Motorola Mobility’s Design Challenge Finalist: Adam Owens

The material of a product, whether it is wood, aluminum, or regular ABS plastic, is often the characteristic that gives it its ‘spirit’ or essence. Deceiving materials can ruin the experience and perception of a product almost instantaneously and ruin the brand forever for an individual. Adam Owens, one of the four finalists in Motorola Mobility’s Design Competition, understands this concept of material integrity beyond many individuals in the industry. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Owens was constantly in the shadow of construction sites with his dad, being exposed to industrial manufacturing processes (the most prominent being concrete processing). As a result of his upbringing, although Owens graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics, he ultimately became a freelance artist/designer after spending two semesters in architecture school.

To him, the material and even the building processes to create the final product is a direct reflection of the final outcome, which is no surprise after knowing his childhood was deeply connected to the manufacturing world. When talking about the materials he chose, Owens says, “the idea is to showcase the qualities of wood and concrete and the dialogue between the two.” He then goes on to explain how when forming concrete, wood is used as the frame to pour the concrete into and then the wood is simply forgotten. Yet, Owens’ design is more economical and efficient. Instead of discarding the wooden frame, he instead uses it as the main surface of the desk.

All in all, Owens’ design reflects a minimalist and wabi-sabi feel. And although the structure is completely asymmetric, it’s still so fully balanced and welcoming. It would be a perfect fit for Google’s new Motorola office in Fort Worth, TX.

Owens’ desk is made from concrete and Mesquite wood.

“Mesquite is a native tree to Texas and can be locally sourced from the Texas Hill Country. The species has adapted to harsher climates and is robust to environmental changes. This can be seen in the non-linear grain patterns and contributes to its strength as well as its tendency to remain flat and not warp. The reddish brown color provides a beautiful contrast to the concrete blocks.”  – Owens

Adam 1

Adam 2

What do you think of Adam Owens’ design? Tell us what you think!

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5 thoughts on “Motorola Mobility’s Design Challenge Finalist: Adam Owens

  1. Marion Robertson says:

    great cleanliness and simplicity. Just like a desk should be

  2. Randy Owens says:

    Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at…

    Once again, well done.

  3. Lance says:

    It’s honest, resourceful, regional and modern…yes!

  4. Wayne bone says:

    Best I’ve ever seen.hands down

  5. […] his submission piece, Owens created a desk that we detailed in an earlier post as having minimalist and Wabi-Sabi qualities. The judges of the competition seemed to agree. Steve […]

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