Form & Function Design 2005

From industrial pioneers to industry innovators, these designers create the world's hottest products

Welburn focuses on two important aspects: “No. 1 is building strong, well-differentiated brands. No. 2 is having a clear vision of each brand’s character.” –CMB

CHERYL R. RILEY, NEW YORK, ARTIST | DESIGNER, CHERYL R. RILEY: Robin Williams, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman are among the private collectors who can boast about having a one-of-a-kind Riley. Following her mother’s lead, Cheryl Riley, 52, started designing for her personal space after coming across furniture that was aesthetically interesting but poorly constructed or fairly expensive. “When I was a little girl, my mother couldn’t find a sofa that she liked, so she designed one and had it made.” The former advertising executive knew she had discovered her niche once friends and business associates started renting her furniture for photo shoots and stage sets. Today, her custom work, including large-scale murals, can be found in offices, hotels, galleries, and museums, including the Smithsonian and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Commissioned pieces have sold from $5,000 to $35,000. Of her design style, Riley notes, “I am very much about quality craftsmanship. I may have eight different craftspeople work on one piece of furniture.” –CMB

J. MAX BOND JR., NEW YORK PARTNER, DAVIS BRODY BOND L.L.P.: Sept. 11, 2001, is etched into the minds of many as one of the most significant days in the U.S. history. As the country moves forward, many of the victims’ families have only the expected World Trade Center Memorial to look to for hope, and in some cases, closure. Enter J. Max Bond Jr., whose firm, Davis Brody Bond, is the associate architect for the 4.5 acre memorial that has an estimated construction cost of $250 million. Bond’s design team
will flesh out and complete the overall plans of chief architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker. “We will be implementing their design, solving the problems.” When Bond reflects on the lives lost on 9-11, he says one thing is obvious: its impact is international. “I think it’s important to have some sense that the memorial won’t just be about what happened that day in lower Manhattan, but for people of the world. … How you interpret this in architecture, it’s an ongoing quest.” Bond, 69, is the legendary designer of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. Bond has linked his design work with an all-encompassing belief in the aesthetic relationship between architecture and culture.
–Anthony Calypso

JAMES MCLURKIN, CAMBRIDGE, MA, ROBOTIC ENGINEER, M.I.T.: Can 2,000 microbots communicate through infrared light the way a remote control talks to a TV set? Yes, thanks to James McLurkin, a 33-year-old engineer who programmed 4.5-inch microbots to emulate the behavior of bees. These microbots have the ability to cluster, disperse, and orbit. The microbots can also allocate into groups, search unexplored space, and synchronize to each other. The key was to implement distributed control, (robot-to-robot), and centralized control, (user-to-robot). Each microbot is able to charge itself and work independently as well as interact collectively.

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