Jim Skånberg is the owner and design principal of 280 West. Born on a cattle ranch in the Salinas Valley, Jim is a 5th generation Californian now living in the coastal foothills of Portola Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jim’s design life began in New Orleans, LA where he earned his architectural degree from Tulane University in 1992. The following year he spent working for the artist, Donald Judd, in Marfa, TX. This introduction into the world of experiential art had a profound effect on him and began a three decade journey into design and adventure that has culminated into 280 West.

While Jim relishes his role in developing an overall concept and vocabulary for a project, the real fun for him comes from the dynamic exchange between designer and maker. This is the place where design is happening in the field and a project begins to take form. Jim is a designer through and through with skills in a number of craft & trade disciplines including metal fabrication, fine metal work, fine woodwork, carpentry, rigging, engraving, luthiery, painting, and illustration.

He embraces a philosophy that places art front and center in our lives. It is something that can have a real impact on how we feel, how we live, and how we relate to other. And perhaps most importantly, art is personal, direct, and aims at our heart - something to be felt more than understood.

A self styled modern cavemen, Jim enjoys clean lines and rugged materials. Turn on’s include knife throwing, problem solvers, and anything more than 600 years old. Turn off’s not limited to: touch screens, ‘smart’ home controls, bad lighting, and unfriendly people. Favorite architect: Tom Kundig. Why: Because he makes architecture the way Led Zeppelin plays rock ‘n roll.

Jim Skånberg

Jim Skånberg

Owner, Head of Design, Contraptionist

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