Based in Brooklyn and trained at Pratt, American designer Todd Bracher has lived in Copenhagen, Milan, Paris, and London. These stints have informed prestigious gigs with European companies—he ran Tom Dixon’s design studio after receiving his master’s degree at Denmark’s Design School, and more recently served as creative director of Georg Jensen. In his own practice, he joins artistic direction, strategic services, and product design for a multi-faceted approach that’s served brands such as Herman Miller, SodaStream, 3M, and Humanscale.
ID: What’s the one thing you admire most about Europe? The U.S.?
Todd Bracher: As an American, there is always this sense of America’s youth as nation when compared to the age of European culture. However, I appreciate America’s millions-of-years-old natural landscape, which no longer exists in Europe.
ID: What are a few recent projects?
TB: We deliver a fair amount of art direction as we help brands articulate a relevant message to the new evolving customer. Our recent work ranges from completing several new furniture works for the workplace, consumer fragrance packaging for fashion houses, and biological lighting solutions, to the Das Haus pavilion for IMM Cologne coming in January 2017.
ID: What’s something you wish you knew when you were starting your practice?
TB: I have had my practice for 17 years, and I feel each step has been deliberate and with intent to evolve and grow professionally and personally. We help brands reach new markets through design. This would not have been possible even 10 years ago, as it has taken a career of international experience across industries to truly make the impact that we do today.
ID: Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your work?
TB: I grew up in New York, influenced by both my schoolteacher mother and cabinetmaker father. They taught me always to question, understand, and consider all.
ID: Which person, place, or thing—inside the industry or out—inspires you?
ID: Most recently download app?
ID: A secret source you’re willing to share?
TB: Being surrounded with people smarter than me.
ID: Most admired historic interior?
TB: An incredible structure (an architectural sundial) in Jaipur, India.
ID: Dream commission?
TB: A single-engine airplane.
ID: What project are you most proud of?
TB: The Vessel light for Humanscale. We engaged a world-class optical physicist, who provided scientific support to result in a product that is not achievable any other way. I find myself always saying to the team, if it is a solution that we can think of alone, then it is probably not pushing far enough. But with help, we can realize solutions that are rooted in physics and human needs rather than cosmetic opinions.