Inspiration can hit you anytime, anywhere, but most often it isn't any one thing in particular. It is the constant search for beauty in everyday objects. You put yourself out in the world with the express purpose of looking at things, seeing the curves and lines they are made of, their materials and their abstraction. When you make a conscious effort to do this day in and day out you develop an internal index of design inspiration to turn to in creating your own objects.
In search of inspiration, this week we visited the Architecture Biennial in Chicago, whose theme was to Make New History. Design, whether in architecture or everyday objects, doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is influenced by historical materials and purposes, refashioned to fit modern needs and aesthetics. In our case, we work with one of the oldest materials in human history, leather, and combine it with a completely new take on a belt buckle. Are we making new history? Probably not, but the best part of the process is the search and the act of creating an object, not necessarily the end result.
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What is good design? Bryan and I ask ourselves this question about our belts every day. Is it the simplest buckle, or the one that makes you the happiest to use? Is it one that holds your pants up the best, or the one that sparks conversations with strangers?