Fall Colors Judges: Derek Chen

Fall Colors Judges: Derek Chen

Nov 6, 2007

Yesterday we started rolling out our judges for you to meet. A varied mix, they cover the country and come from various parts of the design world. They also have their own opinions on what makes color great in a home.

Name: Derek Chen

Location: Noe Valley, San Francisco (about 10 minutes from my Potrero Hill studio)

Website: Council Design

What's your favorite color?

"It changes regularly, but today I like subdued deep blues like a pantone 5395 and raspberry reds like pantone 206. Next week I'll have two new favorites."

What's the best use of interior color you've ever seen?

Tough question, but recently designers Mike and Maaike (who've designed a chair in our collection) remodeled the small bathroom in their studio. It's risky to use bold colors in small spaces, but something works in their combination of hardwood slat shower floor and walls, concrete floor, mirror...and bright green walls.


We first wrote about Derek last year, a few months after we launched AT:SF, because we admired his designs for Urbana Design. Everyone (including people like Lorn at Propeller and Drew at Design Public) kept praising his handmade modern products, as well as his eye for color. This year Derek and his new venture, Council Design, were all anyone talked about at ICFF, and for months afterward. Here's what he says about himself:

Derek Chen is the founder of Council Design. A designer in his own right—by way of Engineering School and Silicon Valley—he is also the founder of Urbana Design, a company named after the Illinois city where he spent much of his childhood. Through Urbana Design, Chen produces sleek tabletop items and contemporary furniture. His work has been covered in media outlets including Wallpaper*, The New York Times, InStyle, and Plaza. Chen's work reveals the engineer's eye for the strategic application of technology as well as an awareness of the visual and tactile appeal of natural forms and materials—it is an easy blend of high-tech and hand-craftsmanship. He lives and works in San Francisco.

We are pleased to welcome this San Francisco resident onto our august panel!

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