Justin Mrazik is an industrial designer, working from his eponymous brand, with a focus on wooden objects for the home. Justin is also passionate about merging contemporary design techniques with traditional crafts. He works primarily with wood as it adds warmth and life to everyday objects. He is inspired by his travels and his cross-continental background, which influence his work even today. Justin is also a founding member of Upwelling, a design studio based in San Francisco. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Justin Mrazik.
Image Credit: 1) Brendan Ravenhill 2) Hannah Beatrice Quinn 3) Benjamin Roland 4) Takashi Tomii 5) Sawkille Company
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My style is inspired by my interests: old things I find at garage sales, Japanese minka, Shaker furniture, animals, things that just work, and the shapes of leaves to name just a few.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
Projects usually begin with something that I need in my own home. I then take initial measurements, question how the design will work, and then I draw. Drawing always leads me to a prototype.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
The people that I admire working with the most right now are communities, rather than single individuals. The two most important communities influencing my creativity are my classmates and teachers at the College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture program and my studio mates at Hunt Projects in San Francisco. It’s in these dynamic workshop environments where ideas can be cultivated alongside people you trust.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
My inspiration stems from ritual and need. I often think about daily routines – having a cup of coffee, reading a book, cooking a meal – and I design products that serve these simple experiences.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
A disciplined work schedule and adamantly crossing items off my to-do list has undermined my career ethic so far. I also don’t stray far from the idea that my products need to last lifetimes. My advice to others: lean towards your weaknesses and pursue new skills.