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Five minutes with John Christakos

We take five minutes to chat with Founder & CEO of Blu Dot, John Christakos.

Five minutes with John Christakos


August 7th, 2015

Name: John Christakos

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Company: Blu Dot

Position: Founder & CEO

The moment you knew you wanted to work in the design industry.
When I used to make model wooden boats with my grandfather in his workshop when I was about 10 years old. Except, I didn’t know what design was. But I knew I loved making things.

What first drew you to the design industry? When we started Blu Dot, good modern design was an elitist industry. Everything we could afford we didn’t like and everything we liked we couldn’t afford. We wanted to try and change that.

What interests you most about this particular field design?
The next project.

What has your experience with education design been?
I have taught a couple of design classes at the Architecture School at The University of Minnesota

The most unusual or interesting thing about the way you work.
At Blu Dot, we work collaboratively with the two of us founders now acting as Creative Directors leading a design studio of five designers. While a design may originate in any one of our sketchbooks, by the time it is done, it is a complete team effort. We never put an individual’s name on a design as “the designer” simply because of the collaborative nature of our process (plus we have never liked the image of the heroic designer).

Which items in the workplace can you not live without?

Your top influences.
Needs. Materials. Form. Process. Economics.

Favourite material.

Favourite local landmark/building. Nye’s Polonaise Room (home of the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band)

Favourite international landmark/building.
The Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe

Biggest career moment.
Making payroll.

Concern for the design industry in the coming decade.
Generally I have high hopes for the general public’s growing interest in design (in the U.S. where I live) versus 10 or 20 years ago. My main concern would be having a platform or conduit for good, original design to meet a broader market at more affordable price points.

Dream person to collaborate with.
My son, Charlie.

See Blu Dot at Sydney Indesign 2015, August 13–15.



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