Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Industry

Industry is a product and interaction design firm here in Portland. The bad-asses who work there—designers, thinkers and makers—get their kicks turning abstract ideas into tangible designs for clients like Nike, Starbucks, InCase and TDK.

Oved Valadez—an accomplished product and experience designer—and Robb Hunter—an industrial designer with a background in transportation design—are representing Industry in this year’s Put A Bird In It project. WeMake sat down with Robb to learn about his process, and how he found his calling.

How’d you get into design? What excites you or inspires your work?

I have always been a maker and love getting my hands dirty. Naturally, I found Industrial design in college and soon focused on transportation design. The place where humans interact with a form is where the magic in design is for me. With cars, it is mostly a visual thing, but when you do an interior or start to scale down to product design, the interaction becomes much more tactile and personal.

How’d you come up with your birdhouse concept?

Every design needs a story, a reason for existing. We start with the DNA and build from the inside out. In this case we are designing for a bird, but also for an event. How do we create something that is functional but inspiring?

What have you found to be fun, interesting or challenging about the process?

Rethinking the birdhouse is always fun. The theme itself is meant to be a pun. We are natural synthesizers of ideas, but know their needs to be a story. Our challenge is to integrate the birdhouse kit, and push the boundaries in technology and craft.

Industry’s birdhouse last year beautifully combined modern design with emerging rapid manufacturing techniques.