Today furniture company west elm announces their Pratt Home Office Collection, a line of eco-friendly furniture done in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which helps students bridge the gap between design school and the real world.
"The students had literally just taken off their caps and gowns," said Debera Johnson, director of The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. "We brought them together to work on the west elm project as they were making the transition from student to professional. It was a remarkable collaboration and the results really show how Pratt has prepared them for their careers."
The collaboration...began as a friendly competition between two groups of Pratt industrial design students [that] were challenged to create a line of office furniture for west elm that embodied the brand's mandate to "live a little greener every day." The initial design brief required the Pratt designers to develop a desk, chair, and lamp using sustainably grown, harvested, and/or recycled wood material in order to tell a unique story about the life cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design.
Use of other eco-friendly materials and processes including FSC-certified woods, powder-coated steel (a process that is less toxic than traditional plating), non-toxic glues, and water-based stains was also necessary. In addition, the desk lamp had to use energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Both teams presented their proposals to the west elm design group and continued to work with them in an apprentice-type relationship to develop the concept, create scale models and eventually produce full-size prototypes of the pieces.
Check out the affordable collection, with pieces running from a $99 to $299, here.