Household accessories brand Good Thing is busy for this year's edition of NYCxDesign, kicking things off with an elegant collaborative exhibit at WANTED Design Manhattan featuring one classic item: the shaving brush. This redesign is not by chance, as they've teamed up with shaving accessory delivery giant Harry's to organize the show. Good Thing's own Jamie Wolfond said they've wanted to team up with Harry's for a while: "we're excited to see such a fast-growing startup take on such a design-focused approach to their products. We wanted to help them reach the design-savvy audience that has come to know Good Thing products but maybe isn't yet aware of Harry's commitment to good design."
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Redesigning a shaving brush is a curious concept to begin with as it reads more "nostalgic design object" than it does "modern necessity"—both companies, however, saw this as a welcome challenge. "[The shaving brush is a] ritualistic tool for self-care that has been largely overlooked by the design community," says Wolfond, "it's a memory-packed device – it often evokes images of fathers, grandfathers, and other dapper gentlemen of yore. This provided our designers great material to work with."
Brush by Chen Chen & Kai Williams
Working with 13 different designers for this exhibition, the brushes all seem to play on particular narratives of nostalgia, which Good Thing notes will be highlighted at WANTED in a printed publication detailing the backstory behind a few of the pieces. For example, design duo Chen & Kai's contribution was initially inspired by Chen's childhood camping trips:
"I lived in Wyoming as a child and my parents would take me camping in the Rockies. One time we had a giant bonfire next to a lake and threw all the aluminum cans into the fire. The next morning I was amazed the cans had all melted down. When we melt aluminum – that moment when the solid starts dissolving – I always think of that experience of and watching Terminator 2 on VHS all the time as a kid."
Aside from the same classic badger brush head, the objects featured in the collection each carry an entirely distinct identity. Ranging from "process-based experimental practitioners to functionality-driven industrial designers," as Good Thing puts it, this diverse combination of minds resulted in several elegant takes on a classic (not to mention some downright wacky reinterpretations).
Take a look below at some different variations:
Designed by the Harry's design team
Designed by Visibility
Designed by Norma
Designed by Earnest Studio
Designed by Fredericks and Mae
Designed by Branch Creative
Interested in finding one of these brushes for purchase? The pieces included in the collection were initially envisioned as one-offs for this special exhibition, but according to Wolfond, thanks to heightening interest those plans may change: "so far we have had such a positive response that we'd be interested to see at least a couple in mass production!"
The collection of shaving brushes will be on display at Good Thing's booth at WANTED Design Manhattan beginning this Saturday, May 20th.