Rob’s passion for adventure-seeking and exploring the great outdoors not only allows him to connect on a deeper level with the beauty and rugged temperament of all nature has to offer, but also serves as his inspiration for discovering meaningful moments in design that his clients can connect with on a similar level. Meet Rob Zwiebel, Senior Designer at our Seattle office.
1. Are you originally from Seattle?
I am originally from Edmonds where they say, “it’s an Edmonds kind of day.”
2. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
When I was 15, I lived alone for a summer in Ecuador vaccinating animals against rabies. I saved up my own money, trained for over a year (with Amigos de las Americas) and sold oranges to pay my way. It was an adventure. I got sick, was robbed at gunpoint, went surfing, ate guinea pig (a lot) and was stung by a stonefish, which can potentially kill you. It wasn’t fun or easy, but I vaccinated over 3,500 animals and opened up my eyes quite a bit.
3. What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I have loved waves and wave riding since I was a little kid. Now I get to share those experiences with my wife and kids. I recently heard someone say, “The fact that we can disappear below the sea, ride an air pocket trapped in a band of energy and emerge dry, is a staggering concept.” I enjoy the abstract nature of it all, especially around here in the Pacific Northwest where the coastlines are still wild. I also enjoy spending time in the mountains, climbing around the alpine and touring through new spaces on snowboards. I love gardening, skateboards, bikes, carpentry, photography, beach combing, and climbing rocks. Many interests, but it’s pretty easy to focus depending on the season and mood.
4. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without the love and support of my family and friends, especially my wife and kids. They have helped me through the tough times and shared in all the joy. And since you can’t live off just one thing, I would add salt-water, fresh air, rain, snow, sunshine, beaches, mountains, dogs, avocados, super-feet insoles, fish tacos, palm trees, fir trees, cedar trees, lichen on trees, kids climbing in trees….
5. What is your hidden talent?
I have the ability to believe that I have the ability to converse with animals.
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Litter. On a grand scale it would be massive oil spills, but no matter what the scale, we are better than that.
7. What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?
I met my wife at the Neah Bay Dump.
8. Name 3 things on your bucket list.
I don’t use that term myself, so I don’t have a “bucket list” but I do have priorities in life.
- Explore our wilderness and ride thousands of waves with my wife and kids and friends, surrounded by mossy rainforest, eagles, whales and kushtaka.
- Build a cabin on our land up in Glacier, WA, so we can ride powder with our kids, hang out with all our buddies around a fire and sleep through the storms in our own cozy dwelling.
- Spend a year or more sailing to New Zealand with the family.
9. What is one of your personal mottos or favorite sayings?
“Freedom begins between the ears.” – Edward Abbey
10. Name a favorite line from a movie.
I honestly don’t have a favorite line from a movie that really stands out. I have always been more influenced by music. Good Feeling by the Violent Femmes has been an iconic song for me since I was a little kid.
11. What is your favorite part of your job? What makes you excited to come into the office every day?
The freedom of creativity, the endless opportunity, building things with wonderful people, the champagne, and Jay Hilburn’s vast knowledge of Southern rap.