CUR8's Innovation Petting Zoo

And cut! CUR8’s Innovation Petting Zoo at this month’s High Point Market was a huge success. Our Petting Zoo was a new kind of showroom event, a multi-sensory and interactive marketplace of leading edge product design. We encouraged our guests to touch, feel, and play with all design objects and, in the process, learn about how they were made and why it matters. Our products fell into two collections: “Smart is Sexy” and “Infinite Luxury”. Here’s a recap of some of our featured brand innovations.

Smart is Sexy

Most people associate “smart home” with gadgets like door locks, security cameras, thermostats, and personal assistants – items sold in electronics and home improvement stores. That’s changing. More and more products in our homes are becoming connected to the Internet in interesting and meaningful ways. From countertops that wirelessly charge our devices to sofas that reconfigure themselves with the wave of a hand to art that interacts with us, all aspects of our built environments are getting smarter. And we no longer have to sacrifice form for function. Technology and design savvy are coming together to offer beautiful and connected home goods making smart the new sexy.

Meural Canvas Telling Product Stories

Meural is a beautiful digital art canvas that allows you to have a library of art on your wall. Control the art with an app or put your phone down and interact directly with the frame by simply waving your hand. At our petting zoo, we used the Meural canvas to tell beautiful product stories. Whether you’re a consumer or in the trade, everyone loves this interactive way to engage with digital content.

Nanoleaf Smart Light Panels (left)

Nanoleaf Aurora was another featured smart product. You can configure these modular light panels into any shape on your wall and control the colors with an app on your phone or with your voice. Change the colors on your wall to suit your mood or have it move through beautiful color sequences. It can even “dance” to your music.

Wave City 3D Printed Coffee Table

3D Printed Wave City Coffee Table3D printing is no longer just for plastic toys and prototypes. Technological and material advancement is resulting in stunning new products, all built with zero waste. We presented our amazing Wave City coffee table by Cyprus-based Stelios Mousarris as well as CUR8’s new exclusive 3D printed pendant lighting collection.

Infinite Luxury

Circular design in luxury goods is building momentum and we at CUR8 couldn’t be more excited. Why not replace unsustainable high-end products with infinitely renewable luxuries? Why not make a positive impact on our planet and our communities without sacrificing design aesthetic? At our Innovation Petting Zoo we introduced CUR8’s Infinite Luxury collection, amazing innovation in next-generation sustainable design.

ecoBirdy Recycled Children’s Furniture & Decor

CUR8 was proud to introduce ecoBirdy to the American market at High Point. This Belgium-based brand recycles plastic toys into playful furniture – from children, for children. They even host an elementary school program that teaches children about circular design and shows them what can happen to the things they throw away.

We were also excited to present Quazi Design’s decorative bowls made from recycled paper pulp in Swaziland and Reform Studio’s cushions and placemats made from recycled plastic bags in Egypt.

Bowls from Quazi Design
Cushions from Reform Studio

While we focus on home furnishings and décor, there are some products we just can’t pass up. This month we launched collections from Kelly Lane and Kanju that turn manufacturing remnants into gorgeous jewelry pieces. Kelly Lane necklaces are made using material remnants from her apparel and home goods design studio.

Necklaces from Kelly Lane and Other Recycled Products

Kanju’s new bracelets and cuffs, a big crowd pleaser at the Zoo, leverage remnants from ethical and sustainable crocodile farming in Zimbabwe. Once an endangered animal in the region, ethical farming has reduced poaching and provided economic opportunities for local communities. While crocodile leather has been used by luxury brands for years, the tails were historically discarded as they’re small and inconsistent in form. These cuffs, available in a variety of colors, are an amazing application of otherwise discarded leather remnants.

Croc Cuff from Kanju

While innovation in recycling is phenomenal, we also love brands designing products that never need to be recycled. Our Petting Zoo participants were spellbound by material innovation from Daniele Trofe and FIBandCO. Daniele Trofe’s award-winning lighting collection is grown from mycelium and hemp in her Brooklyn design studio.

Pendant Light by Danielle Trofe

FIBandCO’s new Green Blade wood-like veneer is made from byproducts of banana plant harvesting. We presented Green Blade in the form of beautiful pendant and table lamps from Paris-based Tedzukuri Atelier.

Tedzukuri Atelelier and Green Blade Eco-wood Veneer

In addition to bringing amazing new products to market, we at CUR8 presented these collections through an equally innovative, interactive experience. We leveraged tablets, the Meural Canvas, QR codes and even Augmented Reality to tell amazing product stories.

Digital Story Telling

Beyond tech, we also encouraged guests to touch, feel, and play with all of our products so they could experience them first hand. Technology doesn’t have to be complicated or threatening. Turns out it can be friendly and fun.

And just as with any big event, our success was the result of team effort.  I want to thank our phenomenal host, Design Legacy, and the amazing media publications that showered us with love, including Home Accents Today, HFN (Home Furnishings News), and Traditional Home Magazine. We can’t wait for the next High Point Market event in October!

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