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Pruning the Tree: Where Design Solutions Arise

November 22, 2021

Where do our ideas come from? What motivates us to innovate? Listen in as Eric MacDonald, OM Seating product design manger, and furniture designer and engineer Francisco Romero chat about the design process where ideas come from, and the stories we tell along the way. The insight they bring forth will resonate with any of us interested in developing an enduring design process, whether as an independent designer or part of an in-house team.

Meet Our Guests:

Eric MacDonald, product design and development manager, OM Seating

Eric MacDonaldEric MacDonald is the product design and development manager at OM, helping to bring thoughtful functionality, style, safety, and originality into the contract furniture design market. Based in Ontario, California, OM designs and manufactures award winning seating solutions with an extensive portfolio of chair families that fit nearly every work mode and work space. OM always strives to show some personality, while encouraging the influence of architects, designers and ergonomists.
Eric graduated with an industrial design degree from California State University Long Beach in 2009. While in the design program, he won the Wilsonart Challenges design competition, displaying at his first furniture tradeshow, ICFF in New York. He was also awarded a Cortona Design Retreat Scholarship, founded by Joe Ricchio and Michael Kammermeyer, which took him to the Milan Furniture Fair. Since graduation, Eric has designed and developed products for companies like Apple, Belkin, and Peter Pepper Products. His current role at OM has taken him to Europe, Asia, and all over the US, working with development partners and introducing new product designs. 

Francisco Romero, designer and owner, Phidesign

Francisco RomeroPhidesign, founded in 2004, is a furniture design studio that specializes in high performance task, executive, and guest seating for the commercial market. Led by industrial designer and engineer Francisco Romero, and graphic designer Nadine Bosshard Romero, they have carved a niche in value driven markets by designing innovative products in a socially and economically responsible way.

Francisco received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and then went on to a receive his Masters degree in Architecture, both from UCLA. Nadine studied at the famed Art Center College of Design in both Switzerland and Pasadena.

OM showroom at TheMart
OM Seating’s new showroom at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, featuring OM5 Active ® and OM5 Active®  Nest. Chair design by Phidesign.
Breakroom with cafe stool
OM5 Active ® and OM5 Active®  Cafe Stool. Chair design by Phidesign
Meeting room
OM5 Active ® Tasker with 5 Star Base. Chair design by Phidesign

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About the author
Robert Nieminen | Chief Content Director

Robert Nieminen is the Chief Content Director of i+s and BUILDINGS media brands, and an award-winning writer, editor and design industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry.