In the spring of 2017 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago partnered with Kikkerland and Paper Source,two design forward gift retailers, to develop products designed by students. As a participants in this external partnership we were given a detailed design brief and went through intensive rounds of ideation, research, and prototyping to develop products that fit both companies unique brands. At each step along the way we pitched our concepts and later our designs to the executives including the CEO and founder, Jan Van der Lande of Kikkerland and the CEO, Winnie Park of Paper Source. Within this partnership I developed Bloom, the mindful perpetual calendar.
Materials: laser cut and etched paper, steel, spray paint
The design brief given to us had multiple segments including developing a product for office organization within the design trend of mindfulness. I focused my research and development specifically to this area. Calendars intrigued me because of their way of following us through our year. A large segment of Paper Sources sales are in calendars each fall. Kikkerland keeps each of its products in circulation for at least four years. My calendar is a perpetual so that it can solve both markets. Looking to the form of perpetual calendars I noticed that they have dates that are flipped over a ring from one side to the other. Questioning the rectangular form most of these calendars come in I began to investigate flowers wondering if this would be a new way to transform the form. Using the flower as an inspirational form the calendar would not simply be one stack of rectangles flipped into an identical stack but instead the original stack would be flipped in order to bloom into a flower. This new form incorporated the recent design trend of mindfulness. The perpetual calendar that blooms repositions the way in which we see time. No longer do we see time as something that is lost but instead as something that is gained. As one use this calendar throughout the year they are able to create something through its use.