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Our Design Director, Joe Nobles, is the creative force behind our new products Bolinas and Willard. Joe joined Tournesol in 2002, with a wealth of experience in workplace and outdoor furniture. Here are some excerpts from an interview with Joe, sharing a bit from his past, and excitement to lead and collaborate on the next generation of modern design products here at Tournesol.

Where have you spent your career so far? Roles? Experience?

“After I received my MFA, I moved to the SF Bay Area where I already knew family and friends The diversity of people, places, and creative companies was energizing.

In my career experience, my favorite design role was at Metro Furniture, a Steelcase Company. Our team designed collaborative office furniture that improved the quality of people’s lives at their workplace. It was especially fun working directly in the factory with a multi-disciplinary team.

In another role, I was Studio Director on a dedicated team at Eight Inc. which designed retail and branded environments for Apple. It was a wonderful team and position that had a significant impact on how I understand the full product and brand experience ecosystem. I enjoyed creating spaces that supported the Apple brand lifestyle.

More recently, I worked at Pottery Barn designing outdoor furniture collections. It was an interesting time to be working due to the impact of the pandemic. People were spending more time at home, and the backyard became the most enjoyable place to be. Therefore, it was busy and exciting time focusing on outdoor lifestyles.

In each of these roles, I enjoyed designing from the point of view of the end-user and growth of each of the employer’s brands.”

What drives you or gives you inspiration?

“I believe it is important to approach design from a variety of thoughtful directions. How people experience products and how they make them feel is critical. I appreciate designs with a sense of timelessness, minimal ornamentation, and quality artisanship. Also, I am keenly inspired by nature, which I feel deserves more much appreciation in the design world these days. Companies, designers, and thought leaders who make good practices a part of clever design, inspire me the most.”

What designs have piqued your interest and/or who are the designers that have influenced your designs?

“Actually, there are too many to mention but, generally, I believe the best designers have strong points of view about who, what, why, and how they serve, developing designs with a balance of beauty and purpose.”

What inspired you to join Tournesol?

“Two reasons. I was eager to return to a company with roots in premium manufacturing, and I have a renewed interest in designing for outdoor. The pandemic forced me to reassess my values and aim to be more connected to the ways people engage with nature and urban green spaces. I look forward to designing new products and experiences that positively impact the built environments we inhabit.”

What is your favorite “off work” pastime, hobby, creative outlet or…what do you like to do for fun?

“I enjoy gardening, hiking, animals, biking, tinkering with my tools, but most importantly I enjoy watching great movies and traveling the world with my lovely wife.”

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