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Desire to design leads Bockner from law career

'I needed to be doing something creative'

Marc BarnesMANY of us wish we were somewhere else, doing something else. Some of us actually do something about it.
     Andrew Bockner of Andrew Richard Designs was a lawyer, sitting behind a desk, when he realized something wasn't quite right.
     "I have no formal training in design, it's just something that I've always loved," Bockner said. "I knew I needed to be doing something creative and express myself artistically. When it comes to outdoor living, that is where my interest peaks and passion kicks in."
     In 2002, Bockner left the law behind and found himself sitting on a beach in Thailand, thinking of the different ways that the outdoor lifestyle could be enhanced. He put a few drawings together and made some prototypes - and almost immediately, people became interested in what he had to offer.
     "I am inspired by and can admire the beauty in all different styles and types of design," Bockner said. "I am inspired to create furnishings people love and that are practical and comfortable. I guess I am inspired to create more from the enjoyment that people get from our work."
     Bockner said he is influenced most by designers who are passionate by what they do. He respects and admires Richard Frinier, both for his design prowess and his love for the industry.
     "I believe casual furniture has to be usable, practical and comfortable to make any sense," Bockner said. "I love creating things that are just a bit oversized to ensure relaxation and comfort - things that people want to jump into and use. It's all about making your end-user feel relaxed and comfortable, and making the furniture piece feel accessible and usable rather than ornamental."
 lifestyle    To that end, Bockner uses classic materials like teak, stainless steel, aluminum and Solartex, his firm's patented weaving product. He noted hospitality clients often are the first to find a certain popular design. Bockner said this is especially true of stainless pieces, which are slowly gaining popularity for home use.
     "I am proud and quite lucky to be doing something that I am passionate about and that I love," Bockner said. "I am looking forward to continuing to evolve in this industry and hopefully continuing to produce beautiful things that will assist people in the enjoyment of life."

Click here to read all the designer profiles in this month's "Behind the designs" feature.

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