Restorative product design
Primarily a service-based and educational design entity, we promote a new wave of design that understands the positive impact that localized and modest-scale product creation can have on social and environmental systems.
We work to strengthen maker-communities who wish to develop their design and making skills, creating goods that predominantly utilize native plant-based resources cultivated in managed forest systems or reforestation scenarios, in order to help rebuild natural systems.
Through our projects with non-profit / community partners, we deploy young designers and makers aiming to demonstrate a working and accessible regenerative design model, whilst disseminating vital ecological comprehension over how we can design with and for natural and social systems.
Please stay tuned for more as we get out site in order!
STRENGTHENING MAKER COMMUNITIES
Alongside local non-profits, we organize Design Workshops, aiming to strengthen maker-communities who lack access to skills-building resources, focusing on modest-scale production of useful house-hold goods.
In addition to gaining basic design skills, these workshops emphasize novice or in-depth ‘making techniques’, tailored to community needs in areas such as ceramics, concrete/sawdust compounds, wood working, plant-based dyes and fiber-arts, encouraging locally cultivated plant-based materials, and building upon traditional and regional crafting techniques where applicable.
The workshops are hosted by volunteer design / maker professionals and students, who finance this work through crowd-funding - which we help set up! This shifts power back into the hands of all people: You do not need to be connected to money, large organizations or have a long list of qualifications to participate in giving back to your fellow makers.
We are deeply inspired by the Campesino-a-Campesino and Localization movement, the latter being key to key to addressing climate change, social injustice and building happy and independent communities.
REBUILDING THROUGH MAKING
We primarily work with communities who wish to revegetate denuded landscapes, by cultivating highly diverse managed forest systems with native vegetation, that reinstates lost ecosystem services* and that supports human and wildlife communities.
We often hear about diversification of food-crop systems, and believe we can further diversify such schemes through cultivation of materials.
* Services that nature ‘provides’, and from which we benefit: Such as vegetative systems that provide us with clean air, water, food etc.
TEACHING AND DEMONSTRATING RESTORATIVE DESIGN
Christine teaches a course at Parsons School of Design which specifically introduces designers to a reforestation model, where former deforested cattle ranches are converted to timber plantations. It exemplifies how designers and makers, through the application of a wider breadth of local plant-based materials cultivated in managed schemes, can help diversify these systems and subsequently enhance ecosystem services and wildlife habitat initially lost to deforestation and land-use change.
Teaching restorative design begins by re-framing how we see ‘Others’ - humans, or non-humans - along with rethinking the meaning of community: A community is comprised of everything in your view, from a rock to your neighbor’s cat. Re-learning to see this takes place through a range of educational graphic work, educational programming, exercises and field-trips.
DESIGNING FOR PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Being makers who make, we also design and create our own small line of goods - either locally in NY, or with partnering communities. Most of these goods are designed for non-human clients: birds, small mammals and plants.
Please stay tuned for our near-future miniature launch!