About this project
Thank you for all the support! If you missed our Kickstarter you can find out more about our products and mission at www.DesignHouseChicago.org.
What is DesignHouse?
DesignHouse, Inc. is about growing U.S. manufacturing through design. We formed our not-for-profit organization this past spring after watching too many small Chicago manufacturers quietly go out of business. Our unique approach reverses the typical design process:
Most designers come up with an idea, develop the concept to be manufactured, and then they look far and wide to find production options. Often production ends up overseas. At DesignHouse we think there's a better way.
We start by finding a manufacturer, learning what they do best, and then designing a range of products to be produced using their skills & equipment. To brainstorm product concepts, we host design jams centered on one local manufacturer. Design jams are hands-on ideation sessions which gather the local design community to participate in the process together. Attendees get to stretch beyond their typical day-to-day, learn about manufacturing, and work side by side with top design talent.
DesignHouse then works with student teams to develop the concepts, create prototypes, and work through manufacturing considerations. We have collaborated with students in design programs at Northwestern University and Virginia Tech to help bring our first ideas forward, including REVEAL.
What is REVEAL?
REVEAL was created by a collective of designers committed to local manufacturing. We call ourselves DesignHouse, and this is our first Kickstarter.
REVEAL is a simple new take on a photo frame. This anodized aluminum frame makes it a snap to display your favorite shots. Photo taking has changed a lot, but photo frames haven't kept pace; digital photos no longer require the protection of being behind glass. The REVEAL photo frame addresses this with a simple flat-pack, glassless design.
Simply bend out the back stand, tuck your photo into the front corners and enjoy.
REVEAL comes in two sizes to fit your 4x6 inch or 4x4 inch photos, and is available in three finishes.
How did REVEAL come to exist?
After touring a handful of local manufacturers we found SKOL, a metal fabricator located on Chicago's north side.
SKOL has been punching, bending, welding, and finishing metal for three generations. Their rich history and openness to innovation made SKOL the ideal partner.
We then brought together over 40 people for an evening of brainstorming and ideation in the Design Jam, focusing on SKOL's expertise.
We followed this with another similar event during Chicago Ideas Week in which we challenged ourselves to go from concept to product in just one week. The design jams involved paper mock-ups, sketching, and lots of building upon each others' ideas.
The concept gradually evolved from sketches to paper, and from poster board to metal prototypes. We made the first milled prototypes using the new Carvey 3D carving machine by Inventables.
REVEAL being prototyped by Carvey, a 3D carving machine created by Inventables. Carvey got its start on Kickstarter too!
REVEAL is made out of .038 inch thick aluminum and is available in three anodized finishes: black, gold, or natural silver.
Why support REVEAL
- Your purchase benefits local manufacturing & creates jobs
- Photos are easy to swap out, and far less material is used in the production of the frames.
- Printed digital photos no longer require the protection of glass.
- REVEAL's simple tuck-in method evokes the corner mounts of cherished old photo albums.
- Comes in two sizes for either 4x4 inch or 4x6 inch photos.
- Smarter, better design means we can afford to make these in the USA
- A beautifully simple way to SUPPORT LOCAL!
"Art is the elimination of the unnecessary." ~Pablo Picasso
Where your money goes
DesignHouse, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to support and grow local manufacturing through design. Your purchase of these frames will provide jobs and enrich the local economy. Funds we raise above our goal will enable us to expand our activities and increase our impact. Thanks for your support!
DesignHouse, Inc. was founded in 2014 by Paul Hatch, Pam Daniels & Susan Page Estes. We are a not-for-profit entity which brings together the design community to grow local manufacturing. We gather professional designers for our design jams, involve students in our post-jam product development process, and breathe new life into old industries.
We have been fortunate to partner with Mike Slezac at JARC (Jane Addams Resource Corporation) who introduced us to fantastic local manufacturers. Design students at both Northwestern University and Virginia Tech have supported our development efforts. And we, the founders, never would have met without the marvelous maker community in Chicago called MakerBiz.
You can read more about DesignHouse, Inc. on our website.
Risks and challenges
We are working in partnership with SKOL Manufacturing in Chicago to bring the REVEAL photo frames to life. Production of the frames is fairly straightforward and involves a simple machining process and no assembly, other than packaging & shipping. We are confident in our ability to deliver a high quality product to all our backers.
Because we are choosing to produce locally with one partner, a potential setback might be receiving an overwhelming quantity of orders far in excess of our goal which forces us to stage production over a period of several months rather than delivering all rewards in January. We will do our best to address this during the campaign, and keep everyone informed as we go if we think timing of rewards could be affected. Frankly, we think this would be a great problem to have and hope you will agree!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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