Design Concepts wins GOOD DESIGN Award for its work on Pelvalon's Eclipse System

Director of Industrial Design

Michael Hammond

Present
I’m excited to be here at Design Concepts, where I believe as a business we have the opportunity to make a real impact by solving problems through meaningful design. That to me means solving difficult problems for our clients while creating something truly desirable. As a designer, my philosophy (based on my past experience) is that remarkable products are built on a symbiotic relationship between industrial design and engineering, great storytelling and a deep understanding of the end user and the challenges they face.

Past
I’ve been in the design business nearly twenty years, working on a huge array of projects from toys to bike share systems. I spent time in the Japanese corporate environment working for Panasonic, and then in the high-energy startup and inventive world of toy design. The combination of which worked well during my nearly 15 years at Trek Bicycles.  Every project has reinforced the fact that you have to push hard to bring something new and awesome to the world, and that you can’t design in a vacuum – you need to experience problems from the users point of view. 

Play
I’m a runner who’s mostly self competitive but there are a few people out there for whom I’ll pick up the pace (you know who you are!). I love my time on the bike too – especially when it's on the dirt. On the complete opposite side of that, I am a super-retro gaming geek and a sci-fi nerd, with a good-sized collection of art and games in the same vain. The running/cycling keeps me healthy, the nerd stuff keeps me from being too serious.

Passion
I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel a good portion of the world, seeing design and design culture both present and past. I have an affinity for beautifully crafted objects and the history behind them. While it may be contradictory to some, I simultaneously love Danish Modern design and the harsh edges of 1980s Japanese industrial design – I love their pragmatism and high level of detail. 

What is your first memory of Design Thinking?
When I was in elementary school, I signed up for an after-school class called "Future Problem Solvers." Over the course of a few weeks our task was to brainstorm, sketch and evaluate solutions that would help rid us the world's trash problems. Needless to say, some 30 years later it hasn’t yet been solved but it exposed me to Design Thinking and gave me the courage to put my ideas out there to be evaluated.