Maris Park joined the Delta Faucet industrial design team full time in 2017, and she has been a valuable contributor to Delta product designs since 2014, as part of a co-op with Purdue University. We caught up with her to talk about her professional passions and personal pursuits.
How did you end up as an industrial designer for Delta Faucet?
Like Delta, I’m Indianapolis-based. I was born and raised here. I applied to Purdue University with a major of visual communication design (which is graphic design), but before I even started classes my freshman year, I found ID—industrial design. The major allowed me to build physical 3D products, which I find incredibly satisfying. I started at Delta as a co-op designer while at Purdue. That’s where you alternate between school and work. And I couldn’t have been more excited when Judd Lord (director of industrial design) called and asked if I would join the team after graduation. It’s an environment unlike any other. The team dynamic is great, and our opportunities are insane.
Speaking of insane opportunities, can you tell us about your trip to Australia with other Delta designers?
I found out I was going to Australia before I even graduated college. Australia really fed into the industrial movement—industrial chic—and that was super relevant at the time. We flew into Sydney and did a coastal road trip to Melbourne. In addition to the two metropolitan areas, I was inspired as we traveled through the farmland and rolling hills. We stayed in a house in the middle of nowhere, and you wonder what their perspective on design is and what they would be drawn to and what they need as consumers.
You also traveled to Italy, correct?
Yes—we went to Milan and Venice. Australia was more modern and contemporary compared to Italy. In Milan in particular, I saw more of the classical European design—timeless and traditional and tons of detail. I am intrigued by Italian design, with the blending of cultures and both classic and new styles.
How did you capture your inspiration from these trips?
Judd encourages us to take all the pictures we can. After we came back, I sorted the pictures into categories: culture, architecture, local design, and textures and finishes. I made a mood board for each category. It’s like a quick flashback, and it’s cool to see them in comparison. Right away, you would be like, oh, this is from Milan, this is from Melbourne, this is from Vancouver. It’s a nice visual backdrop for something that you design, because you really can see where the inspiration came from.
How do you go from inspiration to finished product?
I usually start with a sketch—sometimes on a napkin—then refine and bring it to the computer. Our team is very collaborative, as we have weekly meetings. There, we come together to create the best products possible. It’s rewarding showing a product and telling the inspiration behind the design and people will say, “Oh, I get it.” The moment it all comes full circle is really satisfying.
Do you have a philosophy on kitchen and bath fixtures?
I never envisioned myself as a designer of kitchen and bath fixtures. But it’s actually a powerful job. It’s an experience that you’re giving out to someone every single day. People need water delivery, and we depend on it, and it really does change our mood. Visually, it’s something that really does transform a room. It can elevate someone’s personal style. It’s kind of like the jewelry for your home. It’s a finishing touch.
Are you drawn to a particular style and finish?
I find myself leaning toward polar opposite ends, either uber-traditional or uber-contemporary, and mixing them in the same space. My home is pretty modern and contemporary, but I have a lot of traditional touches. The finish that occupies my home the most is matte black.
What’s your favorite room of the house?
That would have to be a split between the kitchen and the bedroom. I have picked up cooking as a hobby. It’s a creative outlet. The kitchen is a space that I get to share with others—my friends, my family, my co-workers. My bedroom reflects my personal style. Fashion has always been a passion of mine and a driving force of my occupation.
What do you like to do for fun?
The whole home movement—interior design, cooking, the kitchen, the bathroom—really inspires me. With my friends, I’m their resident go-to designer. On a lot of weekends, I go shopping with them for all the things they need for their new apartments and homes. I especially like it when people have a style that’s different from mine. It’s fun to put yourself into other people’s shoes and think about what they would like based on their interests.
Maris Park is one of many full-time designers at Delta. Meet fellow industrial designer T.J. Eads here.