Five Questions with The Pure Company's Deborah Jessup

Meet The Pure Company’s Industrial Designer, Deborah Jessup. Her surprising background in designing field equipment for BP to her passion for designing beautiful and practical products for modern homes. In her words, “I envision bringing aesthetically pleasing artifacts into the world while also creating practical goods that improve one’s quality of life.”

If you stand still long enough to watch the world around you, and take note of the people and animals who wander across your path, it’s almost impossible not to be inspired. For Deborah Jessup, the lead Industrial Designer at The Pure Company, it’s that very mode of fixed observation that allows her to draw from her surroundings and channel her experiences into design.

“I long to create beautiful and practical things for people,” says Jessup. “I envision bringing aesthetically pleasing artifacts into the world while also creating practical goods that improve one’s quality of life.”

What are some of the most inspirational structures you’ve seen that first only existed in nature but can bring beauty and functionality to the modern world?

The Cortex cast, designed by a recent graduate, is a breathable and lightweight “exoskeleton cast” that mimics the body's trabecular, the small honeycomb-like structure that makes up the inner bone structure. The cast lets in plenty of air, which prevents a stuffy, itchy feeling and it looks pretty cool.

Also, when the Japanese were upgrading their high-speed bullet trains, they had a problem with the trains creating a loud shock wave when they entered tunnels. They looked to nature to solve the problem by modeling the train after the beak of the Kingfisher bird, whose beak shape allowed them to dive into water to hunt with a minimal amount of splashing.

I also appreciate the use of nature in home decorating. For example, wood is a natural element that is beautiful and functional in our floors and furniture, and the honeycomb pattern is often used in speaker and vent grills.

Top three places on your travel wish list

Living in Europe for five years provided me a springboard to travel all over the world. I’m lucky to have been to 51 countries now and I still want to explore more!

Next on the list for me would be:

1) Vietnam - I would love to see the rice terraces there. I know they didn’t intentionally create the terraces to be beautiful, but that’s definitely an example of something that’s very functional yet very beautiful at the same time.

2) The Namib Desert in Africa - There's something about Deadvlei, with the dead trees contrasted against the sand dunes, that really intrigues me.

3) Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist. 

City with your favorite architecture

I may be biased because I lived in the Netherlands for three years, but I love Amsterdam’s architecture. The tall, narrow canal houses and charming gabled facades make my heart flutter.

Describe your perfect day

When we were living in Munich, Germany, I felt like I experienced many “perfect” days. I would wake up at a leisurely hour and walk across the street to the Viktualienmarkt, the oldest farmers market in Munich. There, I would eat a nice savory breakfast (along with a beer), with my husband and dog. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere, off leash, in Germany, as long as they are well trained. After breakfast, I would do some grocery shopping at the farmers market. Then, I would bike over to the English Garden to read a book, play some spikeball, and people watch. Later that day, I might do some painting or sketching, or a DIY project around the house. Then in the evening, I’d stroll over to a historic movie theater and pick up an ice cream cone along the way.

Three famous people – living or dead – that you’d most like to get trapped in an elevator with

Michelle Obama, Brad Paisley, and Joanna Gaines!

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