Monday, May 6, 2013

Industrial Designer Stephen Boynton | Inspire Me Monday

Stephen Boynton | industrial designer

Stephen is a local designer from Spanish Fork, Utah. He is currently running a kickstarter campaign called Earthbaked. He is the creator and designer of these incredibly unique shoes that are biodegradable light weight and affordable. With your help he can produce these awesome 90 day footwear with a "return to sender" design philosophy. Meant to strengthen feet, earth, and conscience.

I came to know of Stephen through my husband Phil who met him at a kickstarter workshop last month. Phil helped Stephen in getting his EarthBaked video put together and since then we've both become greatly intrigued by Stephen's design process and love Earthbaked shoes!

I've had the honor of interviewing Stephen and have found his process most inspiring, I think you will too, take a look:

- Who inspires you (past or present) and what is it about them or their work that touches you? Nature is a major motivator and inspiration for most of my projects. I’ve always been fascinated by pattern, rhythm, color, texture, form, function and materials found in nature. Objects untouched by the hand of man seem to be more elegant, purposeful, and on a different plane than what we have the ability to create. Bringing this inspiration down to our level in a product form that’s meaningful to the user is what I aspire to.

- What other things are you passionate about in life that influences your artwork/process? I’m passionate about the act of doing. That may sound weird but I’m talking about the kind of doing that requires you to stand up, be active and use your body for a good purpose. It’s a lot easier to sit around and pick from a variety of sedentary activities, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a time when stepping away from a project for a while to run, play, or explore hasn’t yielded new insights to the project.

- Can you explain your creative process for the EarthBaked shoe project?
This project has been unique in that the process has been ongoing for over 4 years yet the result of the process is a simple, minimal solution to footwear. In a nutshell I usually start with rough thumbnail sketches to communicate a concept visually to myself and others.

With footwear I found that I discovered a lot more by getting into a material with my hands and actually building mockups. I started with paper because it was cheap and readily available. I could easily explore how flat shapes could be folded, bent, and formed in three dimensional space. Cheap felt from the fabric store was the next step in getting closer to an actual material that would be used to make the shoe.

Once I simplified the pattern and form I went to the computer to communicate the intended design and explore color options.

At this point the design is almost complete. A few minor tweaks will be made prior to production with the stitching and logo placement.

It's inspiring that when he got his hands into the material is when he really started to discover how the shoe could function. Many times it isn't until we stop creating with our minds and start creating with our hands that a piece of art comes to life. 

Check out his final design and pre-production shoe over on his kickstarter projectGo and support his project to get it into production and into your hands! And PLEASE help him get the word out by sharing the project with your family friends on Facebook! 

oh.. you need the link again: see Earthbaked here.

1 comment:

Sweetbriar Sisters said...

Hey, I went to school with this guy! It was fun to hear what he's up to :)

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