Indoteak Design Profile: Designer and Future Olympian Ben Hayward

March 28, 2019
By Ken

Ben Hayward and Indoteak Design teamed up late last year for a project Ben had lined up with HGTV and their program, Tiny House. His concept was to create a unique, totally original mobile home that had a green footprint, a bold design and beauty inside and out. When he asked us to provide the tile for his bathroom, we jumped at the chance to be involved.

Over the months that followed, we found that Ben was a great communicator who was very driven by his passions and his goals. He would check in with us to let us know how his project was moving along and to provide us with photos of his progress. As things are getting close to completion, the images are getting more and more exciting and we wanted to reach out to Ben so we could interview him for or first Indoteak Design interview.


You have done a similar build before with the Hobbit Van project(watch Video), What did you learn doing that build that you can apply to the current project?

The Hobbit Van project, when compared to the current venture, is a night and day difference in terms of technical complexity, but the spirit remains the same.  I am drawn to this design style of trying to get the most out of every square foot of design.  The Hobbit Van was my first real testing bed for experimenting with design ideas on a full scale.  Apart from some architecture models, I had never built anything before had little experience with wood working tools.  The Hobbit Van allowed me to gain construction and design experience when working with something unconventional.


In returning back to university to finish off my degree, I wanted to take a deep dive into what it would take to produce a mass market tiny house that was tailored for a North American clientele. This would, above all else, need to include high performance building systems, ease of use, ergonomic space saving components, and desirability.  The Hobbit Van taught me a lot about micro-living and what you need to feel comfortable in a space.  This current project attempts to retain the magic of the Hobbit Van, while removing the compromises in lifestyle.



You have a diverse group of interests: Kayaking, design, construction and student. How do you find the time for all your interests?

This current project has certainly made it a challenge to keep everything in balance.  I enjoy working towards ambitious goals but my time structure usually has to be parsed out into a primary workload and a secondary workload.  Right now I am working in two year rotations based around the Olympic cycle.

Two years prior to the Olympics, I will become a full time athlete and make architecture the secondary priority.  After the Olympic year, I focus on architecture/university as a top priority while making sure I am in a place where I can keep up with my training.   This meant it took me 8 years to complete my undergraduate degree but ultimately allowed me to pursue both of my passions with enough commitment to do them both well.


How did you find us here at Indoteak Design?

In the early construction days, I was giving a tour to the director of the architecture school and explaining the interior finish options that I was considering putting in.  When we got to the wet room, I was explaining some ideas for a tile mosaic that I was mulling over and she expressed what a shame it was that I would be using ceramic.

She pointed out that my project was based in the exploration of wood’s capabilities and that I could stay true to this theme by using teak tiles.  She then sent me an email linking me to IndoTeak Design and some amazing examples of designers using these teak tiles in wet room situations.




If you could go back and tell your 12 year old self one thing that would blow his mind about his future, what would it be?

I think the notion that there was a future possible in athletics and design would have been unthinkable to my awkward, shy, piano recital hating 12 year old self.  I was not particularly artistically or athletically inclined at that age and the idea of architecture as a profession seemed like one of those dream jobs was not realistic.





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