A Couple Bringing Art + Design Love to the World

 

Andrew Kim and Michelle Park are designers and artists that are shaping the art/design world through their curated website ichelleim.com and their incredibly beautiful Instagram pages: @mnmllymnml + @michellejypark.  They have just recently completed their book entitled felt.

 

By George Ko and Eric Nakamura

Photos by George Ko

 

Meet Andrew:

As a designer, Andrew came into the spotlight after The Verge released an article begging to answer the question who the hell designed the most beautiful Xbox ever (the Xbox One S)?  Turns out it was the guy who was the design force behind some of Microsoft’s biggest redesigns, including the highly sought after HoloLens.

hololens.jpg

After seeing the article on The Verge, real life Iron Man Elon Musk recruited Andrew to be a lead designer at the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, CA, to bring his revolutionary, minimal, and clean design to the automobile world.

Andrew got his start in design from his natural curiosity in how things were made, and how they could be designed differently.  Whether it be products or automobiles, Andrew often questioned its design and wondered,  “why can’t it be this way?”

This inclination to redesign what he saw and also a general love for technological products drew him to the Art Center College of Design to pursue his studies in Product Design in 2011.  Andrew recalls that the biggest influence in his career path came from the first iPod Mini.  He said:

"The iPod mini was, for me, a big turning point where I realized that there was a conscious decision to make a really beautiful product.  I became aware that people were responsible for doing that and that’s when I decided I wanted to be the person that helps design products like these."

Meet Michelle:

Andrew’s wife, Michelle, is also an accomplished artist and writer. Since she was a child, Michelle has been drawing constantly, but never thought that her sketches could ever lead to a full time career.  In high school one of Michelle’s friends went to a music conservatory to pursue a degree in flute performance.  This friend’s mother encouraged Michelle to do the same, to go after the arts like her daughter. Michelle exclaimed:

"I thought that was amazing! I didn’t even know art school existed!"

Michelle went on to study at the Pratt Institute in 2009, first in interior design, but she quickly changed gears.  During her undergrad years, Michelle received advice from her professors to pick a major based on the classes she enjoyed and she learned quickly that she did not like interior design.  After taking classes in illustration and painting, her newfound love for fine art led her to sculpture.  After college, Michelle began a career in writing for the arts, where she was written for Allure Magazine, the Time Out Group, and currently writes for cloudandco.

On ichelleim:

Both Andrew and Michelle also work on their art/design site  ichelleim.com, where they bring attention to certain design pieces, artistic works, and also their own perspectives in the design/art sphere.  It is on this site in which curious fans and design/art lovers get to see Andrew and Michelle’s true selves, both as artist and as a person.

A post from Andrew and Michelle's website. A commentary on K-Pop culture.

A post from Andrew and Michelle's website. A commentary on K-Pop culture.

On felt:

Today (March 1st) their limited edition book project, felt, is available for sale here. Soon after the couple began dating, they realized that they both wanted to create a book and it ends up being about rocks and their adventures in Vancouver. Michelle explained:

"We found this book by this self publishing author. It's about the gem trails in BC. It had handwritten maps drawn in the 70s. We didn't know if they were real."

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felt by Andrew Kim and Michelle Park.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Andrew then chose to test out their mettle by overlaying them on Google Maps and they ended up trying some of the trails out. They’re happy to call it a “mystery to solve” and they document some of the process of both failing and getting there.

On the Xbox One S:

To create a completely new design for a gaming console, Andrew had to go back to the roots of a console, or rather, the console's permanent home after you buy it from Amazon, the living room.

XboxOneSHero.jpg

Andrew commented that he was definitely inspired by Japanese minimalism:

"We were looking at a lot of Japanese architecture. We were trying to fit a really big box into slightly smaller box and trying to cram everything in and who does cramming things into smaller spaces better? The Japanese. I think that sort of subconsciously came up: try to make everything super functional with clean lines."

On Tesla:

After joining the Tesla Design team, Andrew's main task is to design the cabin space inside the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3.  The Model 3 is poised to be Tesla's entrance into the affordable luxury car market, aiming to sell a fully electric (and autonomous) car starting at $35,000 after rebate.  Andrew's design challenge includes balancing the design between a car that can be driven by a consumer or by a computer, something that many consumer car designers have never even been faced with.

Andrew added:

"Cars now, more than ever, are becoming more electronic - more product like. Once the steering wheel and pedals disappear, you're designing a room more than vehicle. The ideas behind a car are shifting so for me it was a very good fit to come in.  Having worked on Windows 10 ui (user interface) systems, designing consoles, and HoloLens, I'm applying those methods of thinking to an automobile."

tesla-model-3.jpg

With so many cars beginning to become autonomous (including your Ubers) Andrew's observation on bringing in new design principles to car design is incredibly relevant and necessary.  Mercedes, for instance, designed an autonomous concept car that resembled more of a private jet than a car (would be a great place to take naps on long drives to Vegas).

Andrew: If we look at what's happening immediately it's electrification.  Electric cars are the minority in terms of sales, but now with Model 3 launching later this year, a lot of people new to electric cars are going to start driving them.  I too was very shocked at how amazing it was to drive an electric car.  I got to take a Model S and Model X home and I put Michelle in there and would floor it.

Michelle: On Ludicrous Mode right? Haha!

Andrew: Yup... Once you spend time with an electric car, it completely changes your perception of powertrains in general... You realize how amazing it is to have so much power. -Andrew

Michelle:Personally when I get into an electric car with Andrew, I get sick, 'cause he likes to experiment for a bit.  I actually get sick when I'm in an electric car versus a naturally aspirated car.

uyu.jpg

On the Future:

Andrew and Michelle: Our next book is called shit.

 

You can find Michelle on Instagram, Andrew on Instagram, and their website.