From Kickstarter to the MoMA Design Store: How it Happened

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If you've spent any time on Kickstarter, it's clear how many incredible projects there are. Now, Kickstarter and MoMA present 24 Kickstarter-funded products available in the MoMA Design Store for the next two months. From a watch made of wood to a book that teaches you Chinese in an innovative way, everything you can see in the store is inventive, informative and beautifully designed. We asked a few creators to talk about the development of their project, and what it's like to have their product featured in the MoMA Design Store. 

ShaoLan Hsueh, Chineasy

 The design of Chineasy is so fundamental to its success, but I never assumed it would end up in a museum store. That being said, had you asked me if I could see it happening I would not have thought it impossible! I always had big hopes for Chineasy, and those hopes keep growing. I never set out to create a successful Kickstarter project or to publish a book, but I believe everything is possible once you set your mind to it.

Vlad Dragusin, MO-TO

I thought some adults would get it, and maybe end up as a desk toy. But I really focused on creating these cars as loved toys that get lots of play time. The drive for creating a beautiful design object was always there — instinctively — but not as an end in itself. As a child, seeing for the first time a dinosaur skeleton and dioramas with all sorts of beasts — it suddenly transported into reality what I abstractly knew from books or comics. It was like a switch flipped. Since then I tend to think about museums as "truth" places.

David Barry, Frank

The development of my project was really more happy accident than grand design. I was working on an occasional table, while reviewing a prototype for the metal legs I turned it upside down and thought, "hey, this kind of looks like a rabbit." My ambition for the project was simply for it to exist, for this little rabbit to be out in the world in people’s homes. I never dreamed it would end up in a museum design store. The fact that it’s in there rubbing shoulders with such iconic objects is totally surreal to me.

Kurt Rampton, Gigs 2 Go

As an industrial design consultancy, we work collaboratively with our clients' marketing and R&D teams, helping them realize their vision. With Gigs 2 Go, we had a chance to execute a vision that was entirely our own. This gave us an opportunity to express with clarity a concept that is not market driven, but idea driven. And we were able to infuse our values into the product, like sustainability and collaboration. We never imagined it might end up in a museum design store, especially one as venerable as MoMA. But we always aspire to create products that can be admired for their beauty and cleverness in addition to their utility.

Rafael Atijas, The Loog Guitar

Well, to tell you the truth, it was something I dreamed of from the very beginning. But I also wished to be called in as a bass player for The Rolling Stones and that never happened. But really: every visit to the museum, and not least to its store, is such a powerful dose of inspiration that I do feel a sense of full-circle by finally having our guitars at the MoMA Design Store.

Geoffrey Franklin, Bicycle Frame Handle

It never even crossed my mind! I was simply making the best product I could for my own personal use. I refined the idea over a two-year period of R&D and field testing. When I finally decided to launch the project through a Kickstarter campaign, I just attributed the success to hard work and refined design rather than as a work of art.

Patrick Martinez, JIX

When I first created JIX as an installation artist, I thought of it as an ever expanding sculpture project. I was hoping that it would inspire others to create stuff too. The fact that JIX is in a museum design store helps convey this idea. In that respect, it is an ideal interface.

Nir Chehanowski, Bulbing

When I develop my ideas I barely think of the end products, I concentrate on the concept, visuals, creation, materials... Letting myself get swept away by the process. I didn't imagine it would be in a museum's design store, some of my friends did say it immediately after they saw the first prototype.

Benjamin Redford, Projecteo 

I couldn't ever have imagined that it would end up in the MoMA store when I was designing it. I was more concerned with making just one for me on a 3D printer when I had the idea. It was only after that I realised that other people might like to have one as well.

Lorenzo Buffa, Carpenter Collection Wood Watch

The ultimate goal was to create a timepiece that was so minimal and so clean that it would be appreciated as art. The form has been broken down to the most basic and classic of watch shapes. You combine all of this with the natural beauty of wood and frankly we think we've created a sculpture for your wrist.

Shay Carmon, Perspective Clocks

While we developed the Perspective Clock Series, we did not think it would be in the MoMA design store. We did put a lot of attention to the design details and quality, after all we try to bring new meaning to time. But there are many beautiful products and clocks, and since we are located in Israel, the MoMA was a long way to reach. 

Pablo Garcia, NeoLucida

Not only did we not expect it to end up in a museum design store, we didn't plan on a business, or even a proper product. We launched NeoLucida because we were inspired by David Hockney's book Secret Knowledge. He used an antique camera lucida to see how great masters of art might have seen the world. So to give our students this experience, we decided to make an inexpensive camera lucida so more people could experiment. But when we received nearly 3000% over our goal, and 11,406 people backed the project, we found ourselves designing for the marketplace instead of making a simple, small scale experiment. 

Max Gunawan, Lumio

I simply wanted to design an object that is both functional and beautiful. I think the combination of those two qualities in a product is something that appeals to the larger public in general, and in this case, caught the attention of the museum design store.

C. C. O'Hanlon, Impossible Instant Lab

Without wanting to appear to take this wonderful opportunity for granted, Impossible is an unusual company in that what it produces, including the instant lab and Impossible's range of instant film — does end up in some very unusual places: in artist’s studios, art galleries, the ateliers of haute couture designers, on the walls (or in the archives) of museums. We have imagined that the Instant Lab might be ideally positioned in a museum design store, whose customers are arguably the most likely to appreciate its utility.

Pete Dilworth, 3Doodler

I really never saw it going as far as it did, I was hoping that the Kickstarter campaign would yield maybe $100k+ if we were lucky, just enough to get a very small business going, but never in a million years did I anticipate what eventually happened. I am continually amazed and honored that we are represented in places with as much prestige as MoMA.

Jennifer Lee, Powerslayer

Since we are developing technology products, we never imagined we would end up in a museum design store, especially the MoMA. We always had good design in mind during product development and understand that design is important to everyone. We are flattered and honored that our tech product was chosen for the very qualities that we aspired to — good design, high quality materials and innovative technology.

Duncan Shotton, Rainbow Pencils

I've always had a little list of things I'd like to achieve in my design career, and getting my products into the MoMA design store was one of them. Of course during development, you never know, and can only imagine and hope.

Jurij Lozic, Musguard

This whole project was somewhat experimental — I didn't know what to expect. I just gave it my best in every aspect, every step. I didn't expect Musguard to be sold in a museum shop, so I was really surprised when MoMA reached out at first (right after the campaign actually). It was a huge honor for me and still is.

Scott Thrift, The Present

The Present is equal parts "functional work of art" and "marketable product" so the MoMA Design Store is the ideal retail partner for a mind-bending 365 day clock.

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