As Martin Keen sees it, the best ideas are born out of need. In his case, he needed to find a way to work in “a posture other than sitting.” At the time, he had just moved from California to Rhode Island and was deeply immersed in the world of footwear design. Working by himself, he had the flexibility to experiment with ideas and positions until he hit on something that worked. Standing at an architect’s table proved to be too exhausting to do it for any extended period of time. Then he hit on an idea. “I got a stool, tipped it forward and leaned it against a surface at an angle,” he says. It proved to be the magic formula.