We spent an afternoon saying hello to our friends at Revolution Design House and checking out their fully equipped workshop. Specializing in modern home objects that keep design, form and function at the forefront - creating products with purpose is as great as their overall design. We were most impressed with the goal of being a collaborative design house and the mantra of “love what you own.” There was a real sense of community present and for our visit we got to meet all of the RDH members; Joe Gibson: Co-founder/Design Director, Dylan Lynch: Co-founder/Marketing Director, Zoe Blatter: Lead Industrial Designer as well as Sara Foraker, Jonas Tannenbaum and Chris Marquiss. All made in Portland, OR, Revolution Design’s collection of American made home objects is quite diverse. With all of their products being locally made, there is a sense of careful precision with materials and construction. From their well known Boxcars that are perfect planters for small succulents, to the Snooz- a miniature lambskin rug made just for your iphones resting purposes. Whether you’re looking to spruce up the feel of your home or just seeking to add some practical pieces to your existing space, Revolution Design House can satisfy any eclectic home. Enjoy the interview with the folks behind RDH and the photos of their charming work space!
Also don’t forget to check out some of RDH events that are going on this summer! We are really excited about the Boxcar One Artist Series: Oregon College of Art and Craft - July 3rd through Aug 2nd. RDH will also be at the Renegade Craft SF: July 19th and 20th, Sunday Emporium at Rejuvenation: every last Sunday of the Month through November as well as First Thursday: Through September.
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
J. I came to Portland to attend Oregon College of Art and Craft. Once I was here I was hooked! This city is alive with art and design. It’s the heartbeat of our community. Portland nurtures creative beings and allows people like me to feel at home in a culture of self-expression.
D. I was born and raised here, although I left for several years to be a snowboard-bum in Jackson Hole, I always knew Portland was my home. I am excited to be part of what is going on in Portland these days. There is an exciting creative energy here.
2. What are your favorite things happening in Portland (design or otherwise)?
J. I just love that Portland as a whole is ‘happening’. We have a great food scene, we have awesome transportation, we value our neighborhood breweries and we have festivals for almost every occasion. Of course my favorite is Design Week, which is growing larger year after year.
D. There are so many small, cool brands here that are a lot of fun to follow. Coava Coffee, Poler Stuff, and Shwood to name a few.
3. How did your brand start?
J. Revolution Design House began over whiskey and good conversation. I met Dylan at a local event and just hit it off right away. His interest in growing a brand is what I needed to get good design into the marketplace. We both care passionately about design that makes an impression. We pride ourselves for being in the shop and always being involved with the evolution of our designs. We both share the same goal at Revolution Design House – to create a positive personal experience for those who happen to be involved.
D. We came together as a marketer and maker team. We share a modern, clean aesthetic and built our brand around creating home accessories and gifts that have a story behind them.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
J. As an artist/maker my biggest personal obstacle is fighting the urge to always being in the shop creating and making new products. As a small business owner I’m learning the importance of focusing on the designs we are producing, making sure the manufacturing and sales are steadily growing and being patient on when we release our new designs.
D. Cash flow. We are self funded and have been growing organically, as our brand grows we have to do our best to stay focused and move forward strategically.
5. What or who inspires your design?
J. Simplicity. As a designer I always get energized when I see objects with the highest level of simple design. It really is a hard aesthetic to achieve. I love going to an exhibition or coming across a design online that makes me say “Damn that’s awesome, and so SIMPLE.”
6.What are your favorite things about Portland?
J. My most favorite thing about Portland is we are ‘Craft” everything! From coffee to beer to bicycles to furniture we are a community that takes the ‘art of making’ seriously. I also love the accessibility of the city and how spoiled we are to be in a city-of-industry where raw materials are easy to find.
D. Wildlife in and around the city. We have so many beautiful places so close.
7. What is your favorite part of your studio?
D. Our friend Sara Foraker did an awesome mural in our space, it is bright, fun, and mountainous. I am happy to see it everyday. The roof is also pretty rad, lunch up there in the summer and beers in the afternoon.
8. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
J. Our skylight. We have amazing natural light which keeps us and our plants alive.
9. Tell us two truths and a lie!
J. I’m a Butcher, I’m a Baker, I’m a Candlestick maker….
D. My favorite animal is the beaver. I lived in Poland for a year. I never wear v-neck shirts.
10. 5 things you can’t live without.
My beautiful wife-to-be
D. Coffee. Tri Met. My wife, Marta. My canvas and leather Vanport bag. Mother Nature.