Sponsored / Product Design

Made.com’s TalentLAB gives you the chance to support the work of upcoming designers

At It’s Nice That we’re firm believers in the idea that good design should be democratic, and that’s part of the reason why furniture aficionados Made.com’s TalentLAB initiative piqued our interest. For those unfamiliar, TalentLAB is a crowdfunding platform, through which users can discover new talent and products not available elsewhere, supporting the next generation of designers.

For the second TalentLAB assemblage — the sturdily titled Ready-to-Work Collection — features an array of furniture, textiles and home accessories willed into being by a raft of uber-talented, under-appreciated, or unschooled designers from across the globe.

Anyone with a predilection for unusual watering cans, bold bookstands, or eye-catching armchairs can head to the TalentLAB website where pledging a refundable deposit of just a fiver registers an interest in whatever product has got you all hot under the collar. Your £5 could make all the difference to the career of a designer. That’d feel nice, wouldn’t it? Imagine how great it’d feel to switch off a gorgeous table lamp at night knowing you’re sort of directly responsible for its existence. On top of this, as a pledger, you unlock an early-bird price (30% less than the standard Made.com price) on anything you’ve pledged into being.

Made’s Ruth Wassermann, design director at the company, describes the TalentLAB process as “an innovative way for consumers to have their say in what goes on site, and support emerging designers at the same time.”

In cultivating brave, inventive and exciting pieces, the scheme allows consumers to set trends rather than just follow them. From Frame Design Studio’s post-pomo Memphis clock to Felix Proctor’s balefully brutal pendant light, there’s something for everyone out there — it’s just up to you to put your money where your mouth is.