Saturday, October 10, 2009

MIO- I Love Design by Jaime Salm

MIO is the company created by Jaime Salm and his brother Isaac. The motto of their company is “beautiful, affordable, sustainable”. MIO was founded on the premise of creating environmentally friendly products as well as implementing socially progressive ideas.
The inspiration for MIO came from a college project that Jaime worked on. Jaime’s group decided to design bowls and chairs out of recycled paper. The idea for the project wasn’t just off the top of their heads. They did research on their intended audience and answered the questions of who they were marketing to, what kind of materials were they going to use and how were they going to produce the product. They looked up information on existing products like egg cartons that use a similar process. They also launched their product by having college students test it and selling it in a boutique to observe reactions. This was the point from which Jaime went from being a student to a consultant to an entrepreneur.
Jaime’s college project was the first stage from which he got an offer to design signs using the same process for Anthropology. The money Jaime earned from Anthropology helped him start his business. Jaime had never run a business before so the beginning of MIO was a learning experience for him. He had to design the identity of MIO by determining what the company was all about and he had to design products that fit within that identity. Jaime was initially unable to define what the products he was creating had in common. What he eventually determined was that they were all renewable, biodegradable and recyclable.
Jaime has drive, determination, imagination, and a good work ethic. For every product he creates he brainstorms ideas, he researches, he sketches, he makes numerous maquettes, and he keeps the goals of his company in mind. Every product he has every made has not been successful but every product he makes follows his company motto of beautiful, affordable and sustainable. He learns from flaws in his products, he listens to constructive criticism and he is always thinking ahead about what he would like to see changed in the world. Jaime has an innovative ability to access current situations and to design products that he hopes will help to change people’s way of thinking in order to impact the world in an environmentally friendly way.
The great thing about the products Jaime designs for MIO is that they keep consumers involved and thinking. Not only are the consumers buying sustainable items but they interact with it and they are confronted with how MIO products ask the consumers to send the products back to be recycled when they are ready to get rid of them. MIO products such as the Bendant lamp are shaped by the customer so the customer has interaction with it. Customers become informed about the lifecycle of products through information about the materials and how the product can be recycled. One of the goals for MIO’s products is to have active sustainable products that transform daily activities into acts of environmental conservations. There is a product, consumer, environment relationship. Jaime examines relationships between materials and the environment and the relationships between consumers and the products they want or need. It is through these processes that MIO has become a successful and environmentally responsible company.

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