Designer of the Day: Nik Bentel – SURFACE

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/nik-bentel-designer-day/

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: 27

Occupation: Designer, artist, or something in between.

Instagram: @nikbentel

Hometown: Locust Valley, NY.

Studio location: Harlem. I currently live in a very beautiful brownstone that needs quite a bit of maintenance. However, its dilapidation is part of the building’s charm!

Describe what you make: I make storytelling objects. The objects can serve a function, but their main intention is to tell a story. Whether that story is about how the object was made, commentary on a current idea, or simply a physical embodiment of a joke, everything I make has a narrative.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Without a doubt, the most important thing that I’ve designed is a pasta necklace I made for my mother in kindergarten. It was my proudest moment to see my mom wear it. 

Describe the problem your work solves: My goal is to properly convey a narrative through an object. I see products as a language. On a daily basis you use hundreds of objects: a toothbrush, a computer, a pen, the subway, etc. My goal is to make these interactions that much more enjoyable.

Describe the project you are working on now: A series of objects that will be released sequentially, similar to how a TV show releases episodes. They’ll be limited-edition, so once they’re gone, I won’t make any more. The first product from this series is The Loopy Chair.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: The Loopy Chair will be launching on June 8 at 10 AM EST. It was created using a single band of tubular steel and was designed from the manufacturing processes of the common tubular bike rack. It’s made out of a 3” diameter tube bent in a hydraulic tube bender. By repurposing a manufacturing process already in place, The Loopy Chair allows for novel chair construction using the common formal language of the bike rack and simultaneously prevents excess equipment in the manufacturing process. 

During the design phase, I was limited by the kind of bend radiuses that a bike rack typically has. The chair had to be designed using only two different radiuses: one at 9” and the other at 18”. This kind of restriction within the process led to the design itself: a harmonious balance of manufacturability and usability. I believe that in reimagining how we make things, we can create original products that have yet to be seen—the prime example being The Loopy Chair. 

What you absolutely must have in your studio: My cat, Meatball.

What you do when you’re not working: I just got a pasta machine and have recently been into making fresh spaghetti.

Sources of creative envy: I am envious of all animals and the excitement they seem to get from the simplest of things.

The distraction you want to eliminate: Gravity. If we didn’t have to adhere to gravity, we could make some pretty amazing things.

Concrete or marble? Marble, specifically white carrara marble, but a slab/piece that has a few cracks.

High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse. After two years in architecture school, I’ve gained a good sense of how things are built. This knowledge coupled with my understanding of human fallibility makes me wonder who would ever want to live in a high-rise? It seems too scary!

Remember or forget? Forget. There will always be better days to come, new things to experience, and emotions to be had. This is also an excuse for me to be forgetful.

Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts. During late nights in the studio, the best way I try to stay awake is by listening to ghost stories. It’s 10x more effective than coffee.

Dark or light? Light! But both are necessary, as you cannot have one without the other. 

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/nik-bentel-designer-day/