Is OTHR the future of 3D printed homeware? – Telegraph.co.uk


June 21, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


A little over three years ago, Joe Doucet was ordering 3D-printed prototypes for a cutlery project he was working on. The New York-based designer and entrepreneur often did this to check the form and scale of his designs as they progressed. This time, however, there was a completely new process of 3D printing – using steel instead of the usual plastic – in beta. Doucet decided to give it a go. “I ordered what turned out to be a very poor quality and expensive fork,” he remembers. “And although it looked nothing like a finished product, it was so obvious that this was the future of manufacturing.”


EE Juicer Set in gloss white printed porcelain, by Everything Elevated
EE Juicer Set in gloss white printed porcelain, by Everything Elevated

3D printing has been following Moore’s Law, with increases in quality and decreases in pricing, for 35 years. Doucet did the sums and determined 2016 was the year of viability and decided to build a company by that time. “I raised venture capital, and brought together the co-founding team of three. We set off full steam ahead last November.”

Fast forward to a little over three weeks ago: Doucet – with his two co-founders Dean DiSimone and Evan Clabots –launched OTHR, a new brand specialising in 3D-­printed objects for the home by leading designers. The name, an abbreviation of Other, was chosen because Doucet says, “ours is an entirely new model that doesn’t fit traditional categogies,” but more of that later. The line so far ranges from a birdhouse by Claesson Koivisto Rune to a bottle opener by Fort Standard, all crafted in unexpected materials. The plan is to launch a new product every two weeks, and in doing so, says Doucet “to give a voice to great design in a really responsible way”. 


Fort Standard bottle opener made by OTHR
Fort Standard bottle opener

Hold on just a minute… the designers are undoubtedly talented and the products are all very covetable, but responsible? It’s not as though 3D printing is known for its environmental credentials. Nor is it often associated with products that people will want to treasure for a long time. Rather the opposite: it’s the fast fashion of the design world – a technology more known for being responsible for flooding the world with too many things people don’t need.

That, says Doucet, is shortsighted. “Most people think of 3D printing first and foremost as something that can make what other methods of manufacture can’t. It allows for a complexity that can be very tempting for designers; resulting in things that only exist because they can, but perhaps should not. It is like the early days of Photoshop when images everywhere were so heavily manipulated.”


Jonah Takagi Double Vessels made by OTHR
Jonah Takagi Double Vessels

But what OTHR is doing is very different. For a start, the products don’t exist until someone buys them. “We are attempting to create the first well-designed consumer objects of the Third Industrial Revolution. We are using the technology to disrupt the current supply chain involved in producing goods, not to create crazy new forms.”

Doucet, Clabots and DiSimone decided to work with the best design talent with a view to normalising the technology. “We create useful, aesthetic and unique objects for everyday use. We are launching new designs and designers every two weeks which is an unheard of rate, but this is also one of the benefits of the technology; very truncated development times,” says Doucet. The idea is that the products are produced in a way that is as environmentally responsible as possible. “There is very little waste in the process and no excess inventory taking up valuable resources and burning fuels in transportation. We feel it is a perfect win/win.”


Philippe Malouin Connection Vessel made by OTHR
Philippe Malouin Connection Vessel

As well as using technologies like 3D printing, OTHR products are made in materials such as steel and porcelain. They don’t have to fabricate in a far off country and ship halfway around the world. They are, however, reliant on designers to come up with ideas and create products that are “really worthy of existence”. It’s a heavy brief.

“It’s about very simple function,” says Sebastian Bergne, who has designed a set of candlesticks for OTHR. “It’s about using as little material as possible, while making sure what you’re doing is done in a clever way.” Designing things well is very, very difficult, says Clabots. “We believe that the best design is created by great designers working with a demanding manufacturer. We feel that design should be left in the hands of those who have devoted their lives to the practice.”

Each piece is made to order, and therefore can also be unique. The first person to buy an item will find it is physically imprinted with the number 0001 and comes with a handwritten certificate verifying the number and date of fabrication.


Todd Bracher sugar, creamer, spoon made by OTHR
Todd Bracher sugar, creamer, spoon

It was William Morris who said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” By way of a brief, OTHR echoes this with three criteria. All its products must be useful, aesthetic and unique. Although so far all the OTHR products are modest in scale, that’s simply a case of where the technology is today. Larger items and furniture are surely on the horizon.

OTHR is ambitious beyond that, however. Though they are already selling pieces by the likes of Brad Ascalon, Jonah Takagi, Philippe Malouin, and Michael Sodeau, and are currently working with “luminaries in the architecture world” and well-known fashion designers (watch this space), the three founders have a long list of designers on their wishlist.

More than that, too: “We have the great ambition to become the most important and relevant design brand from America since the mid-century movement,” says Doucet. “We are quite uniquely placed as no other design brand has product released at such a pace. We hope our customers are as delighted as we are to come back regularly to see what is new.”

