100 Colorado Creatives: Jaime Kopke

Meigan Canfield
Kopke co-curated the design exhibition, Once Removed, in New York (2012) as part of ICFF.
#30: Jaime Kopke

Jaime Kopke hails from Massachusetts, but ended up in Colorado, bringing cultural gold in her pocket. She's helped spark more than a few creative projects here, from the city's ongoing Pecha Kucha series to the Denver Community Museum, a short-lived but brilliant pop-up people's reliquary that threw imaginative shows using the contributions -- and wishes, hopes and dreams -- of everyday folks. In her spare time, she kept the design blog, Designklub, and contributes to another at mocoloco.com. After shutting the DCM, Kopke took a break to complete her graduate studies, finally returning here in 2011 to a position at the Denver Art Museum, where she assists in adult programming and helps curate the museum's ongoing Untitled evenings.

We asked this born idea-maker to share some of her ideas via the 100CC questionnaire; read on to find out what makes her heart beat.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Christina Battle

Jaime Kopke (left) and Angela Schwab, founders of Pecha Kucha Night Denver.

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

When I was writing on my blog, Designklub, I would do an infrequent post called Future Friends. One of the people I highlighted was Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori. I have no idea what kind of project we would do together, perhaps designing some sort of meeting place/structure for happenings, but his work is incredible. He's been called a surrealist architect, creating these other-worldly buildings that are fantastical, but that also have humble qualities which are so appealing. He incorporates a lot of natural materials into his work; roofs of dandelions and grasses are common, along with walls made from charred wood. I admire that he incorporates a lot of research and traditional techniques into his projects, but that he applies them in a totally new way. Fujimori is also part of this nebulous (at least by Google standards) group called the ROJO Society. From what I can gather, ROJO is made up of Fujimori and a group of friends that document their city, looking for intriguing patterns/traces left by humans or nature, and photographing the things that are unusual and/or out-of-place. In a world where everything seems to need to be documented, it's refreshing that the project is more personal and doesn't need its own website or broadcasting. He is a little mysterious and I like that.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

I love the work of Arabeschi di Latte, an Italian collective that works in food design. Food is always at the heart of their work, but it is really more of a means for connecting people and stories. They create convivial happenings of all different forms, from workshops and pop-up restaurants to installations and brand styling events. One night they may be hosting a compost dinner and the next day they'll be running an open workshop where visitors grind and knead their own flour from a variety of plants. I think food is such a great connector and can be used to break down social barriers. Of course, the US has way stricter health and liability laws, so it would be hard to do the kind of free-spirited projects they do without a lot of permits and expenses, but the basis of their work is inspiring.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

With the constant flow of information we have at our fingertips, I feel like trends move so quickly you almost can ignore them. It's easy to look at blogs and websites to stay up-to-date, but there are so many sources and opinions now, it's also easy just to skip it. Over the years, I have come to appreciate the web for research and personal inspiration, but seeking trends is tiresome. If everyone just does work they are interested in, it will all be OK.

Continue reading for more on Jaime Kopke.

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