Kim Colin and Sam Hecht of Industrial Facility

Muji and Louis Vuitton designers reveal inspirations

Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of design practice Industrial Facility discuss how city life influences their creativity

Herman Miller, the great US furniture company, is on good terms with many of the world's greatest practicing product designers. So, it should come as no surprise that, when it chose to put together a series of videos under the rubric of Why Design?, it got plenty of high-profile practices to discuss on camera just what it was that inspired their output.

The Californian-based, Swiss-born designer, Yves Behar, compares his work to surfing, while the chair designer Don Chadwick talks about his Polaroid Land Camera.

However, we were really taken with the London design duo and occasional Phaidon collaborators Sam Hecht and Kim Colin, better known as Industrial Facility.


Industrial Facility's studio. Nice to see the third volume of Phiadon's Design Classics on their shelves.
Industrial Facility's studio. Nice to see the third volume of Phiadon's Design Classics on their shelves.

This design practice has come up a wide array of products for minimal Japanese retailers Muji, as well as luxury-goods firms such as Established & Sons, Issey Miyake and Louis Vuitton. Hecht also contributed an essay to one of our John Pawson books.

In their footage, the pair describe their complementary talents, with Colin playing closer attention to the macro movements within a big city while Hecht concentrates on the smaller details.

They also offer a nice critique of creative life in London, with Hecht arguing that while the city may be constantly evolving, and has many "layers of systems in place, nothing really quite works."

However, rather than viewing this as a disadvantage, Hecht argues that "working in an environment in which things don't work well is a good place to try to make things work well."

It's an interesting proposition, and perhaps one that putative centres of creative excellence from around the world could learn from.

View the whole video here, and if you like what you see, take a look at our John Pawson book, to which Hecht has contributed. To see more of Herman Miller's output try our Taxonomy of Office Chairs.


Industrial Facility