Monday, October 12, 2009

Jaime Salm- A Generational Genius in Design and Craft

Jaime Salm's presentation was very informative and entertaining at the same time. He presented the whole picture to the students when he discussed his "voyage" through the design process and his successes and failures. He was able to explain to the audience the journey that takes place when a designer first steps up to the challenge and how their career and design aesthetic can morph into a variety of different platforms over the years.

His presentation started with the early years as a senior in college and led us through several dips and turns as he, then he and his brother tried to navigate the business world. Through trial and error he became much more knowledgeable about the business end of the design process. Sometimes this doesn't coincide with the artist's vision, but it always has a significant impact on the outcome.

As MIO branched out into other aspects of design, the company discovered new challenges and constantly used brainstorming techniques to work through the process. He mentioned that originally he was the artist and his brother was the business planner, but over the years they have become so well versed in how the company works that they can switch roles and still fulfill their visions.

He gave his brother credit for having the foresight to establish a European branch of MIO. It has proven to be very successful, having branched out from a garage to a professional showroom. Sometimes it is hard to see what the future can hold for an artist when they are bogged down in the tiny details of day to day design. That's when a different perspective is important. By employing ideas from both the design and business world his company has become multi-faceted.

As an older student I was able to relate to the realities of the business world and how everyday responsibilities sometimes impact decisions on how and when you design. Jaime understands that it is a luxury to pursue this craft and still be able to make a living. His determination and good luck have helped him become more sophisticated in the business world . This in turn has led to new opportunities and adventures that he might not have considered if he had gone down a different path.

I was happy to hear that his own moral values keep him in check when it comes to who he deals with as a business partner and what he is willing to design. It's not always about the big bucks. Yes, everyone ultimately wants to make a comfortable living and be able to enjoy some luxuries in life. But fortunately for all of us, he isn't willing to compromise on his visions.

This lecture was very thoughtfully done to help all students recognize the journey. It takes many forms and might not always be how one plans it, but that is what makes it all worthwhile! I am now a devoted fan of MIO and its philosophy. I hope to see them create innovative designs for many ,many years to come.

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