For this weeks designer spotlight, we’d love to introduce Susan Taing. With a background in product marketing and having worked around the world, we highlight Susan on Shapeways today as the proud founder of Bhold, a company revolving around practical, well designed products that truly utilizes 3D printing to it’s full potential.
Update (Sept 29, 2015): We’ve followed up with Susan, and seen her shop grow! We even featured Susan in our newest video series, Better With Shapeways, which celebrates our community and inspires others to bring their ideas to life with Shapeways. Check out her feature:
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I am a designer and maker who loves making useful and beautiful things, founder of Bhold. I’ve worked at the intersection of technology and creative for most of my career. I’m originally from and now live in New York.
I studied at MIT and Stanford as a major in math and applied math, spent 7 years at Google working on consumer as well as partner products and since I was a teenager worked with overseas manufacturing through the family business.
I’m from New York and have lived and worked in many cities around the world including Boston, San Francisco, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and Sao Paulo. I just moved back to New York last year to start Bhold, which started right here in NYC in Soho, has a workshop location in Long Island City with city-backed design incubator NYDesigns and most recently became a member of NEW INC by New Museum, a museum led incubator for creative entrepreneurs working at the intersection of art, design and technology.
What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
I love theory, patterns, probability and ‘softer’ areas such as usability, creative story-telling, and simple, minimalist design. I also love thinking practically about how people use things and am happy to be making things that make people’s lives easier. Vibrant colors really resonate with me as I believe they make us happier. This part I believe was influenced by my time living in Brazil.
I started designing with 3D printing as a hobby and saw very quickly that it’s a much more efficient way to design and respond to people’s needs quickly and thoughtfully. So I looked into it and have fallen in love since.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
Just printing on my own printer was not enough as I was too fascinated by the range of materials available to 3D print, so I started using Shapeways.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
Online tutorials as well as classes. I read as much as I could and just dove in. As I started later, my skills are not as advanced so where it makes sense I work with others on their specific expertise.
How do you promote your work?
To date it’s been mostly through events such as Maker Faire or invitations to showcase at design shows, and also through friends and family. Curated design shops who love my designs have reached out to me to do a featured shop. Journalists hear about my work and have found me as well.
Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
There are so many talented designers and I love the breadth of challenges they’ve tackled to date. The first one I started to follow is Nervous System for their creativity and the range of ways they’ve brought 3D printing to consumers. Outside of 3D printing, I love Alessi and their balance of fun and function in their designs.
If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
A method of transport, preferably one that flies. And to survive this winter, a warm hat that will adjust exactly to the temperature I need it to be.
Just for fun, what is your favorite dessert?
Can I list more than one? Crepes, green tea ice cream and chocolate mousse.
Anything else you want to share?
Part of what makes Bhold’s product design unique is the way we design, which involves a lot of user testing and feedback, and our market testing during the 3D printed concept phase. Right now I’m taking a product concept to market with a Kickstarter for a universal car mount that fits any phone in any car. Please take a look and see someone you know might benefit from it! If you’re interested in participating as a Bhold Labs tester, apply here and keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. This is how we make sure our products are more thoughtfully designed for you.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS SHOP:
- Amazing photography
- Well produced videos that show not only how products were made, but how they function
- Overall clean shop page
- “Matching” products (you can tell they are from the same brand)
- Well developed brand on and off Shapeways
- Awesome prices
- Involving consumers in the production process
- Taking full advantage of how fast 3D printing can go from idea to reality (over and over again!)
Thanks so much for a wonderful interview, Susan! We’d also like to congratulate (and thank) you for a wonderful interview with the New York Times. Show your support by visiting the shop, and via all the social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, bhold’s website, blog, Vimeo and YouTube channels (literally, all the networks!). If you’d like to be featured, email aimee @ shapeways.com.