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Practice : Spring 2012
Having earned a B achelor’s of Interior Design this January, Mika Gilmore is one of the BAC’s newest alums to keep an eye on. The emerging designer is busier than ever these days. She is working full-time at HMFH Architects, Inc., and when she’s not grinding out the days, she’s e xploring new ways to cre ate furniture ba sed on hexagonal shapes in her burgeoning Hexy furniture line. She’s a l so de veloping concepts for lighting fixtures and architectural product design while launching the te xtile line, MIVI. This new line will incorporate the orthogona l ink design drawings left to her by her late uncle, a graphic de signer. For Mika , working collaboratively, while giving back to the community, is a crucial a nd necessa ry element to her design process. “I want my design to support the community: su staining local independent artists, workers, and businesses.” Her Hexy Wall design is doing just that. Mika credits Pushpin Me, a site developed by former BAC student Kyle Bra nchesi and current BAC student Amit Shah, for getting her work on the internet. This made it possible for her to show her work on the spot to Brent Refsland who co-owns the design store, Room 68 with Eric Portnoy and Nick Siema ska in Jamaic a Plain, MA. Brent liked what he saw and bought a set of Hexy Walls for the store, confirming the commercia l appeal of Mika’s elegant design. With the Hexy Walls for sa le, Mika contacted fellow a rtist and friend Nicholas Doriss to fabricate the Hexy Walls out of his lab, ND Design, in South Boston. Looking back, Mika’s e xperience with design began at a young age. Her father, a woodworker, included Mika on his homegrown woodworking project s. Living in a creative environment would eventua lly lead Mika to the BAC, “I was born at the BAC! I could barely draw a cube when I a rrived.” The Ac ademic Only Program (AOP), which focuse s s olely on ac ademics for the first two semesters, de veloped Mika’s design process, where she lea rned to think three-dimen sion ally through drawing a nd model making. “My experience in AOP was the most important part of my education al journey.” To describe Mika Gilmore a s an active designer in the Boston community is a n u nderstatement. The young alum and emerging profe ssiona l designer has found a way to have the two worlds of academics a nd practice inform each other suc c es sfully, while encouraging her exploration as an a rtist and a maker. Mika’s work captures the essenc e of sustainable and modern design: the ability for the design itself to adapt. “I feel that I have found my place in the world, a nd I have discovered a way to funnel my energ y, something that wa s much needed before design was a part of my life.” Mika Gilmore ’12 “It was amazing to feel the switch—from school informing most of my progress at work —to work informing most of my progress at school.” Mika Gilmore PRACTICE 41 ALUMNI NEWS ] FEATURED ALUMNI