Designer Spotlight: Caleb Rancourt

Jan 28, 2016 | Designer Spotlight

Favorite things:

Pantone Color: PMS 300

Phone App: Google Goggles

Athlete: Craig Kelley

Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Drink: Whiskey

Season: Winter

Meal: Second Lunch


Let’s get personal:

Deepest Fear: space travel, for some reason it freaks me out

Favorite way to waste a Saturday: brunch, then way too much discgolf, croquet, a few craft beers, then bed

Superpower you wish you had: I want to say flight, but being able to hold your breath forever might be cool

When I was little I wanted to be….?: I thought about being a chemist once, but molecules are tough

Most memorable design school moment?

We we’re working on a 12 week project that had finally come to an end.  As we were pulling an all-nighter about 8 hours before our pin-up we e-mailed our professors to see if they would grab beers with us afterwards.  They said if we were awake they would.  After over indulging in libations and advice we ended up riding skateboards down hills in the dark.  It was a little reckless but just what we needed after giving it our all.

Who is a designer that inspires you?

In 2014 I had the opportunity to work on a project with Paul Hatch, President of TEAMS Design Chicago.  The project was called Design House and engaged the broader design community in Chicago to help promote local manufacturing.  Paul is a very talented designer but what inspired me the most was the way balanced work with his family, and his ability to be critical but encouraging.

If you could learn one new craft, what would it be?

Rather than learn a new craft, I would rather master a craft that I’ve already invested a good bit of time into.  In design school I was a “Shop Rat”.  I would create excuses to be in the woodshop as much as I could.  I really enjoyed exploring joinery, turning blanks on the lathe, and I molded maple veneer to make my own skateboard decks.   I would like to continue woodworking.

If you could design anything, what would it be?

This is a really hard question, but at this point in my career I  would like to design oil lamps.  I’m fascinated by humans relationship to fire, and I think exploring lighting in a more analog way could be really rewarding.  Oil lamps treat materials very honestly, and there’s a real beauty to the simplicity of the parts.