Product designer Ini Archibong grew up taking things apart with little success putting them back together, and cutting class to throw pottery. After a false-start in business school, he taught himself CAD, philosophy, and mathematics until he serendipitously found himself apprenticing an architect. That led to a degree from Art Center and discovering a love of designing furniture. Now he lives and works in Switzerland where he recently obtained a Master’s in Luxury (listen to find out what that means!):
What is your earliest memory?
Riding on my dad’s shoulders. I think I was around 3 years old and we were at a fair of some sort...
How do you feel about democratic design?
Everyone deserves good design. I’m interested in how social media and online platforms giving a voice to a more diverse pool of designers and producers will start to affect the democratization of design. Being able to source design from a global marketplace of diverse creatives should result in more good design reaching all levels of products.
What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?
Positive Elevation Always Corrects Errors - The GZA
How do you record your ideas?
I carry a bunch of different notebooks and sketchbooks with me. Some of them are full of writing, some are filled with shorthand sketches. There isn’t really any organization to them. Sometimes I know I want to sketch in my red sketchbook, or I want to jot a phrase that came to mind in my blue notebook. It’s all mostly gibberish and clues to remind me of whatever I was thinking about at the time. Sometimes if I’m trying to capture the vibe of a concept I’ll record some music. I keep most of my designs in my head.
What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?
What book is on your nightstand?
The Seven Valleys by Bahá’u'lláh
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
Gideon’s pocket sized New Testament by Various authors (featuring Jesus)
Why is authenticity in design important?
Design is a conversation. Authenticity is your voice.
Favorite restaurant in your city?
What might we find on your desk right now?
Who do you look up to and why?
My big brother, Koko. He’s the definition of focus, dedication, and hard work. He was a straight-A Ivy League athlete, played with Kobe and Shaq on the Lakers, and is an Olympian. Now he’s a CPWA. big shoes...
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?
I'm working on it right now. I think it’s my favorite because I’m working on it right now...
What are the last five songs you listened to?
From my Sé Collection IV “Below the Heavens” playlist:
The Class of 73 Bells (feat. School of Seven Bells) - Prefuse 73
Below the Heavens, Pt. 1 - Blu & Exile
Yeah! (Instrumental) - Ta’Raach
8-Oct-71 - Cortex
The Visitor - Kadhja Bonet