BenjaminEdgar (Founder at BENJAMIN EDGAR)

Benjamin Edgar Gott is a Chicago-based designer, his extensive body of work spans beyond any single label. His projects are rooted in industrial design, contemporary culture, environmentally conscious consumer goods, and education.

Chicago, United States • May 22, 2024

What led you into design?

Curiosity. Not too far off from when a younger child constantly asks the question "why?" when told anything. I think that's really the same energy that most designers have. It's a deep-seated idea to create, reframe, reimagine, etc. However, lately, I've been thinking less about the word "create" and replacing it with the word "contribute" as I find it more fitting.

What does a typical day look like?

Typically fairly early, 630-7AM mornings. I try not to be on my phone too much. Shower, get coffee, always do a brief walk in the morning. The day is then led by the calendar appointments. I typically reserve, loosely, each day of the week for something specific. One day may be very open for design work / general abstraction, while others are very much back-office work, and others are maybe a bit of advisory consulting, though I do less of that now. I have recently gotten pretty strict on ending the day work-wise around 6PM. Then it's typically a dinner out, more walks, ideally, bike rides around the city, etc.

What's your workstation setup?

Hotel Studio
Using hotels as studios is the preferred office setup. This is at the Mandarin Oriental i Hong Kong.

Where do you go to get inspired?

In my skin. I'm very much of the idea that inspiration comes from working and applying yourself. When I say "in my skin" I mean the idea of simply existing and trusting yourself. Easier said than done though. I do love hotels though...there is a special sensation when working in a hotel.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Mark Thomas double-bend wine glasses. Jeff Covey stool I sit on every day. Anything photos Bafic creates.

Hermes Diabolo Card Holder. Wallets may be on the same wave as chair design. Everyone seems to try to put their take on it - I'll have one coming out soon myself - and I've always found this one from Hermes to be just incredible in its simplicity and integration of their existing hardware. In a world where ApplePay is more common, these feel like the future direction.

The integrated exterior door handles on a 2015+ Lincoln Continental. Door handles seem to be quite the place where car designers look to play with the idea of "theatre" in how they look and feel...this solution is quite good. Feels incredibly elegant

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

I'm often more happy with the context I've created with the "Benjamin Edgar, an object company" project. The ability to create within that context, that world, is such a fantastic feeling. I feel very lucky to have it.

What design challenges do you face at your company?

Momentum is something I constantly talk about with myself and my friends. It's a constant peak-and-valley sensation. The high of riding a perfect wave of momentum...then the valley of needing to regain it...or even maintain it. This is the hardest thing in life, business, etc. I don't want my life's trajectory to be a bell curve, instead, I'd prefer a nice even incline till it's over.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Deeply explore and understand your own personal interests. The deeper you know yourself and what makes you feel sensations, the better you will be at communicating them. And work hard to find and maintain a set of friends, colleagues, lovers, etc that you feel you can share your work with for feedback.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Feel odd maybe to promote my own stuff...but I do really love my hotel cups.