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We design everything we make.

Blu Dot was founded by three designers - John Christakos, Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor. We started a business to feed our design habit. Everything we make and sell was designed, right here, in our studio in Minneapolis.

We find a need.
Or a need finds us.

How do we decide what to design next?

Discovering a need can come from a careful analysis of our current collection to determine what's missing. It can come from the desire to solve a simple problem that we notice in our own homes. Or we might get inspired by a tried and true DIY solution. Whatever the source, we put together a "design brief" - an assignment that we give to ourselves - so everyone knows what we're doing and why.

RIGHT
Sleeper sofa that opens like a book into a
queen-size sleeper – One Night Stand
ABOVE
Sleeper sofa that opens like a book into a
queen-size sleeper –
One Night Stand

We sketch.
We make models.
We build prototypes.

Of course we also model things in our computers, but we favor the immediacy of a drawing and the tactility of a prototype any day. We will make small scale models to test out an idea or build a rough full-size prototype to look at scale and proportion. It's a step-by-step process, and each sketch, each model, each prototype gets us closer to the final design.

We pin up. Critique. And collaborate.

From the very first Blu Dot designs that John, Charlie and Maurice sketched together on a long roll of butcher paper, we've always worked collaboratively. And now, with a larger design team, we still work this way. Someone might initiate a design, but the group will discuss, distort, suggest, refine and inspire that original idea as the collaborative design process unfolds. You'll never see a designer's name on any of our designs - they're always a team effort.

We make a production
sample. And another.
And another.

Once we think we have the design where we want it, we work through several rounds of production samples - refining details, solving manufacturing issues, tweaking proportions, adjusting finishes - until we get to the final product.

RIGHT / BELOW
Production samples for Hot Mesh Lounge Chair.

BELOW
Production samples for Hot Mesh Lounge Chair.

Photo: Ackerman + Gruber for Surface Media
Voila!
BELOW
Toro Lounge Chair in our Minneapolis design studio.

ABOVE
Toro Lounge Chair in our Minneapolis design studio.

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Learn More