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Rob Forbes' career includes work in both the Arts and Business fields. Forbes is best known as the Founder of Design Within Reach and for the vision of a business that has grown into the leading retail destination for modern design in the US. In 2007 Rob formally left DWR to launch Studio Forbes, based in San Francisco, to further his interests in design, culture, and commerce. These interests, and his personal passion for bicycles led him to his new venture PUBLIC. PUBLIC is a design based business with a mission to help us reduce our dependency on cars and think more intelligently and artfully about the way we get around and connect with our cities and communities.

Forbes' academic training includes a BA in Aesthetics from the University of California at Santa Cruz (1974), an MFA from Alfred University (1979) and an MBA from Stanford University (1985). His art career includes ceramics studio work and exhibitions in the US and teaching positions at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Philadelphia College of Art. His business experience includes work here and abroad in retail management for Williams-Sonoma, London-based Selfridges, The Nature Company, and Smith & Hawken prior to Founding Design Within Reach in 1998 and PUBLIC in 2009.