Designer's Eye: Kiel Mead on Handheld Pleasures


Kiel Mead, the cutting-edge furniture and jewelry designer who has worked with John Bartlett and Steven Alan and is a founding member of the American Design Club, recommends objects that feel as good as they look.

Have you ever held an object in your hand that you just knew was the perfect size, weight, and surface? In that moment, the object makes you hyperaware of the power of your sense of touch. And that awareness contributes to the object's beauty, even after you've put it down.

As a designer and a design-store buyer, I handle lots of merchandise. I know it sounds strange, but the truth is that I—like pretty much every other designer—love to touch things: to feel an object's weight, to rub my thumb along its surface. I go through hand sanitizer like crazy. At museums, I have to restrain myself.

True design lovers appreciate tactility, not only because it affects how an object feels in your hand, but also how it looks on your wall, your desk, your coffee table. I find that to be especially true of otherwise familiar objects designed with unexpected materials. Here are three to check out:


Kaweco Pens
What's more designed for your hand than a pen? German design studio Kaweco Sport makes them short, stout, and faceted. It feels less like a Bic than a piece of equipment.


Hex Weight, by Iacoli & McAllister
This matte-back paperweight with super-graphic-powder coating belongs on all desks, even when the wind isn't blowing in.



Balancing Blocks, by Fort Standard American Design Club
These building blocks look and feel like toys that have been played with for generations, then updated for contemporary tastes. Plus, they're more fun than Cranium.


— Kiel Mead

Also on
Designer's Eye: Upgrade Your Cookware
Designer's Eye: Revive and Survive Your Office Space
Designer's Eye: Lighting As a Way of Life

Details Newsletters
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Subscribe to Details
Newsletter Sign Up
  • Get the latest in men's style, grooming, diet, fitness and pop-culture trends every Wednesday. See Sample
  • Get the most popular articles, blog posts, and slideshows of the past week every Saturday. See Sample
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Powered By ZergNet
Subscribe to Details

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest in men's style, grooming, health, and pop-culture news every day.
Will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy