Earlier this month Designythings and Architect’s Toy Box became the latest media sponsors of Be Original Americas. The blogs join several other leading architectural and design publications and websites who support original design, including The Architect’s Newspaper, Core77, Contract Magazine, and Wallpaper*, as well as founding media partners Design Milk, Dwell, Interior Design, and Metropolis.
As a journalist who appreciates the moral outrage and economic sting of having work appropriated elsewhere without payment or permission, I wholly support an organization committed to educating and informing the public about the importance of original design. One of the reasons I founded my blogs was to give back to the industry and the people it serves, a goal I share with Be Original Americas. It is also my goal to only publish original design on these sites, and I encourage my readers to notify me right away if they see anything that seems to be a blatant copy of something already on the market. In fact, at least twice I have been notified that work I was told was original was in fact knock-offs of other pieces already on the market and I immediately removed those posts from the site.
Founded in July 2013, the New York City-based non-profit organizes an extensive program of lectures, workshops, and roundtables to establish a set of industry standards that encourages consumers, the architecture and design community, producers, dealers, and media partners to fully support creativity and authenticity. In addition to media partners, the movement is supported by a group of Charter Members including Alessi, Artek, Bernhardt Design, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Republic of Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Kartell, Ligne Roset, and Vitra, as well as other members and supporters.
Recent Be Original Americas events took place at the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles, IIDA NY in New York City, and the National IIDA Conference in Chicago. The next event is scheduled for August 2nd at the Las Vegas Market Center where DJ Carey, Editorial Director of Cottages & Gardens, will lead a panel including Paolo Cravedi, Alessi, Jaime Derringer, Design Milk, Josh Mintz, Dwell Store, and Howard Thornton of SF MoMA retail.
On the “Not Original” section of its website, Be Original Americas boldly calls out those products and companies who do not support original design by intentionally selling blatant copies and knockoffs of original work. The examples of these are quite egregious, and it is incredibly powerful to have a public forum to list these knockoffs, while hopefully preventing others.
For more information about Be Original Americas or to become a member click here.