Barney Mason (Those Co-Founder and Lead Product Designer)

#MeetTheTeam: Barney Mason

Continuing our series of interviews with the people making Joto happen, this week Carmen speaks to Barney Mason, Lead Product Designer and one of Those’s three Co-Founders. He is responsible for the design, creation, testing and development of both our products, Woodpecker and Joto.


[Carmen:] Hi Barney, can you tell us a bit about your background?

[Barney:] Hey Carmen! I’ve always loved drawing and taking things apart to see how they work which led me on a path to study Product Design & Engineering at Brunel university. I honed my skills working at a brilliant toy design consultancy called designbytouch, at which point I immersed myself in a world of 3D modelling, rendering and you could say became a bit obsessed with 3D printing.
“Capture, Collect, Create” (Image: Barney Mason)

[C:] How did you end up at Those making Joto?

[B:] I was discovered by the fantastic team at Faberdashery who came across some of my 3D printed work. They introduced me to Jim who gave me the chance to work on his assortment of innovative ideas, the first of which was the beginnings of the Woodpecker.
Before long Jim, Jamie and I saw the potential of our collaboration and decided to make it official by establishing Those as a design studio.

[C:] What do you enjoy the most from working for a startup?

[B:] I find it hugely fulfilling to take an idea from my illegible scribblings through to a functioning prototype or rendered visual. At Those my responsibilities span the product development process so I get to be very hands-on sketching, prototyping (glueing!), rendering etc. All the things I really enjoy doing.

[C:] In what way has the development of the technology behind Woodpecker helped with the design of Joto?

[B:] Joto benefits from everything we’ve learnt while developing the Woodpecker in addition to all the feedback received from commercial installations. Something I didn’t anticipate however is the way in which new mechanisms developed for Joto have trickled down to the Woodpecker including the belt layout and the method for actuating the pen.
Woodpecker 2.0 mechanisms (Image: Barney Mason)

[C:] What would you say it’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had so far during the design process of Joto?

[B:] I think our biggest challenge when designing Joto has been distilling all our new ideas and experience from the Woodpecker into an object that feels right. I think we’ve come up with something that’s exciting to use and experience but also sits comfortably in any space.
Joto (Image: Barney Mason)

[C:] Finally, do you have any advice to someone who’s thinking of developing their own product?

[B:] It’s really important to find the right people to work with. As a small team we share a common mindset and vision but possess quite varied skill-sets which has proved invaluable in our development.

Carmen Domingo (Those, Communications Manager)
Kickstarting #Joto, the smart display that draws with a pen. Sign up to be the first to get it on Kickstarter!
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