Make a big difference to The Big Idea.  Help us tell the most creative stories.

Home  /  Stories  / 

Designing Solutions

23 Jan 2017
Industrial designer Hans Kim on his design studio, multidisciplinary problem solving and 'vision for human collaboration'.

Industrial designer Hans Kim was born in Melbourne, grew up in Seoul, and moved to Auckland when he was 10-years-old.

He's worked as a lifeguard in Disney World, a tennis coach in Wellington, and a designer in Germany.

Hans moved back to Auckland to embark on his latest and greatest challenge, MASS. The design studio, multidisciplinary problem solving consultancy, and talent hire agency is also about a "fresh vision for human collaboration".

Hans says there is a new wave of designers pioneering cutting-edge technologies, through an interdisciplinary approach using design, engineering, architecture, digital strategy, art, and technology. MASS is a design think-tank and collective engaging in the creation of complete systems in all product categories through technological innovation.

"Such systems will create unique value for Auckland’s economy, with a long term goal of establishing Auckland as a renowned technological hub in the talent based economy of the future.”

Qualification: Bachelor of Industrial Design from Victoria University

During what hours of the day do you feel most inspired?

Always and never. I don’t choose when inspiration strikes.

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic or style?


What aspect of your creative practice gives you the biggest thrill?

The process of materializing that does not exist into reality in company of good friends.

How does your environment affect your work?

I credit 99% of my ideas/expertise/achievements to the quality of my environment.

What's your number one business tip for surviving (and thriving) in the creative industries?

Keep asking this question to people you respect.

Which of your projects to date has given you the most satisfaction?

Plot Twist: The Bass Guitarist Is A Robot  - A cutting edge human-robot music concert.

Who or what has inspired you recently?

The book Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. It’s a supernova breath of fresh air for any creative engaged in battle (plus it’s really short).

Tell us a bit about your background.

Born in Melbourne, grew up in Seoul, and forced to move to Auckland at the age of 10. Lazy by nature I’ve since worked as a lifeguard in Disney World, a tennis coach in Wellington, and a designer working for my idols in Germany before embarking on my latest and greatest challenge, MASS - A fresh vision for human collaboration. 

Tell us a bit about your recent and upcoming projects.

MASS is a 
1. A multidisciplinary problem solving consultancy, and talent hire agency. 
2. A design studio that develops products we are passionate about.

Our methodology to achieve this, and our core mission, is to provide the most fulfilling way of life for skilled and passionate people. This means constantly trying to understand the needs, wants, and shared values of human beings and craft an environment that responds to these forces.

This will always be our greatest most important ongoing project.

You are an established creative entrepreneur so why were you keen to be part of the creative business acceleration programme ART Venture? What has the experience been like so far?

The only path to meaningful success is to find your own way. This means to ask yourself  ‘If there are an unlimited number of things a human can do to make money... Why am I doing this?’ and go all in on the answer you find. This takes incredible self-discipline. ART Venture gives you the tools, support, and opportunity to intensely chase after this. 

If you could go back and choose a completely different career path to the one you've chosen, what would it be?

Experimental geneticist.

What's the best stress relief advice you've ever been given?

“There is no joy equal to that of being able to work for all humanity and doing what you're doing well.” - R. Buckminster Fuller

What’s your big idea for 2017?

Provide unprecedented value to society by solving important problems through MASS’s network of interdisciplinary talents.