Brooklyn creatives launch Kids of Kathmandu non-profit

Brooklyn, NY -- Last year, Brooklyn-based couple Andrew Raible, a furniture maker, and Jami Saunders, a photographer, spent their honeymoon volunteering in an orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal. After returning from the trip, humbled and inspired, they decided to form Kids of Kathmandu, a non-profit that utilizes photography, art and design to raise awareness and needed funds for the 41 kids who had touched their hearts – half of whom suffer from chronic malnutrition. Their first initiative, The Desk Project, will focus on furniture design where 11 unique kids’ desks made by 11 different designers will be auctioned off to support children’s education in Kathmandu. On May 12, 2011 Kids of Kathmandu will also host an inaugural fundraising gala in New York. The $75 ticket will cover an evening of hors d’ourves, drinks and live music in addition to an installation of large-format photographs of the children, which will be available for sale.

The desks have been generously and expertly crafted by:

Andrew Raible (Standard41)
Andrew is a native New Yorker, sixth-generation woodworker/designer and co-founder of Kids of Kathmandu. He studied in Pratt’s Masters in Industrial Design program and in 2005 started Standard41 – a minimalist furniture company – with his father followed by Taible in 2010, which concentrates on modern tables with a whimsical voice. His desk for this project is a modern interpretation of the classic minimal school desk with subtle accents of color.

Andrew Rumpler (Nine Stories Furniture Co)
Andrew is an Industrial Design graduate of RISD and the founder of Nine Stories Furniture Co – a small design/build studio in Brooklyn. With a color-blocked tabletop reminiscent of Op Art paintings, Andrew’s desk is modern, hip and minimalist.

Brooklyn creatives launch Kids of Kathmandu non-profitBen Strear (Strear Built)
After graduating from RISD with a degree in furniture design, Ben worked as a fabricator for various architects and artists before opening his own woodshop in December 2010. Inspired by the memory of his childhood wooden train set, his plywood and solid wood table was built in a torsion box style of construction with lathe turned components.

Bill Hilgendorf (Uhuru)
Bill is an Industrial Design graduate of RISD who co-founded Uhuru Design with Jason Horvath. His passion for working with found objects began at a young age and he has continued finding inspiration in the items discarded on New York streets. Using old typeset drawers beneath an ebonized ash tabletop sitting on a blackened steel frame, his table is perfect for a hyper organized child.

Brian DeRosia
Brian is a Brooklyn-based artist who developed an interest in woodworking while pursuing an MFA from Maine College of Art. With an extensive background in house building and cabinet making, his timeless cherry desk will compliment any décor.

Daniel Moyer (Daniel Moyer Design)
A fan of modern design and ancient techniques, Daniel Moyer’s desk features decidedly modern shapes and lines with unmistakable elements from The East. Employing traditional cut-wood joinery, the desk is composed of air-dried, locally sawn, solid hardwoods and industrial resin.

Eric Manigian
Eric is a trained sculptor and extensive traveler who received his BFA from Pratt and completed the Summer Intensive Architectural Program at Columbia University. Using two pieces of salvaged English walnut, his desk features a seemingly natural but manipulated “X” image working with the wood’s natural grain.

James Harmon (Workshop)
James received his MFA from Maine College of Art, is a trained wooden boat builder and co-founded the Red Hook, Brooklyn-based design and fabrication firm, Workshop. For this project, James was inspired by his own childhood desk and period desks from the 20’s and ‘30s. He took the traditional silhouette of a desk, split it in half and rearranged the orientation of the work surfaces, allowing for more meaningful exchanges (or mischief).

Mark Righter (Cambium Studio)
Mark is a biologist turned furniture designer who founded Cambium Studio in 2004. Using safety, function and fun as his guiding elements, he designed a children’s desk with playful curves, colorful accents, hidden storage and a built-in seat.

MADE’s desk evolved from a fascination with the way kids play and create. Inspired by the stacking of building blocks, Stephanie Beamer and Lauren Maccuaig used remnants of wood and leftover paint to develop a set of blocks that were then stacked and arranged to create a more stable version of a child’s teetering tower.

Principals Alejandro Cabrera and James Cohen teamed up in 2010 to prototype a line of well-designed, high-end, custom baby furniture. Their shared aesthetic and compatible work ethic were in play as they created this colorful, multi-tiered child’s desk with space for writing and drawing utensils as well as slots for books.

About Kids of Kathmandu

Kids of Kathmandu is a non-profit organization founded by Andrew Raible and Jami Saunders that utilizes photography and the arts to raise awareness about the needs of orphans in Kathmandu, Nepal. Their goal is to raise funds in order to provide a stable financial foundation for the children from which they can grow through funding for education, food, shelter and immunizations. With these very basic needs covered, they hope to provide a sense of safety and encouragement for the children so that they can fully realize their potential in the rapidly changing environment of Nepal.

SOURCE: Kids of Kathmandu

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