DesignJam003: Save the foundry!


Last night, around 40 creatives gathered at Catalyze Chicago around beer and delicious Italian food to develop designs around local manufacturer, Universal Electric Foundry. The foundry is a local sand-caster located on Ashland and Hubbard.

Because this was the third DesignHouse jam,  many attendees were already familiar with the DesignHouse method. Paul and Pam, DesignHouse founders, led the night off with a quick overview of DesignHouse and its mission. Then, students presented the manufacturing video to give the attendees a clearer idea of who Universal Electric is and why they need our help. They are a family run business, over 100 years old, 4th generation, and they have watched their quantities slowly decline and now all is quiet. The students visited them for a tour at the beginning of the semester, and when they tried to go back to film some more footage, there was nothing to film because there was no business. This is exactly what DesignHouse aims to fix. #SAVETHEFOUNDRY !

Watch the video on Universal Electric here:

Once the designers were inspired and understood their materials, we introduced four "buckets", or categories, to direct designs: small household items (smaller than a breadbox), urban objects (for public spaces), furniture (for Crate&Barrel), and the last bucket was anyone who wanted to further ideate on ideas from Jam001. Designers broke into groups and began sketching rapidly, ideas building upon one another, and all ideas welcomed. No one was afraid to sketch or model (although the modeling clay was cold and a bit hard to work with).


At the end of the night, the teams presented their best ideas back to the group and everyone was exhausted from exerting so many wonderful ideas. Now, DesignHouse has the large but exciting task of sorting through the numerous ideas to further ideate upon. Maybe you'll see another Kickstarter soon! #SAVETHEFOUDRY #SUPPORTLOCAL


Thank you to Catalyze Chicago for their wonderful hospitality! We are very gracious that we were allowed to use their space on such short notice!