Ben & Mat
Lyon & Lyon
‘We always have a real drive to make an idea something real, and the key to that is imagination.’
Ben & Mat AKA Lyon & Lyon have been collaborating since before they were born, although they didn’t team up until their 30th birthday. Following their graduation from Sheffield Hallam, the brothers had gone their separate ways – Ben in interior design and Mat in product design. Eight years later they came together to form the design agency Lyon & Lyon.
Whilst Lyon & Lyon have offices in Sheffield and London their work spans much further afield. From tech start-ups in San Francisco to innovative high-end jewellery designers in Paris. They recently opened a spot at Makerversity in Somerset House, made possible by fellow CreativeMornings/Sheffield speaker Tom Tobia. They have worked with Urban Outfitters, Action Aid and Sheffield’s own S1 Artspace, amongst others.
‘What is an idea? How do we conceive ideas? How do you turbo charge an idea? When do we know an idea is a great idea?’
Ideas and people are at the forefront of their creative process. They gained notoriety early on with their ‘Six Mile Pencil’ – a self-initiated project to reconnect to the skill of sketching and idea forming away from the computer. What started as Kickstarter campaign went on to be produced, shipped worldwide – winning both awards and press as it went. The Six Mile Pencil captured people’s imaginations:
‘The Six Mile Pencil indicates how far you’ve drawn and contains six miles of graphite. Draw more, create more, let your thoughts travel.’
A simple idea that built into a story and a product that physically demonstrated their ethos. This led to them being featured in WIRED and even to be invited to an exclusive WIRED event with fellow guests such as Will.I.Am. This opened doors for them, including working with Urban Outfitters.
Ben & Mat expertly walk us through the process of delivering on your imagination. Including such things as embracing problems, keeping it simple, being open, writing it down, challenge convention and taking something routine then doing it backwards.
‘Take action. An idea is just a dream unless you take action.’
We are tempted by the possibilities of the beyond. Whether it’s deep space, the range of our talents, or our first date, our minds conjure stories that carry us aloft.
This unwavering, deep-seated determination to go far and wide is the fire that which keeps us alive, always marching forward.
What a trait to embody. Without the urge to go beyond perceived limitations or boundaries, we would be a dull, stagnating species indeed.