To Lauren Ko, pies are more than just food. The Seattle-based, 31–year-old baker says she is “more an artist and designer than a baker.” The only difference is that her medium is edible. Ko is known for her colorful, geometric designs that toss out traditional baking conventions. It’s something she’s proud of. “Pies are a very warm, traditional, nostalgic kind of food, but to see it done in a modern and unique way is what makes them so appealing,” she said.
Some of Ko’s designs don’t resemble traditional pie at all, but that’s what she says makes the pies so novel and appealing for fans. She’s inspired by architecture, string art, textiles and even produce. Ko told INSIDER she’s taken inspiration from items like lawn chairs and purses to bathroom floors and storm drains. “I like to say inspiration is everywhere,” she said.
Ko made her first pie in the fall of 2016, when she moved to Seattle. She said she wanted to try something different in the world of floral, leaf cutout-style pies by taking a design-heavy approach. Ko says she enjoys the design process more than anything else. “It’s important my creations are edible, but I’m spending my resources thinking about new designs and ways I can innovate,” she said.