Every object tells a story, and one of the things I love most about blogging is uncovering the inspiration and creative processes behind great design; in fact, it’s something I ask every maker, retailer and Instagrammer featured on these pages. So, I was very excited to discover In The Window, a website that enables designers and brands to share their collections – and the stories behind them – with interiors addicts like me.
The site is made up of a series of ‘windows’, each showcasing a range or product, and it’s a fantastic concept: I could easily lose hours meandering between them, stumbling across beautiful objects (everything from ceramics to lighting to textiles) and learning how they took shape. It’s also a very interactive experience, with the option to gather windows together into ‘curations’ (I’ve already created three of my own), start conversations with other users, and communicate directly with the designers and brands themselves.
I chatted to In The Window’s Van Anh Thi Le to find out more…
Please can you tell us a bit about In The Window?
“In The Window was founded to celebrate design talent and foster a deep social experience around it. Designers, makers and brands have windows (we call them ‘windowkeepers’), where they can share their collections and tell their stories. Visitors are taken on a visually immersive journey, and can discover, curate and engage with the content and the people behind it. The experience is truly authentic and personal.”
Who’s behind it?
“The team is international, hailing from the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. We’ve come together in London, as it’s one of the world’s most vibrant design hubs. We’re all driven by a passion for design, and we have an interesting mix of backgrounds – the founder, Rani Saad, has about 20 years’ experience in early-stage technology in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, and he wanted to apply this to the design world.”
How did the concept come about?
“We did extensive research in London, New York and Tokyo to investigate how people engage with design, and how designers and makers prefer to share and promote their work. We found that storytelling and curation are core elements of this, but are often missing from retail environments, where products sit on the shelf stripped of the tales behind them. In The Window brings all of this back, and gives designers, makers and brands the power to tell their story and curate their work in a deep and cinematic way.”
How can people use In The Window to find inspiration and engage with others?
“The stories and collections are a great source of inspiration to anyone with an interest in design and the creative processes behind it. After discovering a story or product, users can select and, if they wish, curate it with different labels. They can then share individual selections or full curations as a way to express their creative sensibilities and tastes. They can also follow other people’s curations and gain alternative perspectives.
“Users can also hold conversations with each other and with windowkeepers. These conversations are direct, visual and collaborative, promoting our aim to foster meaningful relationships among the design community.”
What do you want users to take away from In The Window?
“With stories coming directly from the design talent, we want both users and windowkeepers to feel part of a community and gain a mutual understanding of each other. We want them to value the objects and spaces they’re surrounded with, and getting to know the stories behind them is a great step towards this.”
What inspires the team at In The Window?
“We’re really passionate about design, but we’re also very committed to helping the design community in a concrete way. We’re in touch with designers, makers and brands on a daily basis, so we’ve developed a great understanding of their needs. We also have an awareness of the challenges facing them, which helps us tailor our offer to be as relevant as possible. Our goal is to give design creatives the space they need to celebrate what they do and how they do it.”
Finally, what are the future plans for In The Window?
“We’re continuing to expand our features and offerings, and we’re planning to add more social functionality around curations to give bloggers and influencers a more prominent voice. A mobile application is also in the planning, and premium services are coming soon. We’re expanding our audience as we grow globally. We’re very excited about the way things are evolving, and we want to continue providing a great platform for the design community at large.”
Thanks Van Anh!
If you fancy exploring In The Window for yourself, click here to sign up and take a look around.
Photography by Abi Dare