Inside Designer Joey Roth’s New Portland Studio

Joey Roth, who champions a simplistic but refined aesthetic, is one of America’s next great industrial designers.

“I’m attracted to things that quietly but confidently make themselves known,” says Joey Roth, the Portland-based industrial designer whose firm, Joey Roth Design Studio, opens its first retail space in Portland, Oregon this summer.

Since his breakout in 2010, Roth has won praise for his simple but refined approach to everyday goods. “I design things to be as elegant as my ability will allow,” he says, “but neither too easy nor too perfect.” His product line has grown to include a self-watering planter, stainless steel teapot, letterpress posters, and, what can perhaps be described as Roth’s signature design, a ceramic speaker system, which even Wired has labeled “drool-worthy.”

The goal of his physical retail space is to create a “multi-sensory experience,” says Roth, “which allows us to interact more directly with our customers, to test out new ideas and to understand more clearly how people encounter and use our products.” The space was designed by his wife and business partner, Jana Roth, and balances a foundation of minimalist design principles with plants and softer materials, such as wood and textured carpets, to create a light and inviting environment. “We want customers to feel like they can spend time with the products, ask questions and get to know our design philosophy,” he says.

For those new to his design, the storefront offers a singular vision of his expanding product line, which can be difficult for multi-faceted designers such as Roth to convey online. But even for those who have been following his trajectory, the retail space offers a practical chance to become intimate with his products, listen to the speakers and leave inspired.

As the store confidently establishes itself in the budding creative community of Portland, Roth expects people to take note. He wants them to say, “I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

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