• Strategic Design and Management (BBA)

    Suzannah Tarkington and Bozhou Luo


    BOUW is a digital magazine that inspires its readers to live intentionally and sustainably by sharing the stories of independent furniture makers. This online publication was inspired by a frustration with the current popularity of "fast furniture" sellers, such as Ikea. In 2016 alone, the Environmental Protection Agency reported, furniture accounted for 9.8 million tons of household waste and was the least commonly recycled household item. We wanted to see how we could re-orient consumers' relationships with the modern furniture industry to design more sustainable options and solutions. During a year of in-depth research, we interviewed dozens of local furniture makers along with industry and retail experts. We realized that to change customers purchasing habits, we needed to start a dialogue about our values as consumers. This inspired us to develop a digital magazine that connects with readers on an emotional level and subtly educates them about where furniture comes from, who makes it, and how to make more sustainable choices. We did this by sharing the stories, lives, and work of local furniture makers. BOUW looks to the past for an appreciation of craft while encouraging its readers to create a more sustainable, community-based future.