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The Uncommon Life

Happy Inventors Month!

August 2, 2010


August is National Inventor’s Month!

Here at UncommonGoods, we have always valued the “Aha!” moments, the midnight brainstorms and the people who see everyday problems as opportunities to make daily life a little bit better. And so to celebrate all those inventors, designers and dreamers, we are planning a month-long celebration on our blog with posts about Uncommon Designers and Inventors, cool green inventions, giveaways and updates on our latest YouGoods contest.

Happy Inventors Month, everyone!

Maker Stories

Andrea Panico: 3D Printing and Reinventing the I.D. Necklace

June 24, 2016

Puppy wheelchairs, prosthetics, and pizza in space. What do these things have in common? They’ve all been 3D printed. Once the stuff of science fiction (think the replicators of Star Trek’s Enterprise), 3D printing is rapidly becoming familiar technology for artists, inventors, and industrial designers. Although 3D printing is associated with creating a wide variety of things, it’s not necessarily associated with making beautiful things. One artist who’s working on changing that is Andrea Panico, maker of our Common Edge 3D Printed Initial Necklace.

Panico Common Edge 2
“I think when 3D printing technology started gaining momentum, we all looked at it like ‘What can I do with this that I couldn’t do via traditional methods?’,” says Andrea, reflecting on makers’ embrace of the cutting edge potential. But instead of embarking on flights of 3D-printed fancy, her approach was relatively pragmatic: “I’ve always been more interested in how I could use 3D printing to help me do what I was already doing—as opposed to creating something aesthetically different, just because I could. I’m a lover of tools, whether they’re manual or technological in nature, and started looking at 3D printing as just another tool in my kit.”

Panico Common Edge 3

Andrea’s drawings for the Common Edge necklace

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Maker Stories

Inside the Maker’s Studio with Splyt Light designer Jason Krugman

May 13, 2016

*Editor’s note: The Splyt Light is coming soon to our assortment. Get it first by pre-ordering here

Splyt Light Designer Jason Krugman

Splyt Light Designer Jason Krugman in his Brooklyn studio, photos by Rachel Orlow

There’s an exciting energy that runs through Jason Krugman’s workspace in the New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The open, industrial space fosters cross-pollination of ideas in an environment where science, technology, invention, and art meet. Nearby, an experimental collaborative of architects works on design and material concepts that seem drawn from science fiction—from mushroom bricks to human shelters made from cricket colonies. In the midst of this fantastic innovation, Jason and his partner, Scott Leinweber, created the Splyt Light, an innovative new lighting design that lets consumers build their own unique fixture from a kit of modular parts. We visited Jason’s light-filled space for a look at where Splyt was born, and a conversation about his work sculpting with light and finding ways to share that exhilarating experience with others. Continue Reading…

Design

4 Tips for Responsible Materials and Supplier Sourcing

May 10, 2016

How to Take the Leap from Maker To Business Owner

As the Senior Production Manager here at UncommonGoods, my job is to oversee the connection of design ideas with manufacturing resources to create new products.

Thomas Edison claimed that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. From my experience, product development warrants a formula of its own. To carry an idea through to a finished product you should start with a spark of inspiration, then add in equal parts diligence and thoughtfulness, especially when it comes to sourcing.

I’ve pulled together the following considerations for responsible material and supplier sourcing inspired by my experience partnering with our makers on new product development. I hope these thoughts will help other small business owners navigate the rough waters of sourcing.

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Design

5 Things You Need to Know Before Selling Your Designs Online

May 4, 2016

As a creator of original designs or handmade products you’ve tackled the most important part of your business, what to sell. Now you find yourself taking on new questions that may be harder to answer. You’re starting to ask, “Where can I sell my handmade items?” and inevitably “How do I sell my designs online?” We’re happy to answer your first question and encourage you to check out our submission page, but before you click that link, take some time to think about whether your product is ready for retail.

 

Designing the Milkyway Scarf

Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza working on their Cat’s Paw Nebula Lightweight Wool Scarf

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