OTHR will begin international shipping in July

A little over three years ago, Joe Doucet was ordering 3D-printed prototypes for a cutlery project he was working on. The New York-based designer and entrepreneur often did this to check the form and scale of his designs as they progressed. This time, however, there was a completely new process of 3D printing – using steel instead of the usual plastic – in beta. Doucet decided to give it a go. “I ordered what turned out to be a very poor quality and expensive fork,” he remembers. “And although it looked nothing like a finished product, it was so obvious that this was the future of manufacturing.”


EE Juicer Set in gloss white printed porcelain, by Everything Elevated
EE Juicer Set in gloss white printed porcelain, by Everything Elevated

3D printing has been following Moore’s Law, with increases in quality and decreases in pricing, for 35 years. Doucet did the sums and determined 2016 was the year of viability and decided to build a company by that time. “I raised venture capital, and brought together the co-founding team of three. We set off full steam ahead last November.”

Fast forward to a little over three weeks ago: Doucet – with his two co-founders Dean DiSimone and Evan Clabots –launched OTHR, a new brand specialising in 3D-­printed objects for the home by leading designers. The name, an abbreviation of Other, was chosen because Doucet says, “ours is an entirely new model that doesn’t fit traditional categogies,” but more of that later. The line so far ranges from a birdhouse by Claesson Koivisto Rune to a bottle opener by Fort Standard, all crafted in unexpected materials. The plan is to launch a new product every two weeks, and in doing so, says Doucet “to give a voice to great design in a really responsible way”. 


Fort Standard bottle opener made by OTHR
Fort Standard bottle opener

Hold on just a minute… the designers are undoubtedly talented and the products are all very covetable, but responsible? It’s not as though 3D printing is known for its environmental credentials. Nor is it often associated with products that people will want to treasure for a long time. Rather the opposite: it’s the fast fashion of the design world – a technology more known for being responsible for flooding the world with too many things people don’t need.

That, says Doucet, is shortsighted. “Most people think of 3D printing first and foremost as something that can make what other methods of manufacture can’t. It allows for a complexity that can be very tempting for designers; resulting in things that only exist because they can, but perhaps should not. It is like the early days of Photoshop when images everywhere were so heavily manipulated.”


Jonah Takagi Double Vessels made by OTHR
Jonah Takagi Double Vessels

But what OTHR is doing is very different. For a start, the products don’t exist until someone buys them. “We are attempting to create the first well-designed consumer objects of the Third Industrial Revolution. We are using the technology to disrupt the current supply chain involved in producing goods, not to create crazy new forms.”

Doucet, Clabots and DiSimone decided to work with the best design talent with a view to normalising the technology. “We create useful, aesthetic and unique objects for everyday use. We are launching new designs and designers every two weeks which is an unheard of rate, but this is also one of the benefits of the technology; very truncated development times,” says Doucet. The idea is that the products are produced in a way that is as environmentally responsible as possible. “There is very little waste in the process and no excess inventory taking up valuable resources and burning fuels in transportation. We feel it is a perfect win/win.”


Philippe Malouin Connection Vessel made by OTHR
Philippe Malouin Connection Vessel

As well as using technologies like 3D printing, OTHR products are made in materials such as steel and porcelain. They don’t have to fabricate in a far off country and ship halfway around the world. They are, however, reliant on designers to come up with ideas and create products that are “really worthy of existence”. It’s a heavy brief.

“It’s about very simple function,” says Sebastian Bergne, who has designed a set of candlesticks for OTHR. “It’s about using as little material as possible, while making sure what you’re doing is done in a clever way.” Designing things well is very, very difficult, says Clabots. “We believe that the best design is created by great designers working with a demanding manufacturer. We feel that design should be left in the hands of those who have devoted their lives to the practice.”

Each piece is made to order, and therefore can also be unique. The first person to buy an item will find it is physically imprinted with the number 0001 and comes with a handwritten certificate verifying the number and date of fabrication.


Todd Bracher sugar, creamer, spoon made by OTHR
Todd Bracher sugar, creamer, spoon

It was William Morris who said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” By way of a brief, OTHR echoes this with three criteria. All its products must be useful, aesthetic and unique. Although so far all the OTHR products are modest in scale, that’s simply a case of where the technology is today. Larger items and furniture are surely on the horizon.

OTHR is ambitious beyond that, however. Though they are already selling pieces by the likes of Brad Ascalon, Jonah Takagi, Philippe Malouin, and Michael Sodeau, and are currently working with “luminaries in the architecture world” and well-known fashion designers (watch this space), the three founders have a long list of designers on their wishlist.

More than that, too: “We have the great ambition to become the most important and relevant design brand from America since the mid-century movement,” says Doucet. “We are quite uniquely placed as no other design brand has product released at such a pace. We hope our customers are as delighted as we are to come back regularly to see what is new.”

OTHR will begin international shipping in July

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