We’re psyched to introduce you to a handful of remarkable designers whose items will be featured during our tenth-anniversary party and “Fun & Functional” event with the American Design Club on November 10. We laud their work and can’t wait to see their stuff on display.
Thomas Im founded Mimot Studio in 2010, aiming to create items for consumers that “highlight good design, quality and affordability.” Hear hear! Also, Im’s studio is based in Los Angeles, which means they receive extra cool points for being our semi-neighbors.
1. How did you get started as a product designer? Did you always want to be in this field?
It really happened by accident. After graduating with a degree in Psychology, I needed a job and was offered a position as a graphic designer. This was my first taste of design as a career. While working as a graphic designer, I was introduced to industrial design (product design). I immediately knew that I must pursue this field. So, I went back to school for industrial design. I’ve been designing product ever since.
2. Name of Fun & Functional product featured: Suspenders Tote
3. What’s the story behind your idea? What really inspired you to create it?
I wanted to create a leather and canvas tote. The idea was to create a visually fun product. In this case, the leather straps we designed seemed similar to suspender straps. The suspenders became the inspiration for this tote. We completed the look by designing simple shirt graphics to complement the “suspender” straps. Functionally, the tote can be tied and looped like all bags produced by Mimot Studio.
4. What was the hardest or most challenging part of designing this product? Any creative bumps in the road you dealt with?
The challenge of this product was creating graphics that would balance with the functional nature of the product. I did not want the visual component of this product to overpower the utility of the bag. In the end, we kept the graphics simple and this allows for all visual interpretations of the product.
5. How do you organize your work process to balance fun and functionality in your own daily grind? Any tips you’d like to relay to fans of Knock Knock?
When I am not working, I like to go on small field trips. They can be to flea markets, fabric districts, factories, museums, etc. In general, I’m not looking for anything in particular. I am just looking to clear my head and gain fresh perspective.
Tip to FOKKers: Give yourself ample opportunities to think outside the box, which I’m sure most of you do already. Keep on doing what you do.