Valuing Original Design: From Inception to Installation
Guest blog by Original BTC
Investment in original design means investing in the designers and the process that creates it, acknowledging that creative and cultural innovation is not always straightforward, and that developing a coherent concept can sometimes take months or even years. This may be particularly draining on time and resources, requiring complex problem-solving and acute attention to detail.
Commitment to original design is needed from those outside the generative and manufacturing processes, too. When consumers choose to buy original pieces, they give designers credit where it is due. Their investment provides financial remuneration not just to the company producing the designs, but enables that company to support artists and sustain time-honored traditions. Of course, a buyer should also enjoy and cherish the products that they purchase, and by investing in authentic designs they get a sense of pride and satisfaction every time the piece is seen or used. This meaningful relationship helps to build a positive environment, whether in the home or in a public space where a designer crafts an experience of place for other inhabitants. For trade professionals, this uncompromising approach can set your work apart.
The value of originality in design is not limited to maintaining traditions and creating meaningful environments, but also extends to inspiring the highest degree of innovation. At Original BTC, this means seeking out opportunities for the past to inspire the present, such as Peter Bowles’ selection of historic Stoke-on-Trent as the manufacturing site for his bone china light. Bringing this production process to Stoke-on-Trent led Original BTC to pioneer new applications for bone china and develop innovative forms never before created with this celebrated material.
All responsible manufacturers of high-quality designs can put these principles into practice by refusing to compromise on quality and by honoring the designers and craftspeople who spin great ideas into reality. There are also highly practical ways to defend against imitators, such as registering designs formally and devising shapes, materials, and forms that can’t easily be reproduced. Still, the recognition of the inherent value of design authenticity must be present in every stage of the product cycle, from the inception of an idea to the final purchase and installation of the realized product. Only through the equal commitment of each person in this chain – creator, maker, buyer, user – can original design be valued as highly as it deserves.
Original BTC’s guiding philosophy is rooted in a commitment to keeping production local and to celebrating authentic British design. By integrating traditional methods like hand-cast bone china and hand-blown glass into their lights, Original BTC creates new opportunities for British craftsmen, and advances their legacy of unique, timeless designs that will be around for many years to come.