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.

Richard Clarkson Studio is a Brooklyn-based art and design laboratory. They create objects, products and installations that are minimal in style, honest in material, elegant in simplicity and sculptural to the core. Distorting the ever-blurring lines between art & design, we use processes and methodologies drawn from both disciplines.

Q: Which year did you present at WantedDesign? Did you make connections with brands and fellow designers?
We first presented at Wanted Design 2015 in Gallery 6 alongside Launch Pad but not included in it. In 2016 we presented as part of Launch Pad, then in 2017 we presented at Wanted Design in the tunnel. Each year we have had an amazing experience meeting brands, media contacts and fellow designers – many of which have become good friends – specifically from the Launch Pad group of 2016.

Q: Tell us about your favorite project you’ve worked on since you participated in Launch Pad at WantedDesign.
In September of last year we were approached by GE to design a Smart Lamp, it was an amazing experience to work with an international corperation in a new product category. The Lamp which came to be called Sol launched earlier this year and is available on amazon.

Q: How has your work evolved since you shared your work at WantedDesign? Is it now in production? If so, with whom?
We aim to continually evolve and refine not just our work and products but also our ethos and studio culture. Since Launch Pad we have grown from two full time people to five full time and two part time. Our network and interactions with other creatives has played no small part in this expansion, as we draw inspiration not just from the products of other designers but from the designers themselves and the way in which they design.

Q: What advice do you have for emerging designers who will be showing at the Launch Pad in 2018 and beyond?
Interact as much as you can with the other Launch Pad designers. Immerse yourself into Design week – go to some of the parties, see the other exhibitions tell people you are presenting at Wanted in Launch Pad. Get a friend to cover your booth for a hour or two so you can take a proper break for lunch. Treat Wanted Design as an investment, create a budget for press material, business cards, product information cards, branding and signage. Have a digital press kit ready to go, fill it with the best photos and videos of your product.

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

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

Sponsored by Design Milk and Design Within Reach.