A State of Flux...

Since the foundation of Flux Design in January of 2000, by former MIAD [Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design] students Jeremy Shamrowicz & Jesse Meyer, the business has experienced near-exponential growth. The designers began by recycling found lumber & scrap metal & turning it into "organic" furniture. After landing their first full blown interior design contract, for one of the downtown’s hottest nightspots, Eve [in 2001], the firm has gone on to be involved with a broad range of projects including Vivo Urban Grill, Terrace Bar & Vucciria. With a booth at the prestigious 2002 Chicago Design Show, Flux poised itself to take their business to even greater prominence. Their list of Client's has continued to grow in scale & scope.

In 2000, Shamrowicz & Meyer opened Gallery 326 in one of the Historic Third Ward warehouse spaces. When they initially rented the space, it was nothing more than a shell. Over the course of several months, they literally camped indoors while working on the installation of the new interior. Simultaneously, they began producing furniture to show at the gallery's opening events & their team began to grow.

The use of scrap materials in those first pieces was as much a necessity as it was a design decision.  Restricted by a shoestring budget, they were forced to find resources wherever possible. In spite of this limitation, Shamrowicz & Meyer's hard work made the opening of 326 on Gallery Night a resounding success.  The gallery not only drew a large turnout, but the pair managed to sell numerous pieces of furniture & sculpture.

The design principles of Flux are at once timeless & modern. They work in media as varied as concrete, glass, wood, plastic, stone & steel.  Shamrowicz cites a wide range of influences for their designs, from contemporary Japanese minimalism, to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright & even the futuristic special effects found in movies such as Dune, Blade Runner & Star Wars.

"We study the human factor of the space. How do people interact with it? How will shapes, colors & textures come into play?  How can we use light & shadow to create a different visual effect? We consider all of these elements when we design," says Shamrowicz. “& hopefully, we’ll be able to evoke some sort of emotional response from our clients in the process.”

"We take great pride in our work.  If we make a piece for someone's home that they enjoy & want to pass down to their children as a family heirloom, that's extremely flattering," Shamrowicz continues. "It gives us some hedonistic sense of immortality.  It’s a great feeling to know that our work will live on long after we’re gone."

Over the past several years, Flux Design's crew has included interns from as far as France, Switzerland & Japan, as well as creative artists & craftsman from backgrounds as varied as sculpture, painting, illustration, printmaking, film making, industrial design & communication design. Since moving into their 20,000 square-foot fabrication facility in the Riverworks Business Park, they have continued to develop professional & civic relationships by hosting special events & gallery openings.  While the residential work that gave Flux its start is still an integral part of the business, the scope of their projects has expanded greatly.  From retail stores, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs & corporate offices, Flux's growing list of clients is as varied as it is impressive. 

Working with companies such as Starbucks, Laughlin-Constable, Masterlock, Ducati Motorcycles, the Zimmerman Design Group, Kubala Washatko Architects & restaurants like Sauce, Eve, Vivo Urban Grill & Roots has provided Flux with an opportunity to flex their creative muscle.  "We work with our clients to bring their vision to life," says Shamrowicz. "Whether it's a loft interior, a conference table or a sculpture, our aim is to integrate form & function in a manner that will be best for them."

Shamrowicz is also quick to point out that Milwaukee is the perfect city for Flux Design. “The Calatrava expansion is great. It proves that Milwaukee is willing to take risks & embrace creative design. But there is a thriving art & design scene beyond that. At Flux, we do what we can to be innovators. For us, its about change & growth . . . to push the boundaries of design & the materials we work in. Essentially, we’re in a constant state of flux."

edited from "Get Fluxed" - info* magazine fall, 2002
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