People to Watch in 2012
brian flynn + dora drimalas
CO-FOUNDERS, HYBRID DESIGN
Hybrid Design is a full-service creative agency founded on great ideas that create lasting, active relationships that change culture, behavior and communication. Colliding logical and experimental creative ideation, Hybrid Design produces meaningful experiences that build long-term attachment and brand identification. Hybrid Design creates global retail environments, advertising, digital design and development, branding and packaging for clients including Nike, Apple, TED, Starwood Hotels, Lucasfilm, Genworth Financial, and Juxtapoz Magazine.
Co-founder Brian Flynn is a versatile creative director and product designer who co-founded Hybrid Design after working inhouse at both Nike and Fossil Watches. With a love for chaos theory, his creative approach manifests the experimental side of Hybrid Design. It also plays out in Super7, a thriving retail brand he created to sell limited edition toys, apparel and publications that celebrate Flynn’s fascination with vintage Kaiju. Co-founder Dora Drimalas left the Nike’s Brand Design Group to start the firm. Having embraced a Swiss-grid approach to her creative work, she represents the logical side of Hybrid Design. As a collector of vintage dishes, ceramics, art, furniture and children’s books, Drimalas also employs discovery in Hybrid Home, an accessories company she launched incorporating her love of modern interiors with her graphic sensibility.
Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this effect your design style or sensibility?
BF: I was born in San Marcos TX and I live in San Francisco now. The things I was interested in I had to hunt down and really work hard to find out information about while living in Texas. Those things were very different than traditional Texas design, so that effort I think has affected me and my work ethic. Not accepting what is the given answer and looking for a better answer — that makes more sense to me.
DD: I was born in Athens, Greece, raised in Sugarland TX. I gravitate to clean, modern design, and I think that you should not fear the grid. That said, I like all the aspects of modernism, especially the more open, warm California Modernism, which is why we ended up here.
If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living?
BF: Egyptologist. I can dig in the sand for hours. I originally minored in physics in college, but that did not really pan out. I don't need quantum physics to dig.
DD: I would be an anthropologist. Or a violinist. Or an astronaut.
What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
BF: Delegating is hard for me. That said, I see opportunity in every project, which may be my best strength.
DD: My greatest strength is encouraging people to dream big. My greatest weakness is sometimes not remembering to dream big. (Reminding me is also Brian's job.)
BF: Growing up, I was not truly aware of what “design” was, but the graphics of skateboarding and punk rock shaped everything for me. That world was my “hero.”
DD: My parents were my design heroes. I didn't know it to be “design” at the time, but they are the most creative problem solvers I've ever seen. They always designed everything themselves: jewelry, apparel, paintings, houses, and then made them. They were DIY without knowing it.
DD: Helvetica, a classic
BF: I am a Twitter junkie. I apologize in advance.
DD: iPhoto for kid pictures
BF: Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott, the art blew my mind as a kid.
DD: Design books by Josef Müller-Brockmann, kids books illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen.
BF: Tron, Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption
BF: Punk/Hardcore/Youth Crew as well as Speed/Death Metal on occasion
DD: Whatever Brian is not listening to.
Favorite Fine Artist?
BF: Robert Indiana, Basquiat, Caravaggio, Bernini
DD: Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Ed Ruscha, Raymond Pettibon
BF: Not really a gadget person, function first
BF: ffffound, thisisnthappiness, Yahoo Japan auctions
DD: Huffington Post, ffffound
BF: Staying up super late knowing the kids will be up at 6, and then being super tired. Repeat.
New Year’s Resolutions?
BF: To start no new businesses in 2012.
DD: To not let Brian start any new businesses in 2012.
One Thing You Can't Live Without?
BF: Dora (awwww how cute.)
DD: Brian, the girls and my family.
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
BF: To be able to stop time, so I can catch up on all the things I want to do.
DD: Invisible Jet, Lasso of Truth, Arm Bracelets.
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
BF: You create your own opportunities. No one else is responsible for your future.
DD: Work smarter, not harder, but don’t be afraid of hard work.