With all the furniture in the world at shoppers’ fingertips, smart designers have learned to differentiate their wares with stories. Familiar shorthands—artisanal, sustainably harvested, bench-crafted—are workshopped as carefully as blueprints to instantaneously telegraph a product’s values.
And so people have come to expect the things they buy to have a narrative. Now Alejandro Sticotti is betting they’ll tune in to see the origin story.
Taking transparency to the next level, the Argentine architect and carpenter is inviting his followers to livestream the manufacturing of his latest flatpack collection—a coatrack that requires no nails to assemble and a customizable modular bookshelf—as part of a Kickstarter campaign. Viewers can watch each workday as Sticotti’s team of craftsmen sculpt the new line from warm Petiribi wood at their shop in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
"I’ve never felt so excited about the possibility to have such a direct interaction with the people [who] are bringing my pieces into their homes and lives," Sticotti explained in a statement. "It gives me a more meaningful level of personal accomplishment." And on a business level, engaging potential customers this early in the process isn’t a bad idea, either. The intimate connection could help forge brand loyalty for the designer and the collection’s retailer, the e-commerce platform Sudacas.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Sticotti Bookshelf and Coat Rack concludes August 12. The collection has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal, but backers can still contribute for the opportunity to preorder the pieces at a steep discount.
Yet even after the livestream goes dark, the most exciting part of the story will just be starting. Once available for retail, the Bookshelf will sell for between $290-840, depending on the size of the kit; the Coat Rack will cost $270.