American Design Hot List 2014
Visibility’s young RISD grads have serious pedigree — Sina Sohrab works for Bec Brittain while Joseph Guerra spent time with Industrial Facility and Big-Game — and a seriously cute debut collection under their belts.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design historically has been so interesting because of its relation to industry and innovation. Breakthroughs in materials and engineering have allowed for masterful work such as the Eames’s experiments with plywood, Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute, and Chris Bangle’s work as chief of design for BMW. This precedent allows for a multitude of new opportunities for us to challenge and innovate with new projects. In addition, America’s art movements have had a profound effect on us as well, from Robert Irwin and Donald Judd to Diebenkorn and Agnes Martin. As designers here in the U.S. we have a unique opportunity to be at the intersection of art and design even if we ourselves lean towards industrial design.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We’re pretty excited by the diversity of projects that we have coming this year. We’re moving products into production, both new and old, we’re designing an experience-based event that will also premier a new product, and we’ll be debuting a new piece for a long-standing New York institution. There’s even more but we can’t share everything!
What inspires your work in general?
We are highly interested in objects that are familiar but challenging. It’s important that a piece be relatable to everyday users while also providing something innovative and exciting. Industrial Facility designed an alarm clock that resembles a bicycle bell. It’s a familiar object in a new context. Context and the history of design are very important to us. Most objects are fairly evolved and it’s crucial to understand the history of that object and how it got there.