The frontier represents the final boundary, signifying a geographic region as well as an abstract realm where original ideas evolve and take shape. In "the new frontier"—on the cusp of the unknown and untested—designer-makers are resetting boundaries, playing by their own rules, and establishing innovative models for creating, producing, and distributing goods.
The Pacific Northwest, still a frontier for industrial design production, is home to an inspiring population of young makers who are forging creative practices based on untested economic models that hark simultaneously to pre-industrial craft production and to cutting-edge technologies. Driven by a need to create beautiful, functional objects, while recognizing that the world is full of beautiful, functional objects, these pioneers form ideas, locate resources, and utilize processes available to them on the frontier. This phenomenon, globally conscious but regionally based, represents the new creative economy.
The New Frontier presents works by young, locally based designer-makers. Examining the materials, processes, and creative strategies that define their practices, the exhibition acts as a catalyst for the discussion of how objects and products are conceived and created here; who is making them; and how the field of local design is reflective of this unique region.