Richard Higby brings more than 25 years of experience to his projects. He spent the first 18 years of his career growing his Chicago-based studio, designing and making bespoke furniture and architectural elements. Made specific to an individual, a brand or a space, he combined various wood species and metals, concentrating on the natural or unique quality of the materials themselves. Higby had a small shop in the gritty Wicker Park and West Loop neighborhoods with wood and metal working equipment where he and his team created everything from furniture and media centers, to modern staircases and fireplace surrounds. Increased scope for larger projects such as, hair salons, condo lobbies and residential, spanned initial concept through installation, including space planning, design and fabrication of custom furnishings, architectural elements, even lighting.
Seeking new challenges, and to expand his skill set, Higby accepted a position with idX Corporation, one of the top retail fixture and architectural millwork companies in the world. Over the following seven years Richard worked strictly in the retail fixture and architectural millwork industries. His focus was on managing a team responsible for programs of some of the world’s most recognized brands. This took him from board rooms in New York and Los Angeles, to factories in China and installs in Europe. He had the opportunity to work on global programs, assisting development, quality control, manufacturing as well as assembling and managing regional teams in North America, Europe and China.
Missing design, the creative community, and the deeper satisfaction that comes with bespoke projects, Higby made the decision to return to his design business, bringing the management and manufacturing experience accumulated over the previous years. Now based in St. Louis, his concentration is again on design, focusing on more complex design projects that require his advanced knowledge of materials, attention to details, and collaborative spirit demanded by his clients.
Higby’s favorite pastime is exploring new cities or emerging neighborhoods. He is constantly seeking out creative communities whose core is centered on art, design and architecture. The neighborhoods that truly feed his soul are those that provide a new context from which to view the city and prove a transformative energy to better a community. To expand on this interest, he and his wife Ann Higby, with a career in the beauty and fashion industry, have launched “Patchwork Studios” which has taken an active role in the Patch neighborhood of St. Louis by renovating historic buildings, for creative space, and helping to develop a community of artists, designers and makers.