Homeless: a new way of producing design (and an open competition)

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I am really looking forward to visiting Homeless www.homelessdesign.net during the Fuori Salone. It is a platform that aims at renewing the working and creative relationship between designers and craftsmen: a sort of new (ancient?) business model that makes it possible to get rid of all the intermediate steps between creation and purchase – hence actually of the distribution and of the whole company structure that normally supports productions. Which is, as you may imagine, where most of the money goes. If you pay 100 euros for a designed product in a shop, only 50 euros end up with the brand who manufactured it, before tax. Which then makes it roughly 25 euros. And from those 25 euros you will have to calculate the 3% that is due to the designer. Basically, peanuts (not only for the designer but often also for the company that earns a lot less than people expects also because numbers, in the design field, are truly very low). A different business model that basically cuts out the part that eats up the most and also provides the least added value obviously promises increased earnings for the designer and for the craftsman by setting a direct communication flow between the user and the creators. The challeges are huge. Who will sell the product? How will it communicate it? What role will internet play in all this? How will the distribution occur (and will it somehow occur or not)?I am sure Homeless has answers to all these questions and I look forward to meeting them in April.

Their approach, that promises “objects designed with intellegence, produced in small series and sold at a fair price” is not new: especially in Northen Europe many designers already operate in this way. But in most cases it is the designer who gets most of the glory while in this case it sounds as if the accent will be put on the craftsmen as well – which makes Homeless a thoroughly new concept. That reminds me of some conversations with Giulio Iacchetti and some of his recent remarks: faberblog.ilsole24ore.com/2011/12/terzista-sarai-tu/ … Homeless will have a showroom in Brera during the Fuori Salone and today it launches an appeal to all designers: propose your ideas for intelligent projects that can be produces through optimization of materials and time. A special jury (Fernando e Humberto Campana) will select the best one and will bring the winner to  Boisbuchet, in France, for a summer workshop organized also through Vitra. At the end of the Fuori Salone, all products exhibited will be sold. And there, we will definitely expect fair prices …

About Laura Traldi

I am a journalist at D la Repubblica. I also have a blog about #design that sometimes makes people talk. Visit www.designatlarge.it
This entry was posted in Agenda, Craftsmanship, Fuori Salone 2012 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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