The Support for Knowledge Project began as a dream to help the internationally acclaimed Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) industrial design program grow into a new facility that would mirror its status in the world. Building on the collaborative nature of the industrial design field, and its cohort in and around RIT, we envisioned a project worthy of capturing such a spirit—distilled into a product that could be sold in a limited edition to act as an heirloom to memorialize our donor’s intentions. We leveraged the storied RIT Shop One as a conduit and our friends at Autodesk to explore production ideas. This platform enables students, alumni and faculty efforts to develop limited edition works of art/design to help our cause.
Renowned designers Wendell Castle and Josh Owen collaborated on this special philanthropic project. These experienced makers set out to apply their individual approaches to jointly create a pair of bookends. Their existing bodies of work show very different vocabularies. Each designed one half of the set. Their goal was to produce an object set where each side has its own distinct approach, but successfully interacts with the other side to create a holistic design conversation for the pair.