Here at Loll we love getting feedback from our customers. Some of these have even morphed into friendships and some of them have even become collaborators. Take Josh Owen for example. He purchased some furniture from us a few years ago, became a fan, met us at ICFF last year, and ended up teaming with Loll to create our Chiaroscuro outdoor clock. It didn't stop there…
Josh is not only an exceptional industrial designer, he's also a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he came up with the idea to have his first-year grad students work with Loll's CEO, Greg Benson, on a semester long project.
[caption id="attachment_8039" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Greg Benson, CEO and designer at Loll, checks out Brendan Gordon’s cobbler bench[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_8040" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Student present their designs[/caption]
With the direction and help of Greg Benson, the students were instructed to design and create furniture or accessories using the same recycled plastic (HDPE) that Loll uses for its modern outdoor furniture. This time however, these designs wouldn't be used outdoors. Instead, the entryway would be the project's focus and the inspiration would come from the world famous designer Massimo Vignelli. RIT just happens to be the home to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies which houses all of his work.
[caption id="attachment_8041" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Vignelli’s infamous NYC subway map[/caption]
In the end, the students came up with an array of designs from wall mounted stacking planters to benches that will house your umbrella's.
[caption id="attachment_8037" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Bike Buddy by Casey Kelly[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_8038" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] WantedDesign Booth[/caption]
The students designs didn't just end in the classroom. They were shown at this year's WantedDesign. With their very own booth they showcased selected designs that could find their way onto Loll's retail website in the future. Below are some of the designs that made it into this years WantedDesign booth:
Cobbler by Brendan Gordon
"Entryways are bivalent, posing no clean break of space and time and demanding a moment of pause. A traditional piece of utility, the cobbler’s bench is also bivalent in nature. Not simply chair or desk, bench or table, it is a fusion of two basic needs — space to work and space to sit. Cobbler honors Loll’s legacy of historical reference, re-envisioning a shoe-maker’s tool, designed for linear work and attention to the more intimate objects in life. It is an aid to a doorway’s pause."
Hi Bench by Bridget Sheehan
"The 'Hi' Bench serves as a friendly greeting as you walk in the door. It provides a spot to hold your keys, shoes, spare change, and umbrella. There is also a space to sit down to tie your shoes. Durable and waterproof Loll HDPE materials are ideal for this product as it requires no maintenance and withstands heavy traffic. The “Hi” Bench is a perfect fit for any entryway."
*photos courtesy of Bridget Sheehan
Loll is a business, yet we have been very thankful for the relationships it has inspired and the stories it continues to tell.
To see more designs of Loll's collaboration with RIT go here.