Product Designers

Encore is honored to work with a diverse group of independent product designers, several of whom have collaborated with us for over twenty years. Their talent, dedication to the craft, and forward-thinking vision has earned them numerous design awards along with national recognition. Each has contributed to our success and we appreciate the business relationships, but more so the friendships, we continue to build together.

For product design consideration, please contact Casey Journigan at

Click on a designer below to learn more:


David Ritch & Mark Saffell of 5D Studio

With a combined 40 years of experience in the contract furniture industry, Ritch and Saffell have achieved numerous recognitions for their innovative product designs, including multiple Best of NeoCon awards and the coveted IDSA – Design of the Decade award. Their work has been featured in exhibits at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Design.

5D is founded on the principals’ passion for design, taking a genuine interest in their clients’ creative and strategic goals and addressing each project with fresh, creative solutions.


Aaron Duke

Aaron Duke established his design studio, Intersection, in 2009.  Intersection is an interdisciplinary design studio that brings together a collective of designers, researchers and architects.  The studio works on projects that vary in scale; from medical products, to furniture, to the built environment, to social initiatives.  From its inception, the studio has endeavoured to create a dynamic, synergetic environment, where people enthusiastically delve into projects that encourage the essential discourse between culture and science through a design medium.


Chris Panichella

A top graduate of the School of Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Chris began his early career designing sets for broadcasting studios, yet always had a passion for furniture and spent most of his down time working on furniture designs and other related moonlit projects.

In 2006, he turned that passion into a full-time business by forming Achella Design Studio, and has since produced successful designs for a broad range of markets including industrial, retail, contract and outdoor furniture.


Chris & Jon Panichella

Chris and Jon Panichella head up the product design portion of Achella Design – a multidisciplinary studio operating out of Southern California. While the studio’s primary focus is furniture and graphic design, they have also helped clients find solutions in diverse industries from medical devices to retail and exhibit design.

In lieu of an overarching design philosophy, Achella Design prefers to focus on authentic collaborations between the client, the intent of the project, and the end user. Their goal is to tailor market solutions that perfectly blend their design sensibilities with the brands they create them for. With this honest approach Achella Design creates honest solutions.


David Dahl

A graduate of the industrial design program at the University of Cincinnati, Dahl has been making one-of-a-kind furniture pieces for residential clients for over 25 years, and seating for the contract market for over two decades. His hands-on approach – David builds his own scale models and prototypes to ensure seating comfort – has made him a sought-after partner by many nationally recognized manufacturers.

Whether turning raw lumber into a custom table for a West Hollywood dining room or designing a chair that is tailored to a hospital waiting room, the hallmarks of David’s designs are the same – clean lines, attention to detail and, above all, an obvious passion for his trade.


Henner Jahns of Gecco Vision

An industrial designer by trade, Henner Jahns founded the design firm Gecco Vision in March 1996 to immediate success and shortly thereafter, also cofounded the highly regarded furniture company dTank, serving as President and Design Director from 1999 to 2005.

Jahns has been awarded multiple honors in international design for a host of successful products that span both retail and commercial markets, including a Best of NeoCon Award and Most Innovative Product Award for an active/dynamic chair design in 2000, which was also exhibited in MOMA New York; a 2013 sit-stand chair design that earned an International Red Dot Design Award, Good Design Award and won Best of NeoCon Silver; as well as a best-selling shaver design for Schick that was likewise credited with an International Red Dot Design Award.

As President of Gecco Vision, he continues to develop innovative product designs for companies that include Arcadia/Encore, Aeris, Deskmakers, Via and OM Seating, primarily focusing on the commercial office market.

Works by Henner Jahns of Gecco Vision


Gower + Woolf

GOWER + WOOLF is an American integrative design firm founded in 2021 by Andrew Gower and Paul Woolf Boettiger. With offices in New York and Montana, our designs are the culmination of experience, process and reflection. Our work is built on a shared commitment to simplicity of form, research-driven design and collaborative process. With decades of collective experience from industrial design, architecture, to branding, we approach each project with a sense of wonder coupled with a thorough understanding and appreciation of our craft. We have had the privilege of partnering with companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia, helping to develop successful product lines for their brands. Our one goal is to create thoughtful, beautiful, and relevant designs that are reflective of our time.


Francisco Romero of PhiDesign

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Francisco Romero sought an apprenticeship in woodworking, with a desire to learn the trade through the eyes of skilled craftsmen.  While later pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture at UCLA, he interned under furniture designer Donald Chadwick, best known for his Design of the Decade Aeron Chair, for Herman Miller.

In 2003, he launched Phidesign, with the goal of focusing on state of the art computer and prototyping methodologies coupled with the fine art of furniture making.  Since then, he has gone on to carve out a niche in mid-market seating by bringing style and innovation to his designs in a socially and economically responsible way.

Works by Francisco Romero of PhiDesign


Just Meijer

Residing in the Netherlands, Just was essentially born into the furniture industry, with his father being one of the founders of Kembo, a Dutch seating manufacturer. He joined his father’s company after completing his architectural studies where he discovered his passion for chair design. Enjoying the challenge of combining great design with the functionality of sitting comfortably, his constant search for the best solutions was the creative drive from which he was able to bring something new and original to each concept. In 1989, he started Indecom Furniture Design together with his son Eelco Meijer, enabling greater flexibility to pursue the distribution of their designs and products to the international furniture market.

Works by Just Meijer



A full-service design and consulting firm based in Chicago, qdesign seeks to engage not only the talents of individuals, but to tap the greater potential achieved through group collaboration. Their creative efforts have resulted in award-winning designs ranging from conference tables to casegoods, lounge seating and guest chairs.



Over the past 2 decades their studio has focused on corporate, healthcare, educational and residential furniture. They have collaborated with a broad range of furniture clients, from large multifaceted corporations to small family owned businesses. Their experience spans highly developmental ergonomic task seating to more fashion driven soft seating products. They take pride in solving problems, understanding their client and providing the best possible solution for their needs.


Ramsey Madsen & Jim Contois

A graduate of Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Contois began his career designing architectural building products. Soon after, his focus turned to contract furniture and since 2008, has managed his own studio and developed products for a wide range of markets. In his work, he emphasizes simplicity, scale, and proportion while elevating the end users’ experience and has a fi rm belief that the role of design is to balance the interests of the manufacturer, designer and end user in ways that create desirable products in the marketplace.

Madsen brings a unique synthesis to furniture design through a holistic approach that reaches from the earliest stages of needs assessment through fi nal product engineering. With a strong design background and a deep understanding of processes, he assists his clients in creating pragmatic solutions of value.

Works by Ramsey Madsen & Jim Contois