Kickstarter at the London Design Festival


Though its architecture dates back to the eleventh century, London is at the forefront of contemporary design  —  a distinction it showcases every year during the week-long London Design Festival. The citywide celebration will take place this 17–25 September and features the works of a diverse array of forward-thinking designers, many of whom have brought their creative visions to life with Kickstarter. Whether you dream of weaving with an automatic knitting machine or are genetically predisposed to want your own portable DNA lab, there are wonders to explore around every corner. Here are some of the exhibits and events that feature innovative, inspiring projects from Kickstarter’s thriving Design community:

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Kickstarting Exploration at Dent:Space

Dent:Space
Dent:Space

 

For decades, space exploration has been the domain of government agencies and academic institutions. In other words, you did have to be a rocket scientist to take part. But that’s all changing. With an increasing number of private space missions and a groundswell in community-driven — and Kickstarter-funded — innovation happening in science and exploration, there are more opportunities than ever to participate. This democratization will be celebrated September 21–22, 2016, at San Francisco’s Dent:Space, an eagerly anticipated gathering of those involved with the technological, artistic, commercial, scientific, educational, and DIY aspects of space exploration.

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Kickstarter Advice from Webcomic Creator and Publisher IronSpike

C. Spike Trotman is in the business of comics. Both a nine-time Kickstarter creator and founder of Iron Circus Comics, Chicago’s largest comics publisher, she fully understands the webcomics business model. In our latest Creator Hangout, she shares helpful tips on how to successfully fund your project, connect with your fanbase, and ship your rewards on time. According to Spike, “I had a lot of faith in the platform because Kickstarter was formalizing and making transparent what cartoonists had already been doing for years”. We’ve pulled out our favorite quotes from the interview; make sure to watch the full video here!

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We’re now open to creators in Hong Kong & Singapore!

We've always admired the artists and innovators from Asia who have joined the Kickstarter community to bring their projects to life. And, notably, we've been overwhelmed by the passionate backer communities in Hong Kong and Singapore, who have pledged over 300,000 times to more than 40,000 creative projects around the world. 

Today, we're making it easier for creators in Hong Kong and Singapore to launch projects from their home countries by officially opening up Kickstarter to creators there. Backers around the world will see more creative and innovative projects emerge — and local backers will be able to take advantage of experiential rewards like attending a film screening or going to the opening night of a new restaurant. 

We’ve created a Facebook group for creators looking for help, and recently put together this FAQ based on questions we’ve received. 

To kick things off, we're proud to highlight a few projects that are now live. From the work of a 13-year-old Singaporean inventor looking to change the world to a conceptual cookbook from one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia, we're humbled and excited to see how creators will tap into the Kickstarter community.

The GIY Stick: Let nature self-water your pots.

With a vision to “make concrete jungles fertile,” Dylan Soh, a 13-year-old inventor, and his dad created the ultra-simple Grow It Yourself (GIY) Stick. The device requires no apps or pumps, and simply uses recycled bottles and fabric to keep your plants hydrated and healthy.

 

The Unappropriated Recipes: Para Site's First Cookbook

From Para Site, one of oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia, this conceptual cookbook reveals the raw and fresh perspectives of Hong Kong. This project is endorsed by Art Basel, as part of the partnership we have to catalyze much-needed support for outstanding non-profit arts organizations worldwide.

 

URI Led Light Bulb I Modern Lamp Design for Home Interior

These gorgeously futuristic and minimalist LED lightbulbs are created using intricately laser-cut acrylic patterns.

 

Hydra — Your Plant Care Companion

As his university schedule got increasingly busy, design student Brian Ong invented a watering automation system for his languishing plants. With the ability to water 10 or more plants, Hydra is a simple plant care system that Brian is now sharing with fellow indoor gardeners.

 

CROZ D.I.Y Digital Camera — Simple. Stylish. Iconic

CROZ is a slim, transparent digital camera with a specially designed acrylic casing.

 

As more creators launch their projects, you’ll find more projects from Singapore here and Hong Kong here.

A few reminders on how projects from these countries will work: 

Backers from around the world can support any project, including those from Hong Kong and Singapore, on Kickstarter with any Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card. 

Creators can now set their projects’ funding goals in HKD and SGD, and set up their accounts using local banking and business details. When projects are successfully funded, pledges will be collected in HKD and SGD. Similar to any project not listed in U.S. dollars, when looking at project pages, backers based in the U.S. will see the project’s goal displayed in USD. They'll also see reward tiers listed in U.S. dollars, with the HKD and SGD alongside.

Lessons about Community and Kickstarter Learned at Gen Con

Not all of us got to travel to Gen Con with the Kickstarter Games team, but reading superbacker Rod Meek’s notes from our panel, you could practically hear our Head of Games, Luke Crane, on stage. Rod’s takeaways emphasized the importance of community (and the importance of having the resources to manage your community), sticking to your plan, and having confidence in yourself and your idea. Here’s what he shared with our team.

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Introducing Prototype Gallery

One of the best things about being a Kickstarter backer is getting a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. Our Design and Technology creators share their earliest sketches and latest prototypes, tracing the evolution of their ideas and the iterative process behind bringing a complex project to life. That sense of authorship and access to a product's design history is largely absent elsewhere in culture. We’ve been working on a new feature that will make it easier for creators to showcase that hard work and creativity while allowing backers to understand the project's current stage of development.

The new Prototype Gallery will let creators add photos and videos of each step in their project’s development. They can dive deep into the back story without overloading their project page — everything will be neatly contained within the gallery. By flipping through, potential backers can see how an early proof of concept becomes a raw but functioning device and then takes on its final design. We selected a few creators to test out this feature starting today before releasing more widely in the coming months. Here are some examples from their galleries showing the five common stages of prototyping we’ve outlined:

Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."
Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."

Functional Prototype Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."
Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."

Appearance Prototype
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."
Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."

Design Prototype
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."
Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."

Production Prototype
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"
Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"

After this test period we plan to make the Prototype Gallery available to all creators launching Technology, Design, and Gaming Hardware projects. We hope this feature is useful to both creators and backers, and helps everyone appreciate all the ingenuity and effort that goes into the smallest details of these projects.

Follow Creators, Find Projects

We’re excited to announce a fun new way to discover projects. Starting today you can follow creators directly and be first to find out when their next projects launch. You’ll also be notified when they’ve backed a project that’s just getting off the ground. There are thousands of creative projects on Kickstarter at any given moment, and following creators you admire to get a sense of what inspires them is a great way to explore projects that are likely to speak to you — or to discover something completely unexpected and delightful.

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