We know there are opportunities to develop high-value consumer goods made locally through the power of design. Consider how OXO transformed a 99¢ potato peeler into a $9 item through better ergonomics. DesignHouse can help grow Pittsburgh’s economy and skill base through increased exposure to design thinking around manufacturing processes. In part, this will come about through making designers more aware of local production capabilities. This is especially important as the maker movement and design entrepreneurship continue to be fueled by crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and lower-cost digital manufacturing capabilities such as 3D printing.
Pittsburgh has long been known for its manufacturing heart. Design thinking can make the difference for the manufacturing community there. They also have a rich base of educational institutions and supportive funders collaborating to create a healthy ecosystem. Together with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Catalyst Connection and the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) Paul Hatch moderated our first Jam in November 2015 at AlphaLab. Our second Jam was held March 31st at CMU's Integrated Innovation Institute.