Author:
SAMANTHA WITTCHEN
Date:
FEBRUARY 17, 2015

KC Shoot on bike

Last week we told you about the recently launched Building Hero Project Etsy shop, and KC Shoot was a big part of getting the shop off the ground.  Lately she’s been working with the Building Heroes, leading fabrication for the Etsy shop on Mondays and Fridays and managing order fulfillment.

But KC first came to DM+D through The Hacktory and an opportunity they had to teach people how to make bike lights with Neighborhood Bike Works.  From there, her involvement with other organizations affiliated with DM+D grew organically.  Having had Public Workshop’s Director, Alex Gilliam, as a professor at the University of the Arts (where she studied industrial design), she wasn’t exactly a stranger to the kind of work that happens at DM+D.

And while she’s been spending most of her time on the Building Hero Project lately, that’s not all she does at DM+D.  She’s also frequently the person behind DM+D’s tweets and Instagram posts.  In between making desk organizers, we asked KC a few questions about what’s next on the design boards.


5 QUESTIONS FOR KC SHOOT

1. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I’m focusing on doing more classes through DM+D. We’ll be doing a wearables class soon. I’m also focused on creating more products for the Building Hero Project Etsy store. We’ve been busy getting people comfortable with product fabrication, but once that’s under control, I’m excited about working on new products.

I also do a lot with fashion at the moment. I’m working on a jumpsuit line. I find fashion very classist because it’s about having status symbols like designer brands and not about how the clothes are made or their quality. So the stuff I do is more anti-fashion. I really want to make something that’s locally produced. The dye, the fabrics—all of it—would have to be locally sourced.

As part of my desire to help people understand the whole process of how our clothing gets made, I’m working on a kit that incorporates all the different aspects—from dying the fabric to sewing the clothes—for people to experience the process themselves.

2. HOW DOES DM+D INSPIRE YOU?

Being at DM+D has been inspiring me to be a more inclusive designer and to work better with people. I’ve gotten better at explaining my ideas in a more objective and open way instead of just being a talking head.

Another great thing about DM+D is that the people really care. They are always open to listening to me, and I feel heard. I think they legitimately care about how people want to use the space.

I also love that nobody here is trying to hold onto their designs. If you want to learn something, you can pretty much walk up to someone who you think knows something about it, and they’ll show you. It’s a very inclusive space.

3. WHAT’S ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS YOU REMEMBER MAKING ON YOUR OWN?

I used to love making my parents elaborate (or at least elaborate for a child) pop-up cards. I made lots of presents for my parents. It’s great because they have to like what you make for them since they’re your parents.

4. WHICH MAKERS HAVE HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?

I really really like Neri Oxman. As a designer, you often want to take scientific things and add them to your art, but it’s difficult to understand how the technology or the science—like biomimicry, for example—works. She’s one of the few designers out there that can combine the two really well. And she’s intensely photogenic.

Additionally, my peers from school are doing super cool stuff lately, and that’s influencing me. I have a friend who designed pants for people in wheelchairs, and I’d like to do disability design. One of my professors, Mike McAllister, has worked on disability design, and he’s been an influence. I’ve always been very influenced by the people around me.

5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS?

Sometimes I’ll think of an idea that’ll be too big, and I get overwhelmed with it. When I get to the point where I can actually get excited about it, that’s the best. I really like thinking of the implications of a design idea–that is, the emotional nature and how it affects people. Sometimes I like the thinking better because it’s easier than the making.

Kraken ring - Building Hero Etsy shop

One of KC’s contributions to the Building Hero Etsy shop, a laser cut kraken ring.

Block Party In a Box

KC helps with a little bike maintenance during a block party.