Who doesn’t love a story about overcoming the odds? This well-crafted, modern day tale began as a casual design challenge and evolved into an innovative modular design business led by two architects with enough energy to power a small prototyping plant.
Browsing the Palm Springs Museum of Modern Art for inspiration for her next commissioned art project, Ruth Freeman stumbled upon the vacuum-formed styrene stylings of Jim Isermann (look no further than UCSF Genentech Hall for his interior work).
She liked what she saw. Within an hour, she had talked colleague EJ Tanu, a Gensler Studio 585 alum with Apple Store and Toyota successes, into joining her for onsite deliberation.
Could they blur the boundary between art and design using a technology they had, up until now, only contracted out? Could they adhere to their minimalist roots without forfeiting functionality?
Would they be able to produce a line affordable to design enthusiasts on a budget?
Never ones to shy from a challenge, EJ and Ruth were on a mission. The design process, highly disciplined after years as architects, came organically. As did the design itself, which is inspired by frozen water droplets. However, learning to master rapid prototype technology and working with unforgiving materials like Appleply and acrylic has been painstaking.
Unable to afford consultants or technicians, DripModule has become a DIY poster child. Spending most waking hours at TechShop San Francisco and the Drip Module design lab (formerly known as “EJ’s apartment”), they became self-taught in all areas of rapid prototyping and machine fabricating and have personally produced each Drip Series I prototype.
Fast forward six months: DripModule is enjoying the burgeoning demand for their designs and plans to adhere to their core philosophy of being a locally produced, domestically sourced small business. Their designs was picked up by a large retailer and featured in the USA and Europe.
From a serving bowl entered in last year’s IIDA/HD Product Design Competition to 14 finished prototypes (from pet bowls to wall clocks), each Drip Series I design is thoughtfully sleek and iconic. Experience Drip Module at select retailers and Learn more about how Drip products are made and preview new designs in development at dripblog.