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Michele Caniato: The Power Broker

“Work should be fun!” proclaims Michele Caniato from his 17th-floor office in Midtwon Manhattan, where Kid Robot figurines line the perimeter of his executive desk. “Otherwise, what’s the point?”

It’s this very enthusiasm and passion for design that has kept Caniato, 46, at the help of the design industry for more than 20 years. Commonly referred to as the “power broker” and “consigliere” of the field, he serves a dual role as president of the strategic design-management consultancy Culture + Commerce—the firm behind progress, era-defining collaborations between Target and designers like Philippe Starck—and of the worldwide materials library Material ConneXion.

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