Be Original

Imagine a world with no original design. Where everything would be a copy and nothing would be new. This notion seems like a dire warning from “Atlas Shrugged”, but is not an unrealistic prophecy in an environment where creativity and originality is not encouraged or protected.

emeco 111 navy chair fabricated with 111 recycled coca cola bottles

student designers from art center college of design

Stepping into this void is Be Original, an initiative conceived to bring awareness to the topic of original design, to illustrate how creativity enriches our lives, and to support authenticity as something we should care about as individuals.

The founding members of Be Original are ten of the most legendary names in the international furnishings industry: Alessi, Artek, Bernhardt Design, Cassina/Poltrona Frau/Cappellini, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Ligne Roset and Vitra.

alessi tea kettle by michael graves

arne jacobsen designed in 1958 for fritz hansen

Be Original is committed to initiating a discussion on the importance of preserving original design through informational and educational initiative in various design contexts. A manifesto of nine basic beliefs serves as the guiding tenet of the initiative.

defective knockoffs of fritz hansen series 7 chair

ronan bouroullec creating the vegetal chair for vitra

ronan bouroullec creating the vegetal chair for vitra

Membership in the organization is open to manufacturers, retailers, designers, architects, schools, museums and other organizations that value the importance of original design. Individuals are encouraged to become participants in the movement as active supporters and followers on tumblr and twitter. Both sites feature periodic public contests and current design news.

ross lovegrove for bernhardt design

Be Original sponsors numerous exhibitions and educational events throughout North America. National media partners Fast Company, Interior Design, Dwell, and Metropolis augment local programing by creating an ongoing national dialog supporting authorship protection and the idea that original design is an investment in the future.

todd bracher and giullio cappellini speaking at “the case for authentic design” moderated by NYTimes

A copy might look like the original.
But look again. . .