Mitch Heinrich, IDSA

Mitch Heinrich, IDSA
Senior Director of Bolt Projects
Bolt Threads

Mitch Heinrich’s career as an industrial designer has spanned a wide spectrum of products and markets. He has led or contributed to a diversity of projects including a modern airship to reduce the carbon footprint of global shipping, glucose monitoring contact lenses for type 1 diabetics, energy storage devices for the developing world, and large-scale carbon fiber kites for electricity generation.

Heinrich is known for diving into new product categories and thorny technical challenges with a tactile, fabrication-forward approach. In 2012, he founded the Design Kitchen at Google [x] where the blend of design and rapid in-house fabrication helped birth the audacious projects for which the secretive group is known. He recently established Bolt Projects, an early stage product development studio inside the biomaterials company, Bolt Threads, where he is focused on bringing new sustainable materials out of the lab and into the world.

In addition to over 50 patents granted or pending, the products of his efforts have been shown at the NY MoMA, SF MoMA and Cooper-Hewitt and recognized with awards from Spark, Popular Mechanics and The Dieline.


What are you looking for in an IDEA-winning product?

Substance. Design that goes beyond styling to make the object more useful, valuable and meaningful to the owner. 

What is the biggest shift in the design world you’ve noticed since your career began? 

Designers' personal convictions are having a growing impact on making a more sustainable material world.

What keeps you inspired?

Working toward the future I want to live in.

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