Designer of the day: Nik Bentel – SURFACE


Here we ask designers to take a selfie and give us a glimpse into their lives.

Age: 27

Occupation: Designer, artist or something in between.

Instagram: @nikbentel

Hometown: Locust Valley, New York.

Workshop location: Harlem. I currently live in a very nice brownstone which needs a lot of maintenance. However, its dilapidation is part of the charm of the building!

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

The most important thing you have ever designed: Without a doubt, the most important thing I have designed is a pasta necklace I made for my mom in kindergarten. It was my proudest moment to see my mom wearing it.

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

Describe the project you are currently working on: a series of objects that will be broadcast sequentially, in the same way that a television show broadcasts episodes. They’ll be a limited edition, so once they’re gone I won’t be doing any more. The first product in this series is the Loopy chair.

A new or upcoming project that we should know about: The Loopy chair launches June 8 at 10 a.m. EST. It was created using a single strip of tubular steel and was designed using the common tubular bicycle rack manufacturing processes. It is made from a 3 “diameter tube bent in a hydraulic bender. By reusing a manufacturing process already in place, the Loopy chair allows for new 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 type of bend radii that a bike rack typically has. The chair had to be designed using only two different spokes: one at 9 “and the other at 18”. This kind of restriction within the process led to the design itself: a harmonious balance between manufacturability and usability. I believe that by re-imagining the way we make things, we can create original products that have yet to be seen, the first 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 maker and recently started making fresh spaghetti.

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

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

Concrete or marble? Marble, especially white Carrara marble, but one slab / room with some cracks.

Building or townhouse? Townhouse. After two years in architecture school, I got a good idea 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 skyscraper? It sounds too scary!

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

Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts. During late nights in the studio, the best way to try to stay awake is to listen to ghost stories. It is 10 times more effective than coffee.

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




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