Dims’ new furniture collections champion diversity in design
Seattle-based furniture brand Dims presents new collections by Daisuke Kitagawa, MSDS Studio and more. We talk to founder Eugene Kim on launching the brand in 2018 and the importance of diversity in design
When Eugene Kim, a former VP of a tech start-up, founded the Dims furniture and design label back in 2018, he was guided by a simple mission – to create sustainably made, forward-thinking designs at an accessible price to boot. Three years later, Kim has done just that, raising the benchmark for what accessible design should look like.
The Seattle-based company now boasts products created by a roster of some of the world’s most exciting emerging talents. With creatives from different cultural and racial backgrounds all in the mix, Dims’ vision of seeking out fresh, diverse voices in design and championing their work to a broad audience has become a reality.
Dims furniture: forward-thinking, affordable
‘When we first started Dims, we weren’t as deliberate as we are now. We simply scoured design publications and Instagram for up-and-coming designers whose work appealed to us. We found ourselves attracted to humble, unadorned design – reminiscent of Shaker, Japanese and Nordic traditions,’ shares Kim.
‘It was only last year when we realised we were also drawn to people of colour, when a designer made an offhand remark about how diverse our roster was. These days, we’re much more intentional about who we work with. We believe that design is a vehicle for culture – in our case, a culture of inclusion and equity. If we can tell the stories of designers from cultures underrepresented in design, and tell them really well, we can help unveil the truth about design.’
‘We believe that design is a vehicle for culture – in our case, a culture of inclusion and equity. If we can tell the stories of designers from cultures underrepresented in design, we can help unveil the truth about design’ – Eugene Kim, Dims founder
Some of the recent fruits of these efforts include the ‘Frond’ desk chair by the Tokyo-based designer Daisuke Kitagawa, which blends sleek, crisp lines with form-fitting, ergonomic support, and the aluminium ‘Atom’ desk and solid ashwood ‘Eave’ table, both by MSDS Studio.
Dims will also soon reveal Studio Word’s modular ‘Panorama’ sofa, which will form the centrepiece of its first complete living room system, and Jun Yasumoto’s ‘Didot’ settee/lounge chair, upholstered in Kvadrat textiles, that will make the most of smaller living spaces.
A limited-edition collection of new stains, inspired by rich shades found in the natural world, is set to breathe new life into Dims’ signature pieces, including Stine Aas’ ‘Cleo’ chair. Realised in a dye-finish that still allows the natural tone and grain of the ash wood to come through, the hues in the Forage collection bring a taste of the outdoors in.
‘In terms of designer diversity, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible,’ says Kim. ‘We want the future of design to look different from its past. The truth is that “good design” is universal, and no single canon can own it. Aesthetic diversity will become a bigger part of our offering, without dilution of quality.’
This inclusive ethos also extends to the way Kim has chosen to finance Dims. Earlier this year, he launched the direct-to-consumer brand on the investment platform Republic, which allows any individual to invest in a start-up business in exchange for equity and other benefits, at a starting price of $100. The company closed its campaign early after raising over $500,000 in two months, and plans to open its first showroom in Los Angeles in September. §