Bridie Picot and Matt Smith, the collaborative forces behind Thing Industries, design clever objects that combine functionality with a sense of humor. Take one look at their Sacrificial Chair and you'll know what we mean. Get to know more about the cool folks of Thing Industries with this quick Q+A of Bridie Picot.
What is your background? How did Thing Industries come to be?
I've worked in photographic production and advertising my whole life so basically client management, numbers, timing, getting things done kind of roles. Thing came about for a few reasons; I wanted to do something creative, I wanted to make things I couldn't find, and I wanted to buy a specific chair I'd seen by a New Zealand designer Matt Smith - he later came on as my partner in Thing and the Sacrificial Chair was part of our first collection.
You guys create the most fun, yet functional, things. A banana pillow?! Genius. Who / what / where inspires the designs behind Thing Industries?
Most of the time we're trying to create things that serve a few purposes; playful things that are also functional, and that make sense for small spaces. The small spaces bit is because I live in New York, whereas Matt is a bit more generous with his proportions.
What's a typical day in the Thing Industries studio like? Is your process as playful as your products?
Our studio is a virtual place that lives on our phones and laptops. We're constantly sending ideas back + forth for new products, we have enough for about 12 collections. I'm usually following up with manufacturers at various stages of production and chasing Matt for CADs at the same time.
How do you manage long distance collaboration with Matt? Any advice for creatives in similar situations?
We send a lot of emails, chats, and texts and because Matt's in New Zealand there's an annoying time delay. It means we both keep abnormal hours. I'm always waking him up and he's always keeping me up. But because we've only done one collection per year, it's been manageable. If we were to scale up to do Thing full time then I think we'd need to be in the same place for at least a few months a year.
What's next for Thing Industries?
New things, some exciting collaborations and a company offsite in Palm Springs. We're starting as we mean to go on!