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Inspiration Board | Taylor Welden

Industrial designer Taylor Welden creates objects that make roaming the globe easier and more stylish.

Six years ago, Taylor Welden’s life was almost completely packed up in boxes, and he was poised to leave his Austin apartment in the wake of losing his job when his company dissolved. Just days before he would have broken his lease and snuck out in the dark of night, he got an e-mail (he hadn’t packed his computer yet) with an offer for a freelance industrial design project. The fee for it would pay the next month’s rent and groceries. So Welden unpacked, and six years later, he’s at the helm of his own industrial design firm. Welden is the editor of the website, which, he explains, “explores better ways to carry.” He’s also a member of the Austin Facial Hair Club (moustache category), and has worked on industrial design products with locals like Helm Boots and jewelry designer Dean Fredrick. Ideas are cheap, Welden says, but the successful implementation of them is priceless. “I’ll take a client’s idea and create the concepts, the ideations, I’ll refine that idea until it can be marketable, manufacturable,” Welden says. “That way the end user can really use it well.”

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  • WWII Jerrycan: “One of the most brilliant designs which came from warfare, for so many reasons too lengthy to list here. Simply put, fuel wins wars.
  • Burgon & Ball No. 10 sheep shears: “They're handmade in England the same way they have been since 1730, from high-carbon Sheffield steel. These hang on the wall next to my workstation.”
  • Parveen scissors: “Handmade in India by a family who has been making scissors for generations. The patina is really showing that they do indeed get used, but the cast-brass handles can be polished to a beautiful shine.”
  • Passport: ““This thing is well abused and tells a story of its travels without even having to lift the cover.”
  • Glass bottle of "vintage glass glitter": “Glitter freaks me out. Glitter can be created, but it can never be destroyed. When the universe collapses, there will only be glitter particles floating alone in the nothingness.”
  • WWII Swiss Army backpack: “Such amazing designs come from warfare, where materials are limited, demand is high, and lives are on the line. This bag, handmade in Switzerland, is one of the finest backpack examples of all time.”
  • Japanese furoshiki fabric: “I picked this up while I was visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. These date back to Japan's Nara period (AD 700) . It can be used for a sweat towel in the Texas summer heat, folded in a manner that creates a makeshift grocery bag, or to wrap a gift (a traditional use).”
  • "CARRY BETTER" Carryology sticker: “I write for Carryology and I think this little motto best sums up what we're about. We obsess over the products and actions of how humans carry during everyday life and travels, always trying to discover the next best improvement.”
  • Less and More book, Dieter Rams: “Dieter is probably the best living industrial designer, whose work and process I deeply respect. I try to incorporate his ‘ten principles of good design’ into every project I work on.”
  • Moleskine: “In red. The is my secondary memory bank, filled with ideas, notes, and sketches.”
  • Swedish auto gauges: “I used to modify old Swedish turbocharged vehicles. I took the old turbo gauge from my 1983 Volvo 242 Tii before I sold it. Once that needle got into the neon orange, you wouldn't be able to peel your neck off of the headrest.”
  • AustriAlpin Cobra buckle: “Simply the best buckle in the world. Made in Stubai, Austria, from stainless steel, aluminum, and brass.”
  • Bic lighter: “Simple, affordable, accessible, easy to manufacture, intuitive, and works every single time. In fact, it is so incredibly well executed that we forget about the design completely. It's nearly invisible until you really focus on it. People don't want a Bic lighter. They want fire.”
  • Swiss Army knife: “A birthday present from my parents when I turned nine. It can accomplish nearly any task when used properly.”
  • HELM boots: “Owned and operated by some of the classiest folks in this city. The aesthetic of their products is something that I personally share, appreciate, and strive to achieve in my work.”


Photography by Andrew Chan

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