Introducing Designed by Artists

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Artists on Kickstarter are launching projects that push beyond their own categories, working in disciplines like Design and Technology to develop products that bring communities closer together. Here on the Arts team, we’ve asked ourselves how to best elevate these cross-category projects—and what resources artists need to build their first product.

Today, we’re excited to announce the beginning of a new initiative called Designed by Artists, a celebration of Kickstarter projects by artists building community-centered products. From conceptual dating apps to hardware for new media art, these projects create thoughtful, useful products that enrich the lives of the people who use them—and we’re here to help you to make one too.

Join the initiative.

Similar to initiatives like Kickstarter Commissions and our Design and Technology team’s Request for Projects, Designed by Artists is an invitation for you to launch a project. This time, we’re looking to highlight artist-designed products that take their bold ideas outside the patron, gallery, and institutional models—and put them in the hands of the community they serve.

Artist-designed products funded on Kickstarter
Artist-designed products funded on Kickstarter

Here are some previously funded projects that fit the spirit of Designed by Artists to get you inspired:

  • Flint Water: Artist Pope.L produced 900 water bottles in conjunction with an exhibition to raise awareness and funds for the Flint Water Crisis. 
  • Dulltech: A group of new media artists led by Constant Dullaart built an easy-to-use loop and synch video player for their peers. 
  • NeoLucida: Artists and professors Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin designed a portable camera lucida for students, artists, architects, and “anyone who loves to draw from life.” 
  • Little Sun: Artist Olafur Eliasson collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create this solar-powered phone charger to provide wider access to sustainable energy. 
  • Ways of Being: Members of the arts collective BFAMFAPhD designed a website, card game, and book for teachers to foster collaboration, contemplation, and analysis. 
  • Personals: Graphic designer Kelly Rakowski created a text-based dating and community app for the LBTQIA+ community.

Already have a project in the works? We’re here to help! Send a quick paragraph about you and the project to [email protected].

Designed by Artists is live October 15 through November 15 by featuring live projects in newsletters, social media, and more. We’ll also be sharing lasting resources for artists looking to build their first products—including information on how to scale your work, identify manufacturers, activate your community, and more—so stay tuned.

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