Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers lead the progressive industrial design studio Mike and Maaike. The San Francisco studio works both independently and with clients to create products, furniture, wearables and environments. Maaike is Dutch, Mike, Californian. Their distinct backgrounds and unique approach to design have resulted in a diverse body of work marked by experimentation, substance and strong conceptual narratives. Notable clients include: Google, Belkin, Xbox, Steelcase, Council, and the City of San Francisco. Mike and Maaike’s work is recognized internationally and exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.

Here are five things Mike and Maaike are currently enjoying…

1. Wetsuits for the whole family
Yes, wetsuits are nothing new, but when the whole family is wearing them at the same time, things are different. Have you ever worn wetsuits with your entire family? Did you not have fun? See. We recently decided that our family will go to the beach every Saturday for the rest of our lives. When we get there, everyone must immediately put on their wetsuits. Whether it’s sunny or foggy (as San Francisco summers usually are) playing in the cold waves of Ocean Beach or Pacifica is always a blast. In a couple years, all the kids will also be required to surf, but for now, Mike or Maaike get to surf, while Mike or Maaike play with the kids at the shorebreak. If you’d like to join us, give us a call – just don’t forget your wetsuit.

This is the suit we got for our five-year-old boy. He likes that it has leg zippers so its easy to get on/off.

This is the suit we got for our two year old. She was initially upset that this wetsuit doesn’t have arms/ legs (while the rest of us have fullsuits) but the fact that it has a seahorse on it seems to have made up for it.

2. AIAIAI vs. Koss
For a recent project, we got to purchase a bunch of headphones to study and evaluate. As with many things, Mike and Maaike don’t have the same favorites and this all reminded us of our ongoing controversy over who is cooler – Bob Dylan or Donovan (Maake recently ceded that Dylan may have an edge over Donovan after some YouTube videos we recently saw with Donovan in his older years). So Maaike, having spent most of her life in Europe, says these these Koss headsets were hot in Europe and are still the best- they have these adjustable pads that put the pressure above the ear, not on it and they bend and clip into a nice circle. They are pretty great but Mike likes these AIAIAIs cause they are just so clean and simple.

3. TransX Living on Video
This video and song are incredibly insightful for their time. Every time I realize I’ve just spent a perfectly good day inside, staring at my laptop, I think of this song. Every time I close up the laptop, catch the bus and pull out my phone to stare at that screen, I also think of this song. When I get home, put away the phone and pull out the iPad to play games or watch a video, I think of this song again. I think the video is really well-done actually for a lot of reasons I won’t go into now but will be obvious once you watch it all the way through.

Photo via Wikipedia.

4. Knolling
This is something Mike’s always done and now that he knows what its called, it only makes sense to do it more often and with greater vigor. It may seem like a waste of time at first, but it provides a sense of order and calm as well as an extra moment to actually see the artifacts and tools (what Maaike calls “a mess”) that surround you. Knolling is only a small portion of this video. There are a lot of other great things to learn as well. One thing Mike has found is its better to Knoll in the morning than in the evening.

5. This American Life Podcasts
We’ve recently been doing a lot of drives from San Francisco to the Silicon valley. This drive would be horrible, if it weren’t for the amazing projects we are lucky to be working on, and This American Life. The radio show has been around a long time and it is always real. Recent favorites include the true story about the innocent dad who got pulled over by cops at gunpoint during the family vacation because of what his kids (and wife) wrote on the back of the car, or the girl who called Phil Collins to help her write a break-up song.