As consumers, our interaction with products is at the tail end of the design process. We see the sleek casing of a new phone, hear a finely mixed song through a set of state-of-the-art speakers, or taste the layered flavor profile of a double-decocted lager. Partly by design, we rarely see, or think about, the complex process and technology that went in to create them.
This month, our Technology and Design issue attempts to bring you up close and personal with designers of all stripes as they take concepts in their head and bring them into existence in the real world.
Successful design can yield beautiful fashion, like the hand- made couture hats from milliner Celina Kane. It can produce something delectably complex, like the masterful ramen bowls of John Ng or the perfect porter. Or, in the case of the brewing industry, it can introduce new technologies that are revolutionary, propelling an entire industry forward into a new generation.
In speaking with these makers, we can more fully appreciate of the countless hours and fine-tuning that goes into the design of a thing, the ingenuity underlying its inner workings. And we get a taste of the tense uncertainty inherent in the process. For some, like the ad agency tasked with distilling a town and its culture into a cohesive brand that will attract new residents, it will take years to determine if a design is successful. For others, like engineer and brewer Jeff Moriarty of Tin Whiskers, success comes as a result of a lengthy trial and error process.
Innovation is always just around the corner in every industry, but ultimately, great design and technological advancements come from men and women who are unafraid to push the limits and try something novel in the face of failure. I hope that the stories in this month’s issue encourage you to think a little differently, a little more ambitiously, and inspire you to create something that will make a positive impact on the world.
There’s Something About Hallock
One town’s pitch for why you should want to be their neighbor
By Ellen Burkhardt
Next Gen Limb Design
For 130 years, Winkley has helped make Minnesota a hub for prosthetics and orthopedics
By Josh Cook
The Couture Creations of Celina Kane
By Morgan Mercer
Masters of Arena Rock
Why sound engineers are to thank for the ultimate concert experience
By Collen Cowie, The Current
By Lauren Sauer
Clues and Solution
By Victor Barocas and Andrew Ries
The glamorous life of an engineer-brewer: Jeff Moriarty, Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
By Cedar Schimmke
The Evolution of Brewing Tech
Innovations that have redefined beer in the modern age
By Paige Latham Didora
The Taste Test
Blind tasting 24 Minnesota Porter
By Michael Agnew
Orange & Plum at Hyacinth
By John Garland
By Zachary Sapato
What We’re Drinking
By The Growler Staff
The Ramen Architect
John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya is a designer, engineer, and builder (of soup)
By James Norton
St. Paul’s upmarket Keg and Case food hall is a triumph—and a gamble
By James Norton
Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.