Industrial Craft Design Studio Opens an Enchanting San Francisco Store

This portal into the design world is filled with purposeful objects

Driven by objects with meaning and their connectedness to people, the multi-disciplinary design studio Industrial Craft opened their first-ever San Francisco storefront today. More than 100 brands are represented within—from legacy makers to emerging talent—and each item (whether it’s Jasper Morrison’s wall clock or 3D-printed vases by UAU Project and Los Senderos del Rio Bec tableware) underscores tactile, sensorial experience. Further, Industrial Craft positioned part of their workshop in this multi-floor set-up in the Mission neighborhood so that visitors can observe their creative process.

“As an industrial designer, I think about how people will engage with the physical world around them,” Max Burton, founder of Industrial Craft, tells COOL HUNTING. “This could be on the latest IoT product such as a smartwatch or something less complex but equally important like a teapot.” This translates directly into Industrial Craft’s vision for the store: “I enjoy making people’s interactions with the designed physical world joyful and enriching. With so much of our daily experiences in the digital medium, I wanted to create a space for a tactile engagement with the world.”

Having the workshop on site contributes in ways both seen and felt—it imbues the space with a thoughtful excitement. “To make great products requires a space that facilitates physical creation,” Burton says. “Daily, my creative team comes together to be creative. We start with sketches on paper and then we move to the workshop to make physical models to test proportions and how something feels in the hands. The studio has been designed to facilitate the creation of the physical objects and spaces.”

“I was excited about the idea of blending a design store with a design studio,” he continues. On the ground level, visitors walk into Industrial Craft’s store. There, a “workshop acts as a bridge between studio and store,” he further explains, where “customers can see my creative team making models and prototypes. I want to break down the barriers between designer, maker and customer.” The remainder of Industrial Craft’s studio is on the second floor, where the creative team designs “products for both corporate clients and products for the store.”

“I believe today, people are interested in how an object came to be,” Burton says. “Who came up with the idea and how did it get made? What are the materials and manufacturing processes? Everything that happens before a product hits the shop floor. We intentionally expose our creative process and encourage a conversation between designers and the public. I think people will be attracted to witnessing the creative process, not just the final product.” It’s a very nice touch—but so is the carefully stocked inventory, from US exclusive designers and products like glass objects from Baku Takahishi or the 1959 Static Clock by Richard Sapper from Lorenz.

Images courtesy of Alanna Hale