“When it comes to design, I like to do it all,” says Michael Vanderbyl, whose life-long goal has been to merge traditionally segregated design forms like graphic design, product design and interior architecture. As evidenced by the work that has emerged from his San Francisco–based studio over the course of his 27-year career, Vanderbyl has attained this goal—and more. A century ago, Otto Wagner, Vienna’s pioneering modernist architect/designer, coined the famous term Gesamtkunstwerk—the total work of art—to describe what he believed was the ultimate creative attainment in the modern age. One hundred years later, Vanderbyl’s talent and achievements seem to fulfill the Viennese master’s criteria with startling accuracy.
—Zahid Sardar, writing on Michael Vanderbyl in 365: AIGA Year in Design 21, 2000