Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, has an enviable life. Not only does he get to live in a beautiful modernist home (impeccably furnished, judging from this LA Times photo), but he travels the world, is a successful art potter, and, when he’s back home in the San Francisco Bay Area, rows around Alcatraz every morning for exercise.
I admit to doing a little Internet stalking of Forbes, because I’ve developed a crush on his new blog. Called Studio Forbes, it promises to be a lively record of his peripatetic cultural interests—including food-related adventures. It already features a lovely entry on Vinitaly, the Italian wine trade show. Forbes’s insights are quirky and erudite. At one point, he compares the Italian wine industry to its furniture industry:
Following that introduction at Vinitaly, I have become something of a student of Italian wine, hanging out in Italian wine stores and bars, and drinking a lot. I’ve come to see that a good wine, like a good chair, is a study in form and function, and reflects the philosophy of the maker. If, as has been said, architecture is frozen music, wine is architecture made drinkable. The better wines show structure, balance, and character, like any well-designed object. Most importantly, both good wine and useful furniture are designed to be everyday in an unpretentious manner, at reasonable prices.
I’m looking forward to seeing more from Forbes in this format—and, yes, he’s still contributing to the Design Notes email newsletter.