Core77 Q&A with DIY-er Ben Uyeda: Send Your Questions

Core77 is currently pooling questions from our readers for Ben Uyeda, former architect and founder of the DIY Youtube channel HomeMade Modern!

If you’re interested in asking Ben any questions—and really, anything you’re curious about!—you can submit them in this discussion board thread. We’ll send them to Ben and he might respond to it in our upcoming video Q&A!

You can read more about him and the Q&A here: Q&A with Ben Uyeda of HomeMade Modern: Send Us Your Questions - Core77

Looking forward to your questions!

I give up, why would anyone want to ask a question?

Hi Dan,

Ben Uyeda is the co-founder of the architecture firm ZeroEnergy Design and went on to start his own DIY Youtube channel in an effort to provide free design plans to the general public for furniture and homewares and encourage people to delve into making rather than purchasing from places like IKEA. He has expertise in the worlds of architecture, DIY and furniture making, but also how to successfully run a profitable, sponsor-supported business simply with online video content.

That’s why I’ve noted that you could ask him anything- is there a DIY project you’re hoping to work on and you’re still unsure which materials would be best for the job? Interested in starting a successful woodworking YouTube channel? Curious who his favorite designers are or what his process is like when coming up with his designs?

If you’re not familiar with Ben’s work and interested in learning more, he explains why he left architecture to gives his designs away for free in this TED Talk: Why I Give My Best Design Ideas Away for Free | Ben Uyeda | TEDxJamaicaPlain - YouTube

That’s pretty much what we all do.

True, but Ben has monetized what we do in a different way. It’s something I really want to do eventually seems like a good way to make a bit of extra income (or full time) documenting the process of my side projects. I don’t see anyone here asking Ben for material or DIY help. But he is a master at getting brands deals and monetizing content.

Questions for Ben (most of these are a multi part):

  1. What is your thought on creating content showing how to recreate someone else’s design (or heavily inspired)? I realize that creating content is in itself difficult, so making the video/blog/imagery is the “content” per se, not necessarily the design. But there have been numerous videos showing how to create a Greg Klassen, George Nelson, Nakashima, Etc (heavily) inspired piece.( A specific example related to you is your video of making Kaspar Hamacher burnt stool.) You’re not selling the piece, but you are monetizing the design/ip. Your thought’s on this topic as a designer/arch business owner.

  2. How does video limit/create/influence your creative ability? Do you skip projects that wouldn’t make a good video or do you mold your creative explorations to become video friendly? Have you been doing this long enough that everything revolves around creating content, so most of your ideas seem to be in that space, regardless if you wanted them to be? For example, you have access to the Autodesk build space and giant 5 axis CNCs. Will we ever see something with that or does your commitment to your audience make it difficult to explore too far away?

  3. For designers who want to get into the business of monetizing content. What advice/resources can you recommend. Most industrial designers could create designs and videos, but few have the skill set to make brand relations, build the right type of social audience etc. Places we can check out for more pin pointed resources. Or is it things like Gary V and Chris Do?

Sain, thanks for these great questions! We’ll be sure to send them Ben’s way.

For anyone else interested in asking Ben a question, you have until this Friday (July 28th!) to submit.

Updated my question to have a specific example. Not sure if you already asked, but I made #1 a bit more specific to Ben and not the YouTube community in general.

Hi all,

In case you haven’t seen yet, the interview with Ben is now up on the homepage and YouTube! We Asked DIY Designer Ben Uyeda 5 Questions - Core77

Awesome, thanks for asking my questions. Very good insight into his thought process.