Sam Hecht and Kim Colin (partners in life and design) create “objects of everyday life with uncommon beauty and grace”, writes Alain de Botton in the foreword to an upcoming book on Industrial Facility, the design office the pair formed in 2002. Industrial Facility, he continues, “pare back, underplay, and yet seduce, enliven and over deliver. Everything they have designed has reduced matters to essentials and yet managed to find a way to delight as well.”
Sam and Kim formed Industrial Facility after previously collaborating on a number of projects. Prior to this, they had well established careers in different, but complementary fields. Kim, a Californian, trained first as an architect before spending a period of time commissioning books for Phaidon (and editing the first monographs on Pierre Koenig and Jon Jerde). She taught architectural design at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association in London and was also a design advisor for Herman Miller. Sam studied industrial design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and received his degree in industrial design from the Royal College of Art in London. After working for architect David Chipperfield, he travelled in the US and Japan before becoming head of design at IDEO.
The work of Industrial Facility includes digital pianos for Yamaha, furniture for Herman Miller, store environments for Issey Miyake, lighting for Established & Sons, coffee makers for Muji (for whom they are a retained designer), and many things in between. In their work, concludes de Botton, they are like “the ideal parents: they make the world friendlier and more hopeful for us, while hiding the sacrifices that they have had to make in order to do so”.
In 2016, Sam and Kim launched Future Facility to investigate the potential of networked products.