Pine & Clay – empowering foreign artisans in the American design market

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I like well-designed products,

hand-crafted art,

and, very much, a good story.

West Elm has become a visionary in the furniture & home decor retail sphere with their business model that brings us stories of beautiful products from far away lands and people, while empowering those very people to have a measurably improved quality of life. Continue reading

Starchitects, Toilets, and Empowerment

Do you have a job?  Are you educated?  Are you able to use bathroom facilities without the fear of the spread of communicable disease?

Not everyone is so fortunate.  Luckily, we all know this, and luckily, the building industry is catching on to the value of social equity and empowerment.

We see certain companies such as TOMS (started by Blake Mycoskie) with sustainable business models.  More about that can be found in SUCCESS magazine.

And now, while globalization, TED talks, activitsts, humanitarians, and the news show us all of the tragedy and poverty that our country works so hard to avoid ourselves, a few companies within the building industry are seeking this fresh approach of giving back to those in need internationally. Continue reading

Youngstown – S [M] L XL – Urban Decay

Youngstown is located in the Rust Belt.  There is an effort by a few to bring vibrancy to the community, some more effort by those seeking to help the hurting here and now.  Much more research can be done on my part to learn what can be done to make it once again a thriving community –  the expectations and identity need to change, then more public space, influence, and advocacy.

Here is a taste of the disrepair we have fallen victim to, commonly known as urban blight or urban decay.

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