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Wendell Castle + Josh Owen

June 1, 2019


The Project
The Support for Knowledge project began as a dream to help the internationally renowned RIT industrial design program grow into a new facility that would mirror its status in the world. Building on the collaborative nature of the industrial design field and its cohort in and around RIT, we envisioned a collaborative project worthy of capturing such a spirit - distilled into a product that could be sold in limited edition to act as an heirloom to memorialize our intentions. Leveraging the storied Shop One as a conduit and our friends at Autodesk to explore production ideas, students, alumni and faculty could collaborate to develop limited edition works of art/design to help our cause.

The redesigned Industrial Design Studio will be the embodiment of good design to prospective students.The program has grown and matured over the years, consistently ranked in the top ten nationally. Providing students and faculty with facilities on par with the quality of the education will help drive the program into the top three nationally.

For the inaugural project launch, two experienced makers set out to apply their individual approaches to jointly create a pair of bookends. Their existing bodies of work show very different vocabularies. Each one designed one half of the set. Their goal was to produce an object set where each side has its own distinct style, but successfully interacts with the other side to create a holistic design conversation for the pair.

Unlikely Partners
Wendell Castle went to school to be a designer and became a sculptor. Josh Owen trained to be a sculptor and later became a designer. Wendell and Josh became friends shortly after Owen moved to Rochester in 2010. Known as the Father of the American Craft Movement, Castle’s connection with Rochester, NY and Rochester Institute of Technology runs deep. Harold Brennan, the Director of School for American Craftsmen recruited Castle in 1962 to join the faculty at RIT to teach woodworking and furniture design. Castle also maintained his own studio in Rochester. More recently Castle was affiliated with the students and faculty of the industrial design program where he taught regularly since 2010. Josh Owen was recruited to RIT in 2010 and has been the chair of the industrial design program at RIT since 2012 making connections to the Vignelli Center for Design studies.

Bookends, a limited edition of 20, are exclusively available through Shop One.

Stacking Up Vignelli

April 21, 2017


In 1964, the Vignellis won a Compasso D’oro Award for Good Design for their stacking dish set manufactured in Italy by Arpe. In 1970, Heller brought the design to the US with their Max1 stacking set and a couple years later with the infamous rainbow stacking sets. Did you know they also made a stacking set for Casigliani in 1979?

When Massimo and Lella Vignelli donated their life’s work to the archives at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, they also donated some new vintage stock for their Casigliani Kyoto dinner ware. Now you can be the proud owner of this rare set. Rochester Institute of Technology’s own Shop One has a limited quantity of sets available for purchase in three colors:

You probably recognize the name Casigliani from the other numerous furniture and products designed by the Vignellis! Vignelli Center for Design Studies posts about other Casigliani artifacts from the archives.

If you’re in Rochester, come and visit the Vignelli Center for Design Studies and Shop One! The Casiglinani Kyoto set is always on view in the the Vignelli Center for Design Studies (along with the Heller Max1 set and Heller stacking rainbow mugs). And if you want to study these dishes or anything else from the archives, just contact us for an appointment! The limited sets of Kyoto Dinner Ware Sets are on display and available for sale in Shop One.

Shop One also offers publications and DVDs associated with Massimo and Lella Vignelli.

What a Find! - 1956 Craft Horizons - Shop One

December 11, 2016


Browsing the internet one evening, this beauty popped up on the screen. A 1956 Craft Horizon issue with a classic 'mid-century modern' cover design. Digging deeper, it reveals the article that introduces Shop One to the art and craft world. 

"Probably every craftsman at some time or other considers opening his own shop to sell things he makes. This story of four who did so, combining their talents and resources to set up a crafts store, unusual in its close contact between customer and craftsman. Located in Rochester, New York, it is called Shop One."

Read the article and discover the wealth of notable names of craftsmen - the founders Jack Prip, Tage Frid, Frans Wildenhain and Ron Pearson. Karl Laurel, Hans Christensen, Lawrence Copeland, Max Nixon, Robert Donovan, Richard Wakamoto, and Hobart Cowles all displayed and sold their work.

Barbara Newton (Cowles) is acknowledged - "Not the least of this craft store's assets is its lovely manager whose basic aim is the presentation of crafts in as home-like setting as possible". Barbara became a managing partner at Shop One. 

This is a beautiful record of Shop One's role in the roots of the Craft Movement.