Designer Spotlight: Kostika Spaho

This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Kostika Spaho. Turning his hand to designing everything from coffee cups, jewelry and iPhone cases, he’s an architect inspired by natural forms  His most recent project is a fashion collaboration on a pair of shoes modelled after a bird skull…Read on to find out more!

Kostika Spaho

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

I am an artist with a Master’s Degree in Architecture, and currently live in Worcester, Massachusetts.  
What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

Nature’s genius along with some of the latest 3D-modeling programs fuel my design tank.  I am inspired by deriving beautiful and elegant forms through trying to read “The mind of God” (scientific version) and through observing the natural environment and its rhythms.  

Tell us about this current project you are working on?

The Biomimicry Shoe is the result of a unique collaboration between Dutch fashion designer Marieka Ratsma and myself. The idea for this shoe highlights the aesthetics and the shape of the bird skull, along with the characteristics of the lightweight and highly differentiated bone structure within the cranium. This kind of structure requires minimal support material, resulting in optimal efficiency, strength and elegance. Nature has been the main source of inspiration for the making and shaping of this shoe. Fast developing techniques such as 3D printing make it possible to approximate nature.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

I discovered Shapeways in 2009 when I was a student at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.  One night, while taking a break from school work, I stumbled across Shapeways through randomly searching for digital 3D-models.  During this time, I was working with a Zcorp printer, which produced models in only one material.  Once I saw what materials Shapeways had to offer, I immediately signed up.     

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

Since 3D-design is highly integrated with architecture, I was lucky enough to go to a university that offered almost all the Autodesk programs and a few others. Therefore, I took advantage of this situation and learned as many as I could handle.  Today, I always find myself using multiple programs in order to execute one project.       

How do you promote your work?

I promote my work through actively contributing to blogs, social websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, physical meet-ups, and literally tell everyone I have a conversation with.  Lately people in town, refer to me as the “bird-shoe guy”.   

Who are your favorite designers or artists?

Some of my favorite designer’s are: Peter Cook, Zaha Hadid, Iris van Herpen, Sergio Loureiro Da Silva, Pierre Sabas and Pawl Howse.

Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?

The designers from the shapeways community that have inspired me are:  Saad Alayyoubi (SaGa Design), Nervous System, Michiel Cornelissen and Theo Jansen.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

If I was not limited by current technologies, I would attempt to build a mobile-home that would be entirely 3d-printed, in one run.   

Check out more of Kostika’s architectural work and his Shapeways Shop Spaho Design.

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