Inspired: Designers

Derek Chen

Derek Chen is a designer and the founder of Council Inc. With Council, Chen endeavors to build an American brand whose collections make a meaningful contribution to international contemporary design.

Chen’s own work reveals a facility with technology as well as an appreciation for the visual and tactile appeal of natural forms and materials. Chen has been designing and building things since childhood, and has most recently returned to his first love, furniture.

Before founding Council and his own design studio, Chen started Urbana Design, a company named after the city in which he spent much of his childhood. Urbana Design continues to produce sleek tabletop accessories sold in design stores around the country. Chen’s first career was as a management consultant advising clients in Europe, South America, and the United States.

Through Council, Urbana Design, and his studio, Chen’s work has been widely covered in the international design media. Chen has spoken on issues facing the contemporary design market in conjunction with museum exhibits and design trade shows.

Chen holds a degree in Electrical Engineering. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Derek literally impacts all San Francisco JOBY on a daily basis. As the creator of the enormous tables that define the JOBY office spaces, Derek has created a collaborative environment that melds together design and engineering into a beautifully functional piece.