Create Your Own Tools: Innovation Through a Product Line

Olson Kundig Architects make architecture “that celebrates the moments when people become kinetically involved with the buildings and spaces they inhabit.”1 Through cranks, pulleys, levers, slides, and other manually operated devices, their designs create interactions between user, building, and landscape that are centered around touch, movement, and the joy of tactile experience. The systems that make their interactive architecture possible are fashioned from a collection of common, but often uniquely designed, hardware components. While the material (often steel) and existence of these hardware components are common, the design of the individual components themselves and their collective arrangement into mechanisms that activate user and space, is unique. For Olson and Kundig Architects, these hardware components have, in a sense, become tools which facilitate an end goal. What is truly innovative is that Olson and Kundig have recognized their hardware components as such and created a means of inviting the broader community to design in such a manner. With the introduction of the Tom Kundig Line2, a product line of steel accessories and components, they invite consumers to create their own objects, spaces, and systems that facilitate the same user involvement fundamental to Olsen Kundig’s work.

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