Next in our series on MakeTank at ABX, we chat with Steve Listwon and Haik Tokatlyan from Jaywalk Studio, a design group specializing in research, product design, and fabrication. Read on for more about their contributions to the MakeTank display, their making process, and the endless possibilities of in-house fabrication.
How did you get involved in MakeTANK?
Sasaki approached us to get involved with MakeTank. We love the mission and spirit at the core of MakeTank as it aligns closely with our own practice. Haik and I saw the opportunity as an excellent chance to challenge ourselves while collaborating with a great group of like-minded designers, and also as a means to gain meaningful exposure for Jaywalk.
What is Jaywalk’s contribution to the pavilion/expo at ABX this year?
Jaywalk's primary focus with the MakeTank space at ABX 2016 was developing the flexible nodes that connect the wooden staves to each other. We have used cast silicone and urethane in the past for medical device designs, but using the same material as a point of connection and articulation was a big challenge. Through internal developments and contributions from other MakeTank members, we were able to reach a successful solution. Our final node design flexes just enough to add a dynamic element to the structure, which we jokingly call “jiggling.” Still, the pavilion maintains enough strength to stand without any supplementary support.
What was the impetus for founding Jaywalk Studio?
Haik and I founded Jaywalk Studio to bring our voice to the forefront of a company that can design and build a wide variety of objects. Much like the iterative process of making itself, Jaywalk is an ever evolving entity that prides itself on the diversity of our work and results.
How has your company grown and changed over the last couple of years? Since our founding two and a half years ago, our studio has developed significantly. We brought our first product to market, our client list has expanded, and we now employ two junior designers. I'd say the largest shift is the fact that we focus a lot of our efforts in the medical field now. Jaywalk has recently been working with companies to develop medical training devices that aid surgeons in preparing for live patient care. When we started Jaywalk, the majority of our projects were in the furniture and home goods sectors. The endless possibilities of in-house fabrication have allowed us to leverage our previous experience and strengths to break into a market we wouldn’t have dreamed of working in just a few years ago.
How do you bring making into your design process?
Making is integral to all of our work at Jaywalk. We’re both trained product designers who believe fabrication belongs in every stage of the design process. Physically realizing a conceptual design positively informs so many decisions surrounding its development... and it’s fun too!
What do you make (outside of the office)?
Haik restores antique art and furniture outside of Jaywalk with the Renaissance Framing Gallery. I help my students realize their work in the industrial design department at Wentworth Institute of Technology. We both like to work on cars as well.
Be sure to catch our next piece on Sasaki contributions to the MakeTank demonstration in our series on MakeTank at ABX. Jump back to the first post in the series here.