LAUNCH PAD FIFTH ANNIVERSARY: SUCCESS STORIES

2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the Launch Pad at WantedDesign Manhattan. The Launch Pad is a platform for emerging designers who wish to make connections with manufacturers and retailers during NYCxDESIGN, New York’s celebration of global design. Each year, a group of industry professionals reviews the exhibited work to select a Best of Launch Pad prize. Since 2014, the Launch Pad has exhibited over 100 designers from dozens of countries and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the stories of some of the designers who have participated in years past and the manufacturers who’ve discovered them.

Dear Human is a Montreal-based design firm dedicated to thoughtful material use. Their projects often begin with playful experimentation with industrial castoffs and scrap materials to see where they can go. They make and design their works in their Montreal studio, and occasionally by other local makers. Dear Human works in collaboration with architects, artists, interior designers, and industrial designers to realize their projects. 

Q: Which year did you present at WantedDesign? Did you make connections with brands and fellow designers?

We first presented at Wanted in 2015. Yes, we connected with many designers that we are still in touch with today—these relationships have led to many interesting opportunities, including continuing to return to WantedDesign in 2016 and 17 with Quebec Design.

Q: Tell us about your favorite project you’ve worked on since you participated in Launch Pad at WantedDesign.

One of our favorites was to work with Shake Shack in NYC for their new store in Forest Hills. We made a large-scale paper tile installation for them last year and were proud of how it turned out.

Q: How has your work evolved since you shared your work at WantedDesign? Is it now in production? If so, with whom?

Since then we have changed quite a bit—we moved from Vancouver to Montreal for our business. Our tile production has improved a lot and we continue to do many projects with the paper tiles all the time. We still manage production ourselves at our studio in Montreal. We are also carrying many other products that include recycled paper.

Q: What advice do you have for emerging designers who will be showing at the Launch Pad in 2018 and beyond?

It’s an old adage, but “a rolling stone gathers no moss” has been our most important mantra we live by. It’s important to embrace and expect constant change and growth comes naturally.

Q: Where can people learn more about you and your work?

On Instagram at @dear_human or www.dearhuman.ca.

As a reminder, the 2018 Launch Pad applications are due January 31, 2018. Apply here.

Sponsored by Design Milk and Design Within Reach.