The Kickstarter@MOMAStore collection includes 24 new products made by 20 industrial designers. Products such as an energy-efficient phone charger, a minimal wooden watch, a 3D light bulb and playful toy mailmen for children, may never have seen the life of day if it wasn’t for the funds raised from the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.
Since Kickstarter launched five years ago thousands of people from all corners of the Earth have used this platform to launch new products onto the marketplace. MOMA has now selected a collection of 24 to sell in its design store, which it believes embodies the qualities of industrial design in their innovation of function, use of novel materials and technological advancement.
“We were inspired to pursue this project because so many of the most impressive, new and innovative products we have been finding lately kept leading us back to Kickstarter,” comments Emmanuel Platt, director of merchandising at MOMA. “It became clear that Kickstarter is an important new way for Good Design to come into being, and we wanted to celebrate that.”
One of the products in the collection that received a very strong backing from parents is a new breed of smart toy called Mailmen. These Wi-Fi enabled toys allow friends and family to message young children wherever they are. A voice message is sent via a smartphone to the Mailmen, who will then relate that message in its own quirky voice to the child.
The product was conceived by Gauri Nanda, the product designer and entrepreneur behind the Clocky alarm clock, and her friend Audry Hill, a mother of three. Together they set up Toymail with the idea of using technology so that kids can interact with it as opposed to being isolated behind a screen.
“When you put the smarts into physical objects rather than a ‘device’, play becomes more organic, imaginative and open-ended. When I sat down with Gauri at the conception of this project, one of my goals was to make a toy I could feel good about my own kids using,” says Hill.
Mailmen has been very well received and may never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for platforms such as Kickstarter.