Based in South Kensington in West London, the studio creates intriguing objects that aestheticise their own utility and express their personalities by coming to life when they are used. Founded by designer Jim Rokos, the practice is fascinated with glass, producing a range of vases, candleholders and decanters.
They can mirror the behaviour of drinkers (13° 60° 104° decanter), or take on the behaviour of the contained item (Gauge flower vase). They can be shy or extrovert while performing their job (22° 36° 48° bowl), or give overstaying dinner guests a polite clue when it is time for them to go home (≲ 231 MIN candleholder).
The studio explores the physical properties of materials to generate aesthetic, intriguing concepts. Rokos (pronounced like rock, together with os, as in the the first syllable of ostrich) creates objects that sit in the intersection between industry and craft – each is made with the utmost care and are of exceptional quality, made without compromise at any stage of the process, from design to making.
Rokos won the prestigious 2012 Reddot Design award for the 13° 60° 104° wine decanter and the Enterprise Europe Network Award 2014 for the Gauge vase. The Gauge also won the German Design Award 2017, for Excellent Product Design. The ≲ 231 MIN has won a special mention in the German Design Awards 2021. Most recently the brand won the Luxury Law Summit's Luxury Design Award 2021.
'We were looking for a designer who has created a product that answers a luxury problem, shows conceptual design thinking and displays superior execution with a luxury feel. This designer has been creating inventive home décor in the luxury space. His products are both artistic and practical and are undoubtedly original.'
- Luxury Law Summit jury
Film by Jason Giberti, 2012
Jim Rokos FRSA is a multi award-winning designer. His patented cat-food bowl won BBC’s Tomorrow’s World's Best Inventions pilot in 2001. Whilst studying, D&AD included his work 'in-book' (2006). His Blindspot series is Design Parade selected (2007). In 2008, he won an RSA Design Directions award and in 2012 the Faces of Design award. More recent awards for the studio brand Rokos may be found here.
Originally he trained as a model-maker in the film and television industry (working on The Muppet Treasure Island, Band of Brothers, Tomb Raider, Victoria and Albert). Jim then went on to teach at a special needs school in London before completing a Master’s degree (2006) in Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (part of London’s University of the Arts). The university holds several pieces of his work in the CSM Museum & Study Collection.
Jim has spoken at the Design Council, Footprint Scenery, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Koppel Project for the Amazing Dyslexics, the think tank Public Policy Exchange, Material Matters and Designjunction. He has been interviewed by Brent Bambury for CBC radio's Day 6 program and Richard Macer for BBC FOUR's documentary 'Farther and Sun: A Dyslexic Road Trip'.
Jim has taught at the University of the Arts in London, Università di Trento in Italy, University of Greenwich in London, the Great Exhibition Road Festival and Creative Briefs.
Jim has written for It's Nice That, the RSA and his currently neglected blog.
'He says brands could unlock neurodivergent designers’ creativity by setting abstract rather than prescriptive creative briefs: “Instead of asking me to design a new hood, ask me to design a jacket so people can feel privacy in public.”'
- Bella Webb for Vogue Business
'One of the UK’s leading designers.'
- Jaime Derringer founder of Design Milk
Jim is passionate to explore the physicality of materials to create original and visually beautiful refined concepts. Visit Jim's website here:
In 2016, Jim curated the exhibition Dyslexic Design, which was designed by Ab Rogers and hosted by designjunction. The show challenged perceptions of dyslexia by accentuating its positive effects and its close association with design. Dyslexic Design is a Silver Winner in the London Design Awards; category: Pop-Ups, Display, Exhibit & Set Design. It was also nominated for the iF Social Impact Prize 2017 for Health & Demographic Change. Many now consider Jim's work to be a symbol of the gifts that dyslexia can bring.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I wasn’t dyslexic,” says Jim Rokos. “I can play with shapes and do experiments in my head.”
- Simon Usborne for the Guardian
'Jim believes the way dyslexics process information can contribute to the development of an idiosyncratic design style.'
- Philippa Wyatt for the Design Council
'Jim Rokos thinks dyslexics are highly creative problem solvers who think in ways that make for killer designs.'
- Margaret Rhodes for WIRED
'In Rokos’s telling, designers with dyslexia are especially good at solving problems in unconventional ways.'
- John Brownlee for Fast Company
Photograph by Kate Power and Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth, 2018.
'"It is my belief that I am able to design the way I do because of my dyslexia and not despite it." said curator Jim Rokos.'
- Emma Tucker for Dezeen