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Design Within Reach’s New CEO Calls for Some Big Changes

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Just last Friday, we were posting that John Edelman had quickly replaced the mysteriously disappeared Ray Brunner as the new CEO of Design Within Reach. The whole thing was so sudden, and Edelman was something of an unknown, that it was all a bit jarring. Fortunately, hot off the heals of his much discussed story about the fall of DWR (including a discussion we had with him here), Fast Company‘s Jeff Chu has gotten the chance to talk to Edelman and it’s pretty eye-opening, considering the guy has only been on the job for a few days. He talks about the painful culture at the company, the series of knock-offs DWR was involved with, and hiring new designers. We’re not sure if this is all big, showy, “new guy in charge” talk, but it’s certainly interesting. Here’s a bit about one move we found particularly interesting:

I think if Charles and Ray Eames were producing today, they’d be in China. One of the unfair knocks in this business is against China. If you were to do a knockoff in China, that’s bad taste, bad business, and bad form, but why not do a new design there? What’s the problem? If you’re saying it can’t be done, what a disrespectful comment to the whole nation of China.

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