuhiro Ishimoto (Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto)

1. Japan – What we love about Japan is the fact that the culture of design looks to the past but embraces the future. Design is not thought of as a ‘side thing’ it’s woven into the fabric of everyday living. Whether it’s an object to stir your tea or a house or a beer opener, everything is considered.

Photo courtesy ssp4eva, via  Flickrt

Photo courtesy ssp4eva, via Flickr

2. Tadao Ando – It’s quite apparent that his rigor comes from his Japanese heritage. He had no formal training as an architect, but he was clever, and has produced some of the most admirable work in architecture.


3. Instagram – We love how you can experience all that’s happening in the lives and worlds of others around you in real-time, through their lens.

4. George’s 2001 BMW Z8 – Less than 6,000 of this Bond-like BMW were made. Because these cars were designed to be built by hand, BMW had to open up a separate manufacturing facility in Munich to produce these desirable rare gems.


5. Visvim Homer Canvas Tote Bag – An all-around classic tote bag that fits just about everything inside of it. We’re big fans of designer Hiroki Nakamura’s dedication to craftsmanship and the brand’s overall aesthetic.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief 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.