SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 | A Better World by Design
Expo Spotlight: Meet kHyal and Karl Heine
by Beth Soucy
This Sunday the 30th is the Better World by Design Expo. We here at ABWxD cannot wait to see all of the amazing projects students and professionals are working on that apply design thinking to better the world. kHyal and Karl have presented at the Expo every year since 2010 and we are happy to welcome them back this year! Learn more about their work and their involvement in ABWxD below.
kHyal, Karl Heine and Lee Moody at ABWxD 2010
What is your connection to A Better World by Design?
We’ve been attending ABWxD since 2009, when our good friend Lee Moody of Mohawk Fine Papers turned us on to it. In 2010, we created the custom journals given to all attendees and speakers, and Karl and I were both chosen to exhibit our personal work at the art exhibit during the Gala held at The Steelyard. We’ve both been recycling, retrofitting, repurposing and upcycling since we were kids — and our work automatically incorporates the tenets of the conference. In 2011, we created custom journals for the speakers and the store. This year, we’re proud to be bronze sponsors and to create the branded ABWxD journals again. I was also honored to work with Tino Chow at Teespring to design the ABWxD “Better Future” T-shirt.
Karl and I both already had strong ties to RISD before hearing about ABWxD. My brother is a RISD alum, and although I studied art and design in Boston, the time I spent visiting him at RISD was memorable and influenced my work in ways I am still thankful for. Karl’s core company, creativeplacement, has been helping young design professionals find meaningful work for over 25 years. Karl has worked with the career development office at RISD for over 20 years, spoken at the Chace Center and other venues, and participated in portfolio reviews for many years. Since 2007, I have joined him. Our participation and support of ABWxD is a natural extension of our design beliefs and our enthusiasm for helping talented young creatives.
What will you be presenting at the 2012 Better World Expo?
For the third year, Karl will be exhibiting under his DesignerJournals brand, a company he founded to produce sustainable notebooks with all the characteristics he believes a journal for professional creatives should possess. That they should be high quality, natural materials, recycled and recyclable, and filled with unlined paper that won’t bleed when you draw or write on it with a Sharpie.
I’ll be exhibiting under my brand, MegaGlam, the illustration/character design/fashion/public art arm of my communications firm, fiZz. My product line combines those things in unique, colorful ways with an earth-friendly bent of recycled, upcycled and recyclable components.
What is your business?
Karl’s core business is creativeplacement, a recruitment firm specializing in placing top creative talent in advertising agencies, design firms, corporations and companies. He founded DesignerJournals in 2009 out of a personal need to create a product he wanted to use, and that he thought other design professionals would appreciate. Karl also has a lighting design company, recently rebranded as “FreshBeam.” He was asked to exhibit his upcycled found object lamps in the 2010 ABWxD Expo Lounge.
My core business is fiZz. A full service boutique marketing and communication design firm. MegaGlam is the illustration/character design/fashion/public art arm of fiZz. It’s the art, design and fashion microgroove blend.
Together, Karl and I also founded PUSH workshops, providing design education opportunities to creative professionals at all stages in their careers. We have also produced a mobile version called PUSH Design Camp on Block Island. Karl and I are often hired to concept and produce creative events to boost economic development or to market other company’s creative services. Our work often merges the fine art and design worlds with commerce initiatives.
How do you use design to bring about a better world?
Design thinking permeates our lives in every way we problem solve and innovate. It fuels our entrepreneurial spirits and is the driving force behind the way we live, from developing sustainable products and services, to redesigning our home with vintage architectural salvage including steel cabinets from the 1940s, kitchen counters made of 1920s bowling alley wood removed from an old firehouse, and recycled shredded denim jeans for insulation. We live a fully encapsulated design life and keep the idea of sustainability in the forefront of our actions.
We are thankful to have worked with ABWxD design thinkers Andy Cutler, Tino Chow, Gabriela Baiter, Issac Blankensmith, Andreas Nicholas, Leah Chung, Hannah Bebbington and Katharine Li.