The Important Things

I enjoy making things. More specifically, I like to make tangible things. If I’m not sketching, creating, or designing, I’m fixing, tinkering, or planning. I’m not materialistic, but my life revolves around the things I own and the things I create for others.

I want to pass this idea down to my children, as my grandfather passed it down to me. My grandfather was a foundry worker by trade- a creator of things by birth. My uncle recently sent me a package addressed from my since deceased grandparents home. Inside was a hand written letter describing the contents: a blanket my grandmother had knitted in anticipation of our newborn daughter, and some old gifts I had given my grandfather as a child.


Well designed meaningful things can touch people’s lives far beyond their intended use.


The blanket speaks for itself. My daughter will never meet her great-grandmother, but she’ll feel her compassion, love, warmth, and dedication through that blanket.

As for the gifts I gave my grandfather, I discovered that for 25 years my grandfather had held on to the handmade crafts I had sent him as a child- an envelope made from notebook paper, broken seashells, and a small wooden set of crooked shelves. Completely useless, meaningless things to anyone outside of my grandpa and me. Gifted as a child to show my love for my grandfather- saved by my grandfather for 25 years as a symbol of his love for me.

Now the shells and crooked shelf sit on my desk as a reminder of why I love to design and make things. Well designed meaningful things can touch people’s lives far beyond their intended use.

One Comment

  • Brunner says his time at Apple taught him about the importance of immersing yourself within the company you’re designing for, which Brunner says is the only way to truly have an impact.

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