Hannah Fink is a Brooklyn-based designer with a background in metal and woodworking. Her process is rooted in exploring form through physical model making and prototyping. A recent graduate of Pratt Institute’s MID program, she draws her inspiration from her former scuba diving and marine research career and hobbies like surfing, welding and weightlifting.
Brooklyn, New York
It took me a long time to discover design as a career. My background is in environmental studies and biology. I spent years after graduation as a divemaster, leading people on scuba tours in Monterey, Calif., and Panama City, Florida. I interned for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, thinking I wanted to go into marine research. But I was always designing and doodling—making grand plans for creations in my head. I considered these dreams a distraction, until I realized people made careers of them. After a string of odd jobs with various makers, I grew confident that I had found my calling. Now, I’m pursuing my Master’s in Industrial Design at Pratt Institute.
Like most designers, I’m inspired by a need or problem that I encounter. The Iceberg is a great example. I was delighted to incorporate the phone and tablet stand feature in my lamp for Gantri. I have dropped my phone on my face in bed more times than I can count. A bruised forehead—now that’s inspiring.
I don’t have my own studio. Now that I’m in graduate school, I get to use the school’s studios and metalshop. My dream metalshop would be a large flat-roofed garage, but with glass exterior walls that slide open on all four sides. Maybe I’d want it in the middle of the desert, because I Iove New Mexico, watching storms move as they move across the landscape. Or maybe I would want it in Northern California, right on the beach, so I could go diving or surfing every morning. Plus, it would never be too hot to wear my welding jumpsuit. A girl can dream.