Wednesday, March 26, 2008

design with conscience

Artecnica is a design firm that emphasizes a mix between art and technoogy to, as they say "elevate the value and purpose of everyday objects..." They work with various, international contemporary desginers to produce an interesting line of mostly high-end products. Based in California, they have always had a sustainable approach to design and production, but the most interesting, in my opinion is their project, "Design with Conscience," whereby they pair up a leading designer, say Dutch designers Tord Boontje or Hella Jongerius, with artisans in developing countries, in this case Rio de Janiero and Peru respectively. Working with the non profit Aid to Artisans and the British Craft Council, this project creates not only a more affordable product of these designers, more importantly draws out the importance and potential of collaboration, and the links between these two types of designers, artisan and design studio. In addition, these products often have an eco-approach to materials, for example the project between Estudio Campana and artisans from rural Vietnam that uses repurposed scooter tires and natural wicker to produce a unique type of container or the tranSglass line which transforms recycled materials into a beautiful glass-like material that is then crafted by Guatemalen craftsmen into designs by Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden. It's one of their best selling products. Take a look at their website for more information,

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