Start with One
MONMADE’S ONE GREEN PRODUCT DESIGN COMPETITION TO AWARD WINNERS ON EARTH DAY, APRIL 22.
by Reese Randall
March 24, 2021
With a mission to help cultivate a creative ecosystem around Western Pennsylvania, Monmade — the sustainable, handmade and manufactured design customs solutions organization offering product transparency, is now rewarding it. "There are designers, entrepreneur-artists, manufacturers and craft businesses that we recognized needed help with development and resources,” explains Katie Schaible, director of Monmade.
As a resource, Monmade helps to bring artisanal design to market and support regionally sourced, responsibly made, and environmentally conscious products for design and development projects.
“It’s easy to open a magazine and order a product from overseas, but if you dissect that product you may not have the truest form of sustainability. The footprint of how these products are made is low. By supporting our regional artists and manufactures, we are helping to drive the demand for locally made design we should be fostering.”
Schaible’s background is in industrial design. While a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh,Schaible would search for design competitions.
“These competitions are a big part of my life and I love them. People are hungry for them and so part of this is to encourage producers to continue evolving in the sustainability world,” says Schaible.
In large part, what local producers or artists are up against is research and development.
“We want to help cultivate their products and give them some grants to help them take their product to the next level,” says Schaible. “In the end, we’re letting them retain their intellectual property, but we get to promote their product and help sell their work.”
Monmade works with multiple architecture and development firms who get what they are all about and value the impact and uniqueness these products bring to their projects.
“We’re constantly reaching out to build and cultivate relationships with architects, building owners and developers, too. They have the power to request a large quantity of an artist’s work,” explains Schaible. “When you add that all together the resources are endless.”
A few of Monmade's most recent collaborations and projects include artisanal designs for TRYP Hotel in Lawrenceville, Mews on Butler and Eighth & Penn.
“Our sustainability consultant, Shayna Bodi works with the Green Building Alliance (GBA). “She thought if we could get people to just buy oneproduct and put one foot in front of the other. We thought how do we help people start?” recalls Schaible. The answer: Start with one.
One Green Product Design Competition 2021 was announced this month and the product concepts and applications deadline is April 12. “Three winners will be announced on Earth Day and will be awarded $1,500 each,” says Schaible. “Applicants have to put visuals together and make a business case for the materials and what they’re making,” explains Schaible. The panel (not consisting of Monmade staff) will select the finalists. “I think people are excited about it. I know we’re excited to see producers take one step ahead.”
For more information about Monmade and One Green Product Design Competition or to learn more about sourcing and integrating locally produced design into commercial and residential projects, 2021, visit monmade.org.