Leon Ransmeier believes that “design begins with the desire to change something.” As a hands-on designer, Ransmeier works by developing full-scale, usable prototypes. “The only way you can create objects that are truly meaningful for people is through experiencing the objects yourself,” he says.
He honed his ability to observe people and their surroundings—an essential skill for any designer—while living in the Netherlands after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. In Europe, Ransmeier created several designs for Droog and Established & Sons.
By 2008, he had moved to New York City, where he opened his studio—Ransmeier, Inc.—to design furniture and other objects. The firm is a compact one. Ransmeier prefers to concentrate deeply and intently on a few projects at a time. “It allows me to work without being distracted or spread too thin,” he says, “creating a design that is intelligent requires dedication and focus.”
With his AGL Table Group for Herman Miller, Ransmeier’s focus was to bring simplicity and elegance to a form that is basic to everyday life. Improving on something as seemingly straightforward and ubiquitous as the table involved considering every detail at length.
It is a level of concentration Ransmeier finds very fulfilling. “More often than not, the design process is composed of a general challenge that is broken down into many small endeavors. It’s not possible to solve the greater problem at hand without addressing the component tasks. If one cannot enjoy the details, one will never find satisfaction in the whole.”
New York, New York
SF MoMA collection
Corning Museum of Glass collection
Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum collection
Exhibited in Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Triennials: Design Life Now (2006) and Why Design Now? (2010), as well as the upcoming Cooper-Hewitt inaugural exhibition Beautiful Users, set to open fall 2014