We previously discussed who Design Fugitives is, as a company, so our current series of blog posts are going to give some insight into who we are individually. Our diverse personalities are what make dF such a unique and creative company. Enjoy “The Fugitives of Design Fugitives.”
Our next Fugitive in the spotlight is another one of the partners, Justin – someone who describes himself as tenacious and ambitious and is inspired by great works of art, architecture and nature. In addition to taking care of the behind-the-scene paperwork that keeps Design Fugitives running and being a fabrication wizard, he is apparently also our most well-written Fugitive, so I’m going to let him tell you a little bit about himself.
“I was born and raised in what I called Kenosha for most of my growing up years. Then one day the village of Pleasant Prairie grew up and got a Post Office: my zip code changed from 53143 to 53158. Alliteration can be nice, but the letter “P” is too messy…I’ll stick with Kenosha.
“My Dad was a big inspiration to me getting my hands dirty when I was younger. He encouraged perseverance and always had a unique way to solve problems. If anyone inspired me to help in making a business work, it was him. My mom is very creative, yet very humble about her talents. She is the go-to person for creative input in the family. I have two younger sisters, two of the smartest and most inspiring people I know. My wife, Kathie, is an ICU RN at Froedtert, aspiring knitting wizard, and loves to watch cooking shows. She is extremely funny and level headed under pressure – perfect for a nurse. We have a 13-year-old boy named Vincent who loves anything technology, does freelance graphic design work for friends, and mixes his own digital music.
“Since a very early age I enjoyed creating art and thought I might attend an art school; however, I always had a serious problem of having too many different interests. My dad convinced me to attend UW-Whitewater to get a few business classes under my belt before moving into the job world — I ending taking ZERO business courses and majoring in graphic design. Through a professor at UW-Whitewater, I met some of the sculpture faculty at UW-Milwaukee and began thinking about grad school at UW-Milwaukee. I found that many discussions about my interests were centering around architecture. I began studying at SARUP soon after.
“I didn’t always know I wanted to go into design and fabrication. I just always hoped some position or some employer would allow me to experiment once in awhile. I thought I would see what DF was all about in 2011. The other partners have not been able to get rid of me since then. If I hadn’t found DF I would have invested way too much into a personal workshop.”
Justin’s favorite medium to work with is metal because of the versatility of the material; the possibilities to manipulate different metals by welding, bending, forming, cutting, casting or tempering are endless. Which is probably why his favorite projects are the ones when he gets to use our CNC plasma and welding equipment. However, he says he is most rewarded by the latest project he tackles; the challenges of working as a team to figure out how to piece together every aspect of the project are the most exciting.
While Justin would love to take a trip back to Scotland someday, for now he’s happy where he’s at in Milwaukee. “It’s large enough to have some of the resources of a major US city, but small enough that you have the potential to make a meaningful impact. It’s often inspiring to meet so many other MKE area residents who care deeply about the present and future of the city.”
Make sure you check back next month to learn about the rest of this team of Fugitives!