The Judges: Rob Forbes, Christiane Lemieux and John Berg

The Judges: Rob Forbes, Christiane Lemieux and John Berg

Maxwell Ryan
Oct 3, 2011

Here they are! Our 2011 Design Showcase judges include some of our favorite people in the design world, and each one represents a different perspective from the field. I think you all know Rob (lower right), the founding genius of DWR and now deep into his second act with PUBLIC BIKES, which is putting design as transportation into everyone's life.

Christiane (left), founder of DwellStudio, has created an entirely new and fresh vision for the home through her colorful and modern visual sensibility. John Berg (upper right), founder of Berg Design Architecture, represents the architect's disciplined eye with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. John was also a finalist in last year's contest. All of these people have a sharp eye and smart things to say. Find out more about them below.

Their job begins this week, when they'll choose their favorites from our six Design Showcase finalists. The one that gathers the most votes from all three judges will be this year's Judges' Choice Winner and they'll receive $10k in advertising on our network and daily emails. We'll also be announcing a Readers' Choice Winner, the design that gathers the most votes from readers. For details on this week's voting, click here.

Rob Forbes

TITLE: Founder of PUBLIC Bikes

BIO: Rob Forbes' career includes work in both the Arts and Business fields. Forbes is best known as the Founder of Design Within Reach and for the vision of a business that has grown into the leading retail destination for modern design in the US. In 2007 Rob formally left DWR to launch Studio Forbes, based in San Francisco, to further his interests in design, culture, and commerce. These interests, and his personal passion for bicycles led him to his new venture PUBLIC. PUBLIC is a design based business with a mission to help us reduce our dependency on cars and think more intelligently and artfully about the way we get around and connect with our cities and communities. PUBLIC launched in May 2010 in San Francisco and has become the nationwide source for elegant modern city bikes and gear in the US. >> more


I have these vintage Korean tea bowls that I treasure. I found them in a korean antiques store in NY years ago, sorting through thousands in a pile in a corner of the store. They are handmade and each is unique and perfect in its own way. And I paid a fraction of what they are worth. Things that you discover on your own are the most valuable.

(I also love the orange yoga matt that I photographed them on....but I am a sucker for orange)

Christiane Lemieux

TITLE: DwellStudio Creative Director + Author of Undecorate

BIO: Christiane Lemieux revolutionized the textiles market when she launched her innovative company DwellStudio in 1999. Fusing modern design with luxurious details, DwellStudio is a fresh voice in the interiors world. Since launching the collection, Lemieux has expanded to a full offering of home furnishings products, including furniture, tabletop, baby, kids and travel. Her collections have found a celebrity following, fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Gwen Stefani and Keri Russel. A native of Ottawa, Canada, Lemieux is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Canada and Parsons School of Design in New York. Lemieux authored her first book, Undecorate, in 2011 to critical claim. She resides in the New York's Soho neighborhood with her husband and business partner Joshua Young and their daughter Isabelle and boy William.


I love the work of Serge Mouille! I am a huge fan of the French Mid-Century lighting designers. I comb flea markets for anything from Boris Lacroix or Pierre Guariche but my all time favorite is Serge Mouille. I think his work is not only visually stunning but the perfect balance of form and function. The fixtures are made of simple materials - black painted metal with brass joints - but in Mouille's hands the become something much more than lights. They are works of art.

John Berg

TITLE: Architect

BIO: John Berg is an Architect and the Principal of Berg Design Architecture a ten year old multi discipline design firm. Berg Design's work includes residential, commercial and institutional architecture as well as interior and furniture design.
John's design sensibilities are informed by a paradoxical attraction to rational, modern, strong geometries as well as irregular forms found in nature. An upbringing on the island of Bermuda rounds out the complexity of his inspirations, with an appreciation for working with natural light and indoor/ outdoor relationships. >> more


Of all of the design objects that I might fetishize, using a Swiss design Caran D'Ache fixpencil verges on being a guilty pleasure. The fixpencil is a mechanical "clutch" style pencil with a highly finished aluminum body that is extremely light and strong at the same time. The pencil more apt to be called a drawing instrument given the quality of its construction is perfectly balanced and feels great in one's hand. Designed in 1929 the fixpencil is as relevant now as it will be in long into the future, if people still like to draw by hand. Of all the possible design qualities to achieve," timelessness" is in my opinion the most desirable and difficult to attain. Sketching with this pencil feels like a great luxury, every time.

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