Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Utility Collective


I'm really excited to share this with you! Eric Pfeiffer and Steve Piccus have recently launched The Utility Collective. Their first product 'Mix Boxes'(above) a multitude of different sized well formed boxes that you can arrange how you see fit to meet your storage needs is really quite democratic in more ways then one. One of the the most poignant details is not something you can see with your eye, it's the story of how it got to you. I'll let them explain...

The goal for TUC is to not only bring intelligent products to market, but to offer a window into the making of these products.   TUC is focused on creating objects  in the US with a select group of factories and craftsmen. Each item is made on demand and shipped direct from our factory partners to our customers.  Our hope is to create a stronger more visible connection between where products are made and the people that will ultimately be using them.

Inspired by the our local farmers market and the slow food movement, we developed TUC with the same approach to "making". The strategy is to highlight  factories, designers and actual makers right here is the US.  Design, make and sell local - that's our model and we think the time is right to connect consumers to making products here in the US. 

Part of this process is making it as transparent to the consumer as possible. Thus you'll see how items are brought to market. You see this below with their new "whale" product. To the left are some of the first prototypes and to the right is the most recent prototype with a much more interesting wood grain and from a sustainable source. This is one of the most intriguing parts about TUC since as a designer myself I always want to know how things are made. See some process images of Mix Boxes here.

By the way, that adorable Mister Whale has yet to be named. I kind of want to send in some options don't you?  Can't you just see Mister Whale greeting you every morning when you sit down at work, I'm sure he'll be chipper then your co-workers. 


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