Suzannah Tarkington

BOUW : A digital magazine sharing stories of independent makers to inspire readers to live intentionally

Inspired by a frustration in the recent trend of “fast furniture,” we choose to explore the challenges felt by consumers interacting with the modern-day furniture industry.

Our research lead us to work with local furniture makers who inspired us to create BOUW, a digital magazine that publishes poignant articles that share the experiences and work of independent designers.

The aim is to tap into the emotionally driven instincts of our readers, providing them a guide to purchasing more thoughtfully and sustainably.

Originally, we developed a sustainable furniture rental company. To source our furniture, we met with local makers in New York. Inspired by this community, we pivoted and implemented Dekor, a retail platform selling local designs while re-educating consumers on the value of making.

Further research showed that makers didn’t need more retail space but a place to engage and teach customers. To change buying habits we needed to change the culture values around buying. This led us to create BOUW.

There are many retailers that connect consumers with goods. We realized the issue wasn’t access to buying but the culture and ideas around how we buy, value, and invest in. We need to change our relationships with objects in this manufacturing age.

We created BOUW as a tool to teach people to live with intent by purchasing with intent. The digital magazine nudges readers to live locally, be sustainable and appreciate heritage through an engaging user experience and stories that resonates with our audience personally and emotionally.

Course: Senior Project: Capstone

Process: Leadership, Market Engagement, Media, Social Impact, Systems Thinking