How One Designer's Unique Background Brings Fresh Ideas to Private Club DesignRead More
Forty years with Chambers and forty years designing stunning and award-winning clubs. So we asked Bob Hickman to let us in on a few of his secrets.
CR: Okay, it sounds trite, but you’ve had such an incredible influence on the design industry, the club industry… — have you thought about what you want your legacy to be?
BH: Over the course of time, one of my goals has always been to bring architecture and interior design closer together. Whether it’s for a country club, a healthcare facility or an office, the interior design should sing with the architecture. The result is a much better functioning space and a much more enjoyable experience for its inhabitants.
I hope that I have made those experiences a little richer because I was there.
CR: Is there a signature Bob Hickman approach to design projects?
BH: I’m the kind of person who works to totally engage my clients in the process. I have always focused on trying to uncover exactly what they need and want of a project. That hasn’t changed in 40 years!
CR: What have been your greatest design influences?
BH: First, I had a remarkable education at the University of Cincinnati. I still feel the influences of what I learned there in my job every day. I am also drawn to Asian art and culture. There is such beauty in its straightforward simplicity. That can get the essence of good design without a lot of extraneous design flowing through it. To me, good design is extracting the essence and enjoying the purity of it.
CR: How have perspectives about design changed in your time in the industry?
BH: Good design is no longer a luxury. It makes your work easier, makes you happier, makes everything better. Just look around you — Ikea is doing great, affordable design. Look at the catalogs you get in the mail by the dozen. They’re showcasing great things.
CR: What inspires you?
BH: Steve Jobs has always inspired me — the whole concept of marrying great design and technology. He’s probably been the most powerful influence in my life in the last 20 years.
And anyone who knows me knows my fascination with Porsches. It goes back to that simple line — with the stroke of a pencil, you can draw the outline of a Porsche and most people would recognize it right away. Beautiful, simple, perfect.