Friday Five with Eugene Kim of Dims.
Former lawyer and design lover Eugene Kim founded Dims. in 2018 with the goal of discovering fresh, diverse voices in design and championing their work to a larger audience at a fair price. Dims. is a young direct-to-consumer design company that partners with a culturally diverse list of emerging designers from around the world. Looking to avoid markups on their mid-priced furniture, Dims. creates their pieces at realistic prices with a high level of quality. The brand is committed to the highest quality standards, from the sustainability of its materials and manufacturing practices to the originality of its designs to the bonds it creates within the creative community. Whether it’s interiors, fashion, graphics, etc, Eugene’s interest in style and design touches every part of his life and business. He also has a passion for promoting the work of talented young designers and acting as a bridge between emerging talent and a new generation of consumers. Eugene holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of Southern California. Today Eugene joins us for Friday Five!
1. Geometria Light by Shinya Yoshida Design
This sculptural table lamp, whose base and tilted shade form a single unit, was shown at the Salone Satellite show last year. The designer, Shinya Yoshida, has rendered three different versions, each in a different material — leather, marble and ash. Despite their identical form, the three have distinct personalities, which is a testament to how much material shapes our impressions of an object. I’d love to have a light like this one in the Dims. collection one day. Its solidity, focus on materiality and targeted illumination make it a great counterpoint to our Word Table Light, where the focus is more on translucence and diffused light.
2. INQUE Magazine
A friend recently directed me to the Kickstarter campaign for this new, large-format magazine from Pentagram partner Matt Willey and editor Dan Crowe. I find both the ends and the means compelling here — the final product, and also how they’re getting there. INQUE takes an innovative approach to the publishing model: it will consist of only one issue per year for ten years, and there’s zero advertising. Backers front costs for the first issue via Kickstarter, much like how customers place preorders at Dims. They’ll be commissioning long-form fiction, including a chapter per issue of a new novel from Jonathan Lethem — a move that revives the serial nature of storytelling by Charles Dickens, for instance. But they’re also thinking globally, publishing works in translation, and have appointed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to curate work from African writers in each issue. What I most appreciate about INQUE is how it proposes to solve problems inherent in conventional editorial programs, like advertising, distribution costs and difficult production timelines. It reminds me a lot of what we’ve tried to do at Dims. — to connect customers directly with designers in a way that best serves both.
Shannon Maldonado is a friend of the brand, and a young visionary. She founded YOWIE four years ago, and last year Bon Appetit recognized it as “The Coolest Shop in Philadelphia.” She’s got a great eye, and sells objects ranging from graphic hand towels by Dusen Dusen to herbal aperitifs from Ghia. Shannon also thinks big: she’s turning YOWIE into a multi-floor platform for hospitality, community events, design and retail. Recently she completed a crowdfunding campaign to help grow her team, and I can’t wait to see what she does in this next chapter of her business.
4. New Reader
I’m a devoted reader, and this online publication is one of my favorites right now. New Reader interviews creatives and decision makers of all stripes, from the model and entrepreneur Cecilia Dean to New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres. In nearly every interview, the editors begin by asking the subjects about the literature or magazines that have informed their outlooks, which offers us a window into what gets their gears turning and the various influences that culminate in a body of work. The visuals are rich, and I love that the editors have woven in a sort of meta-text through the use of hyperlinked footnotes — it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole.
5. Mondialité: Or the Archipelagos of Édouard Glissant
The writing of Martinique-born poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant, who passed away in 2011, often tackled themes of identity, language, colonialism and globalization. I’ve grown enthralled by his ideas around worldliness, or mondialité, which deconstructs Western, colonial concepts of understanding and relation. Glissant embraced differences between people and cultures, suggesting that all are tied together — and that complete understanding may not be possible, and shouldn’t be. It’s about seeing culture as archipelagos — separate and distinct, but interconnected. We are striving for this kind of mondialité at Dims., as we look to connect different archipelagos of talent, experience and knowledge.
Work by Eugene Kim and Dims.: