For the past four years, MoMA Design Store has collaborated with MFA Products of Design program students at the School of Visual Arts.
“The students challenge us to think expansively and to see the role of a designer in the 21st century through their eyes,” says Chay Costello, Associate Merchandising Director for MoMA Design Store.
Ambi Chopsticks & Holders
Oscar de la Hera Gomez was thinking about sustainability and portability when he designed his reusable chopstick sets. Each pair’s silicone holder doubles as a rest. “When I learned that disposable chopstick production was a leading cause of deforestation in China, everything fell into place,” says de la Hera Gomez. “My reusable chopsticks are designed to match the statement, ‘It’s time to give back to that which we take from.’”
“Having a product in MoMA Design Store is almost like winning a Pulitzer!” enthuses Forney, whose colorful silicone trivet set combines a game of tic-tac-toe with home entertaining. “As a kid, my brothers and I were always impatient for food to get on the table, so our mom distracted us with games while we waited. I think that experience in particular really influenced this design. For the MoMA customer, I focused on quintessentially modern qualities: the Trivet is minimally material and completely modular.”
“I love sculptural forms from geometric shapes. I was really inspired by totemic shapes from the Memphis Group,” explains Khunprasert of her two sets of stackable silicone coasters. “During the design process, I used a 3D modeling program and 3D printer to explore crazy shapes and forms.” Having a product in MoMA Design Store has bolstered Khunprasert’s confidence as a designer. “During moments of doubt I would ask myself, ‘Does the world need a designer like myself?’ Being in MoMA Design Store ensures me that I’m still on the right path.”
“What inspires me is a desire to be as succinct as possible in the expression of my designs,” says Pipson, who employed the golden ratio to determine a pleasing dimensional relationship with a common household item, a bottle opener, which he has rendered in brass. “I took an alternative approach to designing this everyday object, one that offers the user delight, intrigue and humor.”
“Though the idea for this design was surprisingly simple, there was a lot of trial and error,” says de la Hera Gomez of his mesmerizing spinner, which morphs a gridded pattern into a dynamic swirling motif when in motion. “I made and tried over 100 different designs, testing them out on a makeshift spinning top. I wanted the spinner to appear to be floating.” Gabrielle Zola and other members of the MoMA Retail Team helped de la Hera Gomez choose the right material. “We all decided on unglazed bone china, because I knew I wanted a tactile, coarse material.”
“One of my favorite quotes is by the late British magician S.H. Sharpe: ‘A magician should intensify one’s sensitivity to wonder,’” says Corn, who has a background in performance magic. “I realized I could bring that element of wonder into my design work as well. The Multi-ccino is a result of me exploring my own curiosity about people’s coffee preferences—I’ve always been amazed by how many coffee drinks there are on a café menu. From there I realized that it would be engaging to have all the recipes on one cup.”