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Robert O'Brien

Robert O'Brien

When he can tear himself away from his shop, Robert O’Brien designs college and university buildings. He’s co-founder of Chiang | O’Brien Architects in Ithaca, N.Y. A longtime armchair woodworker, he taught himself the craft in part by building the rolling cabinets featured in FWW #237 ("Organize Your Shop with Smart Carts"). The difference between working on buildings and furniture? “Large buildings take years from initial design to completion—and other people build them. Furniture is very tactile and immediate, and goes from my drawings to my hands.”

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