Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rigorous University Design Program Brings 'Ideal' Amount of Upcycle to the Northwest

"Splash" bowl by Nick Hanlon made
 with clear plastic flatware
I love sexy and sleek design.  As a publicist in New York, I had the opportunity to promote home decor items for actress Jane Seymour, Richard Mishaan, and  U.K. celeb interior designer Kelly Hoppen's boutique at Bergdorf Goodman.

It seems since puberty, I have had an interest in arranging home accessories to create a "look." My father was an architect with top firms in Dallas and Seattle, so having an eye for detail runs in the family. While I have been focused on the Native American fine art world of late, my love for good, thoughtful and functional design has never gone away.

Ideal purveyors Lisa VanDoren and
Kathleen Iwerson help
WWU Industrial Design Students
price their "ReMade" pieces
Last week, I had the opportunity to work on another arts and culture segment for KGMI NewsTalk 790 featuring some remarkable students from the Western Washington University Industrial Design Program.  Seeing what they could do was a life-changing experience for me, and a reminder that we all should never give up and continue to follow our dreams and passions.

While many students take design classes at Western, only 12 are allowed to move on to the junior and senior levels with the chance to earn a Bachelors of Science degree. 

Students in the program learn how to make a variety of products throughout the year.  Once a year, the junior class completes an assignment that requires them to seek out discarded materials in the community and upcycle them into functional design products.  They must ensure that the items can be mass produced and brought to Market.

For the last five years, students have worked with Bellingham's Ideal--Carefully Curated Goods, a local design and home goods shop, to bring them to the community through "ReMade."  The 2013 edition of ReMade opened February 1st during the Downtown Bellingham ArtWalk and featured 13 products ranging from yo-yos to flower vases, dish scrubbers, glass storage containers, and decorative bowls made from clear plastic flatware. The store quickly filled with people as they scooped up the pieces that range in price from $6 to $125. Items are available for purchase through March 31 or until they're gone.  Since there are only 20 of each item, supplies are sure to go fast!
"Scrub e" by Rosalee Daughtry
made from Sunforager boat canvas
and reclaimed teak wood

Watch a multimedia video featuring my KGMI radio "ReMade" segment and photos that capture the coolness of the project HERE.

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