Next Generation: Student design for social good

Third year product design students from Parsons partnered with Areaware to design small "impulse buy" gifts with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity.

Third year product design students from Parsons the New School for Design teamed up with the Brooklyn-based design brand, Areaware to create inexpensive (less than $30) gift items that would fit within the current Areaware product line. However these small gift items had to be conceptually linked to a charitable cause with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the item going to the charity.

The challenge sees students leverage the power of impulse consumerism to affect positive change elsewhere in the world.

The final designs were showcased at the Small Things Matter exhibition during the annual New York design show, WantedDesign and a winning design, which will be produced and sold through Areaware, was announced.

Carlos Ng’s set of modular, magnetic architect’s tools, named Little Architect’s Toolset, scooped first position. A portion of the eventual sales of the candy-colored wooden protractors and rulers will go to Architecture for Humanity, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on rebuilding areas that are affected by natural disasters.

“The Little Architect Toolset was inspired by young architects who have a dream to one day design and build the world’s most amazing building,” wrote Ng in the product’s description. “Each of these tools comes apart into puzzle-like pieces, and are interchangeable to create brand new tools.”

In second place was Whan Choi’s Night Guardian Light, a wooden nightlight with a set of interchangeable leather “masks” that cover the light.

There was a tie for third place: both Sam Falco’s bottle openers in the shape of laser-cut steel miniature axes, Bottleaxe, and Akita Sen’s playful wooden animal-shaped clothespins, Critter Clips, were honored.

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