Jonathan Olivares

    Jonathan Olivares was born in Boston in 1981, and graduated from Pratt Institute’s industrial design program in 2004 after having studied design and management at the New School University. In 2006, he established Jonathan Olivares Design Research (JODR), an office dedicated to industrial design, design related research and exhibition design. The combination of these activities gives the office a multilateral approach towards each project.
    The office designs furniture for Danese Milano and Knoll, both leaders in the furniture field.

    In her article on JODR for Kaleidoscope quarterly on contemporary art and culture, Leah Whitman-Salkin wrote of Olivares: “Aesthetically, his works seldom resort to fanfare, privileging use-value and ten- derness over showmanship. Olivares produces objects that ask to be used rather than observed. His slow-and-steady style, combined with his personal resolve, produces humble results worth looking out for.”

    In 2011, Smith, JODR’s first product for Danese Milano, won the Compasso d’Oro, Italy’s most prestigious design award given to products.
    In the field of research JODR works with a diverse group of clients, with a wide variety of objectives. Research projects have included a survey of the American furniture industry for Domus Magazine, an installation explaining mobile devices for the 2010 St. Étienne Design Biennial, and a four-year inves- tigation of office chairs funded by Knoll, which culminated in the book A Taxonomy of Office Chairs (Phaidon Press, 2011). Olivares has been the recipient of two grants from the Graham Foundation, in 2010 and 2011, for the Outdoor Office, a research project focused on creating outdoor work environ- ments for academic and business contexts.
    JODR has designed exhibitions for Nouveau Musée National Monaco, CENTRO Diseño Cine Televi- sion in Mexico City, and the EXD design Biennial in Lisbon, and the exhibits have ranged from explor- atory curatorial projects to overviews of the office’s work.