Lisa Smith, Managing Editor, Core77, is one of the brains behind Small Time: 77 Design Gifts Under $77. Here she talks about how Santa’s elves became design mavens.
Who and how did you come up with Small Time?
We came up with Small Time after a conversation about doing a gift guide that featured only “pocket-sized” items. From there, we opened it up a bit, thinking about “small” in all its definitions, with the idea and hope that small things are also big things.
How do you decide what goes into the Gift Guide?
We worked with several star contributors, selected because of their fabulous curatorial eye: Rob Giampietro, Martine Syms, Matt Brown, James Tichenor, Jessica Charlesworth and Tim Parsons, and Alex Lin. We also had Hand Eye Supply pitch in a few suggestions from their inventory, and picked several house posts on top of that. The editing process is tedious, but fun. I printed everything out in a matrix of little images, cut