Josh Rubin

Founder of COOL HUNTING, Photographer, Interaction Designer

Portrait by Sebastian Kim for Uniqlo

Portrait by Sebastian Kim for Uniqlo

Born in Vermont, but raised between a modest ski town and glitzy Miami, Josh was exposed to a broad range of lifestyles from the very beginning. His grandmother recalls "want it" to be among his first words, a clear sign of his intrinsic consumer tendencies. Plus he was often decked in matching outfits or his favorite Fila tracksuit—by his own choice. At age 8 he began taking photographs, developing his own negatives and printing images in the darkroom. And at whatever age VCRs gained digital clocks, Josh was always the kid tasked with setting the time, much to the relief of whomever’s home he happened to be visiting. 

Eventually Josh parlayed his loves of aesthetics and technology in to a focus on interaction design and user experience that began at Hampshire College and continued at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program where his 1999 graduate thesis was focused on modular, scalable touch-screen interfaces. He interned at IDEO before taking a full-time job at Razorfish where he ultimately held the position of Design Director for Wireless and Mobile. He toyed with being a corporate American at Motorola and helped build a user interface design team there before running product development at Upoc, a Twitter-like start up that was ahead of its time. Josh left Upoc in 2005 to found Bond Art + Science with several of his former colleagues from the Razorfish days.

In 2003 Josh started Cool Hunting as a side project and in 2005, with his husband Evan Orensten, decided to turn it in to a business. What began as a catalogue of inspiration and well-executed ideas has grown into a Webby Award-winning online publication with a global team of editors and contributors sifting through innovations in design, technology, art and culture every day. Josh is also responsible for the design of and the Cool Hunting iOS apps, as well as the distribution through social media and content partnerships. In 2007 he helped launch Largetail—a studio that created original content for brands and distributed it through niche publishers—where he served as the Executive Creative Director.

Beyond Cool Hunting, Josh consults on content and design for select clients that have included Apple, Nike, BMW and Google. He is a frequent speaker at conferences talking about the way technology, creativity and design shape the future of consumer behavior. Sometimes he can be persuaded to give talks about trends.



Josh Rubin and Evan Orensten of Cool Hunting talk about how curiosity helped them overcome obstacles and find solutions. || Meet the rest of The Webby Fifty: