By Ellie Wendell – Communications and Biz Dev Consultant at TYTHEdesign
Last week was a whirlwind convergence of people, ideas and the grasping of worldwide potential in the Feast Conference for Social Innovation. TYTHE collaborated with the organizers to contribute two key elements to the series of events. One was a custom activity designed to transform a group of friends meeting for dinner into a team of collaborators turning an idea for social change into tangible action steps. The second was the Community Space and Social Good Store in the Feast Pavilion. The conference itself challenged convention with its creative approach to engaging people, (both attendees and the public), and daring them to take charge in the effort to create ripples of positive impact. We were pleased to be able to contribute to the expanse of the conference’s impact.
The Feast Pavilion and Social Good Store
On October 5th and 6th, the Feast hosted the Pavilion, a play on the World’s Fair. Artists converted a vacant building into a space for installations and TYTHE transformed it into a space to highlight innovative organizations and products reinventing how we consume. Our approach to the Social Good Store was to provide a space for conscientious consumption and active understanding of the positive impact products and one’s consumption of those products can have. The store aimed to demonstrate the wide spectrum of social good products, not only in the type of product but the variety of ways in which they can contribute. We simplified ‘social good’ into four categories to help each product and company, tell its story. The categories were “Sustainability, Social Business, Economic Development and Life Changing”. Each product and/or company fit into at least one of these categories.
Holstee’s products, for example, not only create useful, attractive daily items from recycled sources (such as a wallet from old newspapers and plastic bags from Delhi), but also utilized the micro-lending organization Kiva to support entrepreneurs in developing countries. Obos create brightly colored interactive toys for kids from eco-friendly material as they pioneer in the crusade against plastic toy pile-up. Facilitating opportunity for artisan work in developing countries, Rubina sells chic products co-designed by artisans and designers in developing countries to support their personal and local economic development while preserving traditional techniques in artistry.
TYTHE invited Given Goods, an online marketplace for social good products to stock the store with products they sell on their website. Cameron Houser, the driver of GG collaborated with TYTHE in providing 44% of the items for sale, such as Smile Squared, a buy one give one toothbrush company and the LuminAID light created for post-natural disaster use through its affordable, renewable design including being solar powered and floatable. Throughout the event, Devon, the fearless representative from GG was on hand to chat to customers about products, set up displays and humor us with his pining for Keith Sweat songs. Their collaboration was essential to the success of the store and we can’t thank them enough!
Smile Squared toothbrushes, Given Goods, LuminAID light
The Community Spaces was a collection of interactive exhibits set up by innovative organizations. Makeshift, a print and online magazine that highlights creative design occurring in the world’s informal economies displayed examples of the creations touted in their publication. The Adventure Project demonstrated the capacity of their irrigation pump, one of the social ventures investors can support through their organization. Sparking debate about affordable housing and the tools available to navigate the often enigmatic subject were provided by the Center for Urban Pedagogy an organization that facilitates dialogue in communities about their role in urban development. Engaging passersby in reflection on the potential of their immediate community was the made in Lower East Side (miLES) project that seeks to maximize the capacity of unused spaces in the neighborhood with a circulation of creative classes, workshops and projects.
miLES exhibit, CUP’s Affordable Housing Kit, Rubina’s designer clutches
There are a few people we would like to thank for helping us with the event. Assisting TYTHE was Mika Braakman, the founder and curator of Model Citizens, the platform for independent and emerging design. Using her artful expertise in pop-up shops, she played an integral role in creating the look and feel of the display. Toby Gardner from Brooklyn Woods, a woodwork skills training organization for unemployed and low-income New Yorkers, provided wood for signage and for diversifying the displays; an essential element to the store.
Kris from TYTHE also wants to thank Ellie Wendell, Joseph Eberle, Jeff Namnum, Amanda Yogendran, Samia Grand-Pierre, Dan Shafer, Tiff Burnette and Nick Oxley. We couldn’t have had such success if it weren’t for the ingenuity and support of this group of people. A huge thank you to you all!
To see more images of the Pavilion check out TYTHE’s Facebook page.Here is the full list of contributors to the store. Each has an interesting story so we recommend you check them out!
Brooklyn Woods, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, Common Good, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Obos, Rubina, designing hope, Given Goods Co., Makeshift Magazine, Greenaid Seedbombs, Matter Inc., Holstee, Marlandia, Gaggle of Tees, Tilonia, The Adventure Project, Be Free, Smile Squared, Half United, Nisolo, LuminAID, Back to the Roots, Raven & Lily, Jack’s Soap