The Materious Cubby - Design Bureau

The Materious Cubby

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

By Stephen Killion

While it has won awards and accolades from the design press, you still can't bring a CUBBY home from the design shop. The ingenious "coat hook + storage unit" has had a rough road from inception to production. Originally designed in 2006, it won both Best of the Year: Accessories by Interior Design Magazine and Best in Show at the DWR, Modern+Design+Function competition, CUBBY was created by Materious, the husband-and-wife design duo Stephanie and Bruce Tharp. The praise for this merging of objects typically found in a home entry has been deafening, but the project has yet to be manufactured. 

That's not because Materious don't know what they're up against. The company focuses mainly on creating product ideas for manufacturers. The duo is very aware that not all great product ideas have the ability to be produced for the masses. "Larger companies have larger overhead, so the pricing and margins may not accommodate product ideas that could be successful, and the risk may be perceived as too great for them to deviate from their established formula... so, sometimes if you want your product to make it to market, you have to do it yourself," Bruce Tharp tells us. 

CUBBY was one of the first projects they designed, one they could not let be lifelessly value-engineered. Designed to be hung with one nail, made of recycled and recyclable material in the USA, and proportioned to support anything from a laptop bag to a coat, the CUBBY was no simple tube of plastic, it was thought-out. "It seemed like such a shame to just abandon the project because of what we perceived as corporate short-sightedness," Tharp writes. Taking matters into their own hands Stephanie and Bruce looked to crowd fundraising via kickstarter. Perhaps design conscious consumers could help bring the product to life? From the looks of it, that's precisely how it worked out. The project is fully funded with the bidding wrapping up Saturday.

There are but a few days left to be one the the first people to snag the CUBBY—$19 gets you one mailed to your door. Hurry, you can still own a great piece of contemporary American design—no middleman required.

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