Nick Cave and Bob Faust: Design Tangents Episode Two

This duo's friendship became a business partnership and then transformed into a love story that ventures far beyond art

It takes a certain kind of compatibility to be creative collaborators and for those who are also life partners, it becomes even more nuanced. Contemporary artist Nick Cave and creative director Bob Faust are one such duo, and their disciplines are as diverse as they are numerous. We were privileged to visit Cave and Faust at their Chicago studio and home to dig into their respective processes and the Venn diagram of their art, activism, community-building, personal and collaborative output, and private lives for the second episode of Design Tangents.

“I’ve always been kind of fearless,” Cave tells us. “I just jump in, I don’t know where I’m going to land, but I’m going to land somewhere somehow. That’s just part of my nature—being willing to risk it. If I don’t have the risk I think I’m kind of bored or I move onto something else.”

by Josh Rubin

That risk-taking led to their very first collaborative project several years ago. Faust invited Cave to his studio, where one design prompt from the former was met with another from the latter. “I was interested in the process of, ‘How do we get there? How do we figure it out?'” Cave says. He was convinced that Faust was the perfect person to collaborate with. It was such a success that the two made a project every year for the next five or six years in order to continue working together. Over time, they became friends, business partners and fell in love.

by Josh Rubin

The pair both believe that proper preparation leads to saving time, working efficiently and ultimately successful outcomes. “We never work overtime,” Cave says. “That’s just because I am really interested in being in the moment and being present… When we’re clear, when we know what the vision is, everything will fall into place. If I’m stressed out and the studio is stressed out, it’s not an environment I want to be near—ever.”

by Josh Rubin

In this episode, listeners will learn how upcycled knitwear brought them together, how they support each other’s work, how they develop projects that create an impact and how their new fashion vision (which we can’t wait to see manifest) has come together.

by Evan Orensten

Subscribe to Design Tangents on all major podcast platforms, including Apple and Spotify, so that when each episode comes out it’ll be ready and waiting in your player of choice.

Design Tangents is presented by Genesis and produced and edited by SANDOW Design Group. Special thanks to the podcast production team: Rob Schulte, Hannah Viti, Wize Grazette and Samantha Sager and to Amber Lin for creating our show art. Discover more design podcasts from SURROUND at