Together you’ve run the creative collective N&MS since 2021, but you first met while studying at ABK Stuttgart. Why did you decide to join forces? And how important has collaboration been to you both?
Mark Bohle: Collaboration is elementary in my work. I am a disaster in working on my own.
Nam Huynh: I think that in good collaborations you are very reliant on each other. Otherwise there would be no need to partner up. Mark is not afraid to learn new tools and to apply new methods, so it’s always exciting to discover how I can rely on him.
I am a disaster in working on my own.
What is your working relationship like? With Nam based in Germany and Mark in Spain, how do you navigate shared projects?
Good question. We do speak a lot. We do love daydreaming but in a productive sense. We barely video chat and explain most ideas in words to each other, which often leaves a lot of space for interpretations and misunderstandings. This often leads to interesting surprises.
What do you find interesting about each other’s work?
MB: Nam has a desire for the weird and is conscious of the good. He works precisely. He has a desire for creation. He loves finding surprising situations in his work. He does not differentiate between large and small scale projects. He has a funny way of thinking.
Nam has a desire for the weird
NH: Mark has a great sense for colourways and compositions but I especially admire his ability to pump a unique personality into every project we work on. It feels exciting when we have a feeling that we’re onto something new, so during our processes I am always glad for every moment when I hesitate, but Mark doesn’t.
As well as your work with N&MS, you both work independently as designers in your own right. Why was it important for you to retain your own separate practices?
The moment we decided to join forces we pictured ourselves not inside a closed environment. We imagined ourselves more in a cabriolet situation; driving the same direction enjoying the countryside and the speed of movement. Since we have mutual understanding about design we are able to develop at different paces and directions.
You’ve both worked on projects for very varied clients, and across mediums. Are there certain themes you look for in prospective projects?
As long as you have something valuable to say we love to help you to visualise it.
We love what happens in between
And relatedly, you both work across all manner of mediums (including plastic shopping bags!) Do you prefer physical or digital projects?
Actually we love both, and we love what happens in between. We really enjoy the digital as well as the physical component of life and work. Besides that, we also have a certain preference for high and low tech. We have a general interest in the aesthetics that can arise from the pre and post human.
Do you think it’s important to be playful in your work as designers?
Yes, without a doubt. As long as we stay playful and experimental we don’t have to rely on established design trends and we keep an open mind for constant developments in our fields.
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