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[READ] NY Designer Pat Kim On Inspiration and His Go-To Coffee Spot

Designer Pat Kim creates things that play with materiality. Trained in high-end furniture and toy design, he uses both skill-sets to make work that blends craftsmanship with nostalgia: a hand-bent dinner bell, zig zag wooden trivets, and solid walnut rockets. Here this local creative shares how he finds solid inspiration and great coffee in the city. 
How do you define/approach creativity?
Creativity for me is like the tide, it ebbs and flows, but it’s always there.  When it flows, I get so many ideas, it can be overwhelming.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing when creativity recedes, it allows me to assess, follow through, and execute.
How do the materials you use play a part in your creative process?
I’m a bit of a pack rat, and a bit impulsive.  I have a ton of materials and tools I’ve collected over the years I like to keep on hand to inspire me.  I have this one shelf in the shop where I keep interesting materials or little experiments.  It’s easy for me to forget what I have on hand, so I rotate my curiosities so I see something different every now and then.
When you hit a wall creatively the best way to get over it is….
I like to just clear my mind of whatever I may have been working on.  Take a walk, work on a side project you’ve been meaning to get to, or jump on the lathe and turn something just for fun.

When’s the last time you were inspired? By what/who?
I recently visited the Judd Foundation at 101 Spring St.  I was in awe of how the former industrial space was transformed and how each floor of the building told a different narrative.  I loved how well his own additions, furniture, creations, etc complimented his collection of antiques, art and other findings.
 


My favorite spot for coffee in NYC is: 
Court St. Grocers in Redhook, really amazing cold brew/iced coffee.

What’s an under-the-radar suggestion for NYC visitors? 
Queens for Food, super underrated borough.  So many great neighborhoods restaurants with amazing diversity of cuisines.