A Diamond In The Rough: Milwaukee’s Flux Design

A Diamond In The Rough: Milwaukee’s Flux Design

Founder Jeremy Shamrowicz talks to us about design inspiration and Milwaukee's post-industrial urban revival.

Plus Aziz
  • 23 august 2010

Photo Credits ©Tricia Shay

Jeremy Shamrowicz sits at the epicenter of Milwaukee’s art and design scene. PSFK caught up with him recently to discuss how the post-industrial city inspires him. He provides a unique insider’s perspective on the city’s development and enthusiastically evidences Milwaukee’s creative status.

What are you working on right now?

We have numerous things in the works. We are designing a steam punk style industrial coffee bean dispenser, a smoke house barbecue place that draws heavy visual aesthetic from a combination of Robinson Crusoe, Willy Wonka and Lemony Snicket. Additionally we are coordinating the 2nd of 4 annual art installations and art opening events for our galleries and building custom furniture and interior elements daily.

What projects, people and ideas are inspiring you these days?

My inspirations change frequently, but one thing that remains consistently inspiring to me is the involvement and work ethic of my wonderful staff, and their constant enthusiasm to try new things. Aside from that, I am very inspired by traditional building methods, the “steam punk” genre, and my city.

What is a “Renaissance”, and how are you revitalizing your city?

For us, “Renaissance” is indicative of the fact that a company thrives in a conservative blue collar city that has been on the cusp of a transformation. The city has struggled to find its new identity; we’re known as an industrial town, but in reality, most of the big machinery and industrial companies have left the city for years.

With the thought, passion and drive many Milwaukeeans possess, Flux has been fortunate in becoming a part of that creative change. People are seeking a higher caliber of experiences, and when they find it, it pushes design to compete with those experiences, creating more enriched spaces for the city on a whole. In the last 10 years, we’ve been able to be involved in over 40 different cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges, from smaller scale elements, to full blown ground up build outs. We have literally been able to watch Milwaukee’s nightlife improve.

Tell us more about the team/process behind Flux Design’s executions.

As far as the design process goes, having that kind of team there, well, we design our sculptures and we sculpt our designs.

The team is comprised of industrial product designers, abstract and figurative sculptors, architects, interior designers, photographers, print makers and fine artists. When you take that kind of raw talent and enthusiasm and slam it together with people who have a lot of pride in their craft, the result is a definitive challenging and pushing of boundaries and limits constantly, which results in great design.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I now realize that the title of artist is subjective. For the last 10 years, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with some amazing artists, designers and craftsmen, but I am realizing that the key is to surround yourself with people who have similar goals and dreams. With the help of my community and my team supporting me, we can do ten fold what I would have ever imagined doing in my entire life by myself. And this-is what truly inspires me as an artist and designer.

Photo Credits ©Tricia Shay

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