When Steve Buetow and Scott Helmes – two award winning architects – were layed off from architectural firms, they decided to do something about it. As friends for over 40 years, it was natural to start a new journey together. Since its inception in 2011, S2BH has been designing and selling table top accessories made out of Dupont corian®. Their work can be found in museums all over the country – namely, the Museum of Modern Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Jewish Museum.
Learn the S2BH. story in our exclusive Modern Midwest Q&A.
Modern Midwest: Tell us about your company.
Scott Helmes: It is just the two founders who handle all aspects from material procurement through design, fabricating, and marketing. The primary product uses corian® (most people recognize it as a counter top material), which is food safe and can be used indoors and out. S2BH utilizes material which is destine for the scrap bin or been discontinued. Washable, durable and color fast, it is an ideal material for creative accessories. We primarily sell to Museum Shops nationwide. S2BH has completed two special commissions for The Jewish Museum in New York, both of which have been featured in the ‘New York Times’. Amy Kirkpatrick, at Kirkpatrick Design, also serves as our graphic designer and product evaluator.
MM: When/why was it born?
SH: It was done because both of the owners are creative persons and did not want to end their careers as ‘over the hill’ (ie: over 60) designers. They chose to make things as opposed to just design things as there is a significant difference when you can influence the complete process. In architecture, final designs always are subject to many other inputs and decisions; where as a product is pretty much a take it or leave it proposition.
MM: What’s your creative process like?
SH: Impossible to describe, but very co-operative. Steve is the main designer, Scott’s role is much broader and nuanced. The corian® material properties are the main restraint, yet they allow a wide variety of opportunities that encourage experimentation and discovery. Input from friends is also instrumental in product review and initial ideas.
MM: What makes the Midwest, specifically Minnesota, special?
SH: An extremely wide and varied climate and culture, which does not limit a creative person to grow and develop in whatever way and manner deemed appropriate.
MM: What’s one thing a non-Minnesota native should know about the city?
SH: Winter is an opportunity, not a detriment.
MM: Where do you get your inspiration?
SH: We get it from just about everything. The main idea is to look, listen and think.
MM: What’s something new – or challenging – that you’re working on?
SH: It’s always a challenge to explain corian® to the general public. It’s been around for over 40 years.
MM: Any fun facts about the brand or making process that you’d like to share?
SH: It’s always surprising as we don’t have a plan in mind, we take it where it leads us.
Shop a variety of S2BH’s functional art at Modern Midwest’s first-ever “Modern Market” in Minneapolis’ North Loop. In addition to S2BH, a carefully curated selection of local makers will showcase their goods at Modern Market – all of which embody the Midwest’s distinct take on modern living. Enjoy local food and drink, live music and art while supporting the Minneapolis maker community!
Thursday, December 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast Horse, 240 9th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
GET IN ON THE ACTION!
$10 in advance / $20 day of