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February 1, 2010

When Senior Editor Aaron Britt was at Design Miami in December, he met the three RISD chaps behind the young industrial design firm Rich Brilliant Willing. Theo Richardson, Charles Brill, and Alex Williams (get it?) have been hard at it in New York City for a couple years now, and looked all too happy to be on the town in Miami's balmy excuse for winter. They met up at a show at the Cappellini gallery, wandered around Design Miami for a bit, and then arranged to have a beer the next day. Though he could hardly recount the quips and barbs of the collective Rich Brilliant Willing mind, Britt did put a few questions to them. Here he presents what they had to say, in addition to this slideshow of their work.

Charles Brill, Alex Williams, and Theo Richardson (from left) are the three partners of the design firm Rich Brilliant Willing.
Charles Brill, Alex Williams, and Theo Richardson (from left) are the three partners of the design firm Rich Brilliant Willing.
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Modeled on the simplicity of a Shaker chair, Rich Brilliant Willing's Dining Chair from 2009 brings a kind of clear simplicity of form and materials to a classic shape.
Modeled on the simplicity of a Shaker chair, Rich Brilliant Willing's Dining Chair from 2009 brings a kind of clear simplicity of form and materials to a classic shape.
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The Excel floor lamp comes flat-packed and used two CFL bulbs.
The Excel floor lamp comes flat-packed and used two CFL bulbs.
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Here is the Excel in a different set of colors for a more playful interior.
Here is the Excel in a different set of colors for a more playful interior.
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A series of rods, dowels and a drum shade make up the guts and the goodness of Rich Brilliant Willing's design.
A series of rods, dowels and a drum shade make up the guts and the goodness of Rich Brilliant Willing's design.
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The Matryoshka series is defined by overlapping wooden slats, as though paint had dripped down the side of this end table, drying in rectangular globs.
The Matryoshka series is defined by overlapping wooden slats, as though paint had dripped down the side of this end table, drying in rectangular globs.
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The Matryoshka coffee table is the largest of the set, which nests like the Russian dolls from which it takes its name.
The Matryoshka coffee table is the largest of the set, which nests like the Russian dolls from which it takes its name.
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Perhaps a favorite of the Rich Brilliant Willing catalog, this Coatrack is pure industrial simplicity and has just been picked up by Areaware.
Perhaps a favorite of the Rich Brilliant Willing catalog, this Coatrack is pure industrial simplicity and has just been picked up by Areaware.
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Another play on the nesting doll idea is this Russian Doll end table.
Another play on the nesting doll idea is this Russian Doll end table.
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The Newtility line from Rich Brilliant Willing offers not just the functionality of a lamp, but a spot to rest a glass of water, and a place to plug in that perpetually-dying cell phone.
The Newtility line from Rich Brilliant Willing offers not just the functionality of a lamp, but a spot to rest a glass of water, and a place to plug in that perpetually-dying cell phone.
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Another view of the Newtility set.
Another view of the Newtility set.
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The smallest of the lot, this wall-mounted light and plug is due out in 2010.
The smallest of the lot, this wall-mounted light and plug is due out in 2010.
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Taking their approach to a bit of packaging design, here is Rich Brilliant Willing's 2009 foray into Scandinavian liquor. Linie is a Norwegian producer of aquavit which hopes to penetrate the American market with the little-drunk spirit.
Taking their approach to a bit of packaging design, here is Rich Brilliant Willing's 2009 foray into Scandinavian liquor. Linie is a Norwegian producer of aquavit which hopes to penetrate the American market with the little-drunk spirit.
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Should your cabinet of curiosities lack an illuminated crystal formation, this 2008 Table Chandelier for Swarovski will surely brighten your Fortress of Solitude.
Should your cabinet of curiosities lack an illuminated crystal formation, this 2008 Table Chandelier for Swarovski will surely brighten your Fortress of Solitude.
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Charles Brill, Alex Williams, and Theo Richardson (from left) are the three partners of the design firm Rich Brilliant Willing.
Charles Brill, Alex Williams, and Theo Richardson (from left) are the three partners of the design firm Rich Brilliant Willing.

Ideal working environment?
Anywhere with our thinking tools, our studio is great. -Theo
A round table. -Charles

Modeled on the simplicity of a Shaker chair, Rich Brilliant Willing's Dining Chair from 2009 brings a kind of clear simplicity of form and materials to a classic shape.
Modeled on the simplicity of a Shaker chair, Rich Brilliant Willing's Dining Chair from 2009 brings a kind of clear simplicity of form and materials to a classic shape.
Lucky break?
I hope we still get one. -Theo
Dream commission?
Unlimited budget. -Charles
To design outside our niche, with bigger audiences. -Theo
Hero?
Tiger Woods (just kidding). -Theo
Anti-hero?
Tiger Woods. -Theo
Irritating buzzword?
Collab. -Alex
Highest compliment?
"I think your on to something...." -Charles
We haven't yet reached our potential. -Theo
The Matryoshka series is defined by overlapping wooden slats, as though paint had dripped down the side of this end table, drying in rectangular globs.
The Matryoshka series is defined by overlapping wooden slats, as though paint had dripped down the side of this end table, drying in rectangular globs.
A book?

The Kindle. -Theo
Blink. -Alex
A film?
The Road. -Theo
An album?
"Warm Heart of Africa" by Very Best. -Theo
Eureka moment?
There's still some beer in here! -Alex
Worst ever idea?
Not being Warren Buffet. -Alex
Best advice?
Stick to your guns. -Theo
When not designing?
Sleeping. -Alex
Best seat in the house?
Near the window. -Theo
Near the food. -Charles
I wish I had?
A pet piglet. -Theo
A pet piglet with a leather police cap. -Charles
Looking forward to?
My first electric vehicle, my first commercial space flight. -Alex

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