Good things most definitely do come in small packages. Recently students from Parsons' BFA Product Design program partnered with the renowned design brand Areaware to design inexpensive "impulse buy" gift items that give back. As part of the design process, students were asked to link their designs to a charity organization, thus leveraging the power of impulse consumerism to affect positive change elsewhere in the world. The remarkable products from Small Things Matter were on display at WantedDesign during New York Design Week - keep reading to see some of our favorites!
Canopy Coasters by Grey Young Kim
Grey Young Kim’s Canopy Coasters are laser-etched with delicate concentric designs. Proceeds from sales would be dedicated to forest conservation organizations such as FERN and FSC.
Richie the Hedgehog Brush by Giuliana Gentile
Giuliana Gentile’s adorable Richie the Hedgehog Brush is designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. It’s designed to raise awareness for charities like Locks of Love that donate wigs to those who suffer from hair loss.
Little Architect Toolset by Carlos Ng
Carlos Ng’s Little Architect Toolset is an awesome magnetic block set designed to encourage budding architects to learn through play. The toy set features a ruler, a protractor, and a triangle, and it was selected by Areaware to be developed into a mass produced product! Proceeds from this small design will support the international work of Architecture for Humanity.
PRISM by Daniel Martinez
Daniel Martinez’ Prism is a reading magnifying glass “inspired by the Wikimedia Foundation, whose goal is to encourage the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual educational content.” The product’s name refers to the National Security Agency’s P.R.I.S.M spy program.
Bottle Axes by Sam Falco
They sound fierce, but these small products are actually bottle openers. Proceeds from their sale supports Seattle-based nonprofit Child’s Play, which works to improve the lives of children in hospitals.
Critter Clips by Aikita Sen
Aikita Sen’s fun CritterClips are designed to raise awareness for the world’s endangered species. Proceeds from sales would be donated to charitable causes dedicated to wildlife conservation.
The Smuggler’s Lock by Jasmine Kim
Inspired by traditional Korean designs, these intricate locks, called Jayu, can be used to smuggle messages or tiny valuables. Proceeds support non-governmental organizations that help people who are oppressed, such as Liberty in North Korea (LiNK).
Kaiju Magnetic Plush Blocks by Alex Svizeny
Inspired by popular Japanese monsters, like Godzilla and Mothra, these blocks were also designed with Child’s Play in mind.
NOMAD Travel Sets by Malini Khargie
Each of these themed travel sets—for picnic, desk, and first-aid—are designed for urbanites. Appropriately, each supports the work of an environmental organization dedicated to making cities healthier, like GrowNYC.
Whist by Patrice Hall
This wooden whistle is meant to communicate the stories and voices that often go unheard. Proceeds benefit organizations that work for the prevention of suicide and domestic violence.
Wish Boxes by Mary Chimenti
According to the designer, “wish boxes are vessels into which affirming messages are inserted” and from which they can never be removed. Symbols etched into the surface indicate the sentiment—luck, wish, or health. Proceeds go to life-changing organizations like Make a Wish Foundation.
Night Guardian Nightlights by Myungwhan Choi
These unique nightlights are designed to light up the darkness and soothe fears. Proceeds go toward organizations that do the same, like Save the Children Foundation, Aflatoun, and KIDS.
Images via Small Things Matter Studio Tumblr