Kris is a creative individual who wants to add value to objects by giving them a greater sense of meaning.
Tracing an outcome from start to finish isn't always a linear process. Instead of a straight line from point A to B, the path of decision-making usually meanders down numerous paths. For Kris Williams, industrial design was never the clear-cut decision. Growing up, Kris had multiple creative outlets in the form of Lego bricks, art supplies, and piano lessons. Throughout his education he enrolled in as many art classes as he could. Once in high school, he branched out into applied arts as well, taking woodshop and helping out with set construction. He knew once he was out of school that he wanted to create beautiful things, but he was unsure about viable career options. Graphic design was a thought, but by chance he happened to find industrial design, an opportunity where he would be able to mesh his creativity and artistic skills in with real world applications and problem-solving. Add to that the world class program less than an hour from his doorstep, and somehow the whole thing fell into place.
In a world with infinite possibilities, how does a creative person even know when they've produced the best work they can? This is something that interests Kris (or at least the inner perfectionist in him.) In theory, you could iterate until the end of time, and still there would be some way to improve or enhance an idea. Take an abstract painting and flip it on its side, add another brushstroke, and you've opened up a world of possibility. In essence, there is no single right answer, but at the end of the day it all comes down to making a sound decision and sticking by it.
For Kris, this is what design is all about—making specific decisions, and understanding why. In the corporate world, of course, you are limited to a number of billable hours and a budget, but the pure possibility of exploration, iteration, and reinterpretation is what keeps design alive.
The projects he is most proud of are his ardor lamp (created in the lighting studio while at DAAP) and the Kryptonite bike lock he designed while on his third co-op at Allegion. While at Kohler for his second internship, he also had the opportunity to contribute to a unique bathroom fixture that will be released later this year. A common thread with all of these projects is that they take an existing object and reshape, enhance, or elevate its essence, all while maintaining functionality. Kris hopes to continue this ethos in his career as an industrial designer.