Krowdsourced is a commercial resource materials library, serving the architecture and interior design communities. Founder Nicole Schmidt gave us a tour of their space, talked about the library and discussed why she founded it.
Nicole led us through her history of working in commercial construction. She got her start as an intern in a material library at Ankrom Moisan
and moved her way up from there. During this time she saw how costly and labor intensive current materials libraries are for offices to manage. She started an online resource during the nights and weekends. In December of 2017, a space became available and a client talked her into considering becoming a physical resource for her clients – thus the current Krowdsourced as we know it was born.
They currently offer a searchable database (focused on commercial construction) on the website supporting many architectural and design offices. She has intentionally designed the company around the members paying the fees to join so that she can offer a wide variety of materials leveling the playing field – from large manufacturers to local, smaller-scale makers. She has designed a platform to connect people – manufacturers to the design decision-makers. One advantage of working with Krowdsourced is their knowledge and work with sustainable materials. Their clients spend millions of dollars on materials for their projects and her philosophy is that you might as well make a difference. She allows her clients to make thoughtful decisions in a matter of minutes.
The second half of our meeting was led by Sasha Burchuk of New Age Design Studio
. New Age Design Studio is an interdisciplinary design studio offering a furniture product line and interior design services. Sasha shared her work and talked about her proprietary material – Gemstone Terrazo
which Krowdsourced stocks in their material library.
*Sasha working in her studio
Sasha discussed the thorough history of how terrazzo became what we know it today – from the origins of offcuts from pictorial mosaics in Italy to its introduction to the US in late 1800s and its early use during the Art Deco era ubiquitous in schools and hospitals during this time. It went underground for many decades and experienced a resurgence in 2014 with artists such as Max Lamb
using it in contemporary ways such as at his Art Basel installation. Since then terrazzo has seen an almost cult-like following. One of Sasha’s inspirations is surface pattern artist Olivia Aspinall
*Work by Olivia Aspinall
Sasha has fostered a love of this aggregate material somewhat organically – through renovating a dilapidated A-frame Mt. Hood cabin paired with her love of velvet paintings and the design aesthetic of the 70s and 80s. She left her full-time job to become a concrete fabrication apprentice. She experiments with semi-precious stones that are mindfully sourced to create her terrazzo. It’s clear after just a few minutes talking with Sasha that she has a deep passion for this material. Her next steps with New Age Design Studio and Gemstone Terrazzo are to create a product pipeline for her beautiful material.
*Table by New Age Design Studio collaborative project Body Double
*Gemstone Terrazzo Cube Table by New Age Design Studio