kip kotzen + hAppy

To conclude our guest speaker series, we spoke with Kip Kotzen, founder of neo-utility. Neo-utility is like a fairy godmother for all designers. They serve as a distributer, retailer, wholesaler and brand builder specifically for designers looking to expand internationally.

What I found most interesting about Kip was the haphazard way he came into an industry he is now so successful in. As a former book publishing agent, Kip had a love for midcentury modern furniture, particularly Eames furniture. This interest landed him a job with Vitra that later led to Areaware

As we will all be graduating in the next few days, it’s a reflective time filled with anxiety and excitement on entering or returning to “the real world.” Kip had two pieces of advice that really resonates because they are applicable beyond our careers. “Everything starts with a conversation.” “People have to be willing to connect on all levels.”

Thinking of a dance move that, like Kip, has the ability to bring dances/people together, I selected the happy dance by Pharrell. Though not your typical signature dance since its really just a combination of swaying and bouncing both ways to the beat, the focus of the music video is on the diversity of people unified by a common emotion. Likewise, Neo-utility brings a diverse range of products unified by great design.