In his interview, Monsees talks about the intimidation factor of facing Big Tobacco, the obsessive design process, and whether or not he's getting in the way of man's primal desire to "burn stuff."
James Monsees was a founding fellow at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, in addition to being a part of Metaphase Design Group, K2 Sports and a wide variety of other projects.
While working on his Masters’s thesis at Stanford, James saw an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent the smoking paradigm and invented the Ploom vaporizer with Adam Bowen in 2007.
Ploom is an ingenious attempt to overthrow the irrational adherence the the “little white stick” model of the cigarette. Ploom heats tobacco rather than burns it, and throws out the nasty chemicals found in major cigarettes. Rather than burning a liquid like an e-cigarette, this product uses real tobacco–Which is why he’s so adamant this is not a “quit-smoking” product.
James holds an MFA in Product Design from Stanford University and a BA in Physics and Studio Art from Kenyon College.