About Joshua Ribbeck

Stark Form designs and builds luxury furniture with a combination of handmade craftsmanship, distinctive surfacing and sleek proportions, built from the finest woods. Josh Ribbeck created Stark Form from his early interest of architecture and construction. Raised in a family of designers and builders, he was exposed at an early age to design processes and construction, while gaining discipline and an eye for detail. Josh’s passion and his uncompromising standards are reflected in Stark Form’s unique design-driven furniture for residential and commercial settings.

Interview with Joshua Ribbeck

Joshua Ribbeck ("JR") interviewed on Tuesday, 3 April.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

JR : I’ve been in graphic design for roughly 18 years and started in the early 2000s getting into graphic design. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with clients around the world, but it has taken many years to build up a quality portfolio.

How did you become a designer?

JR : I don’t think I had the intention of being a designer. I come from a technology background working with IT and technology since I was young. My best friend from kindergarten to college was a great comic book style artist who tried teaching me how to draw, which didn’t work out well. But it taught me the design basics for traditional art. In the early 2000 when I was in college and websites were just coming along, I had a client ask if I could design them one. So I said sure thing, and went home and started teaching myself graphic design and website development, and that led to graphic design and product design.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

JR : When starting projects I like to execute on a few goals. Designing something that is aesthetic, functional and of good quality is first. I want to make sure the design quality is excellent if my name is behind it. My technique changes depending on the kind of project I am working on typically. So I don’t stay with one in particular, and use a variety of tools to achieve the goal. Most of my product design work is done directly in 3D and Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for graphic design. I find it easier to design concepts that way vs. paper. But I still do rough idea sketching on paper occasionally.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

JR : I really enjoy the design phase, and coming up with various concepts. This helps me get all the ideas out my head and then fine tune what the final concept will be. It’s a great feeling to realize the final project after many hours of work and have my clients happy with the design.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

JR : From a young age I was always tinkering with building things. So I think understanding how products are made is a good thing to know. When you have an understanding of the build process, it will help shape your design methodology. Because I have no formal degree in design, I had to learn everything myself and much was done working on new projects clients would suggest. Having a wide mix of different graphic and product design projects in my background has brought me to where I am today.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

JR : I don’t follow a particular growth path except to improve anywhere I can over time. My future plans are to continue expanding my furniture and pen designs, while working on my other companies. Working on your own companies is a dream project every day!

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

JR : Do not be afraid of failure and spend as much time as possible practicing your skills and working on projects. Try new things to find out what you enjoy most. You get out, what you put in…. and that’s the truth!

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

JR : To stay true to your design instincts, but always be willing to try new styles and concepts, and pay attention to the details.

What is your day to day look like?

JR : It’s usually busy. Since I run multiple companies, I am always moving around keeping up on job progress, while balancing time to design new things. Since my background is in technology, I have custom built our project management software to make things very efficient, which allows me to juggle more projects.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

JR : To what extent do design trends matter? I don’t follow to many trends honestly. I design what I think will look nice. I always just keep an eye out for the best designers and awards, to see what is winning and what other designers are producing that is of award winning quality.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

JR : That’s tough, because I’m always thinking my designs can be better and how to improve them, so it’s a balance I’d say. Usually once I have gone through 3 – 50 iterations of a design, then I’ll know when I am getting close to ready.

What is your biggest design work?

JR : Designing all my different pens are definitely the biggest in terms of labor and craft. There are so many parts and details involved in the design and construction. But seeing them in the hands of famous people, definitely makes it worth it.

Who is your favourite designer?

JR : I like so many designers that it would be impossible to name any one that is my favorite.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

JR : Here in Louisiana we have a very southern culture which clashes with my design style. There is not much design influence I get from where I live, so I have always looked around the world to get inspiration. Currently life is busy with multiple large personal projects I am working on. The Fellowship for Animals shelter, a potential award winning cookbook, luxury pens and furniture are just a few of the current projects that I have going.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

JR : My friends would say I am tough but fair to work for. I do the majority of my design work solo, even though I have employees, but they work in technical areas. But I believe in treating your employees and clients with respect, because after all, it’s a two way street. Without a good working synergy with your employees and clients, you will never achieve the best when working together. So I believe you have to find the right people that care about what they do, but also have an independent drive so you can help foster their creativity, and not hinder it.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

JR : For the past few years I have been designing the worlds most advanced animal shelter. This will set the bar for generations on how to design and build a sustainable animal shelter that uses technology to help solve the problems and costs of running a shelter.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

JR : I think some of the great things about the A’Design award is getting to put your work against the best. To see if you possess the skills you think you do. If you are fortunate and win, the exposure is definitely a plus in getting more people aware of your designs. Being design of the day is a great honor, and it’s a satisfying feeling knowing that other prominent and accomplished designers appreciate your skills.

Joshua Ribbeck Profile

Stark End Table End Table

Stark End Table End Table design by Joshua Ribbeck

Presnyakov Vodka Product and Packaging

Presnyakov Vodka Product and Packaging design by Joshua Ribbeck

Mukava Executive Desk Home Office Desk

Mukava Executive Desk Home Office Desk design by Joshua Ribbeck


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