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Living Well with Joey M. Robinson

An Introduction

I’ve had a passion for architecture and interior design since I was a child. I think it started when my family made our big move from a public housing project in Newark, NJ to a wonderful, modern high-rise designed by Mies van der Rohe, the German-American father of the glass and steel building. This building was located across from one of Newark's beautiful city parks and my mother and I felt like we had just won the lottery.

I remember my mother telling my brothers and me that she worked very hard to get us to this safe haven and we all appreciated it. I took an interest in our new surroundings immediately, paying attention to the detail in the clean line and open spaces.

The building had a very clinical and minimalist feel and each apartment was like a blank canvas that could be decorated to the utmost or as simply as placing a sofa and art work in the middle of the room. I was fascinated when I visited other homes in the building, noting the unique collection of objects and display of furniture in each.

As I got older my mother encouraged my input in designing our home and sharing my ideas and opinions. The years passed and we moved on to other residences, but I had a hand in every design project we encountered. She and I became partners in design in many ways.

The day I finished classes in residential design in Seattle was one of the happiest days of my life. What followed were wonderful opportunities to present my art works (including the Black Maids Tribute) at various venues in the Seattle area, and on the internet. Seattle is a special place and I have warm memories of people and places and good times there.

But to indulge my passion in residential design, I decided I had to return to school and study “green” design and obtain L.E.E.D. certification. And that’s why I’m here in Chicago at the Art Institute of Illinois.

The Institute is close by the enormous Merchandise Mart, the largest commercial building in the world and the largest wholesale design center in America, with more than 4 million square feet of retail space, recently upgraded to green LEED standards. It contains 11 floors of permanent showrooms and hosts dozens of trade shows annually. It’s an astounding place, a sort of Smithsonian Institution of design.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting wonderful and talented people in Interior Design here in Chicago. I look forward to sharing my love of life and passion for the arts and introducing you to some of the most interesting people in Chicago through these pages.

Living well is an art—you don’t need great wealth to live well. If the devil is in the details, the art of good living dwells in the details too. You just have to keep an eye out.

Stay tuned—this will be a great ride!