News Archive 2009-2018

Profile: Chris Armes ’96 (Bowdoin Magazine) Archives

Chris Armes ’96. Illustration by Chelee Ross ’12.


This profile originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Bowdoin magazine.

Bowdoin major: Geology

Hometown: Roseburg, Oregon

Title: Founder and co-owner of 16th Workshop


On the origins of 16th Workshop: I have always worked with wood but furniture in particular did not come until just prior to graduate school in architecture. My wife (who is my partner as well) and I simply consider furniture design to be small-scale architecture. We decided to turn it into a business because we are passionate about design in all things, and it has become a world outlook rather than simply a means to an income.

The company name: We live on 16th Avenue in Seattle (a connection to place is important, even if we ultimately move away). “Workshop” conveys that we are an ideas studio as well as one that does fabrication.

Most rewarding part of my job: Making authentic work with my own two hands and seeing progress at the end of each day. Creating beauty (at least in my opinion).
Bowdoin Magazine Winter Icon
Favorite Bowdoin memory: An overall sense of the friendships and setting, the balance between serious academics and serious fun and engaging with the world around you.

Greatest influence: The work-aday, do-it-yourself mentality where I grew up (a small timber and agricultural town in southern Oregon) and my travels to India, Mexico, and Japan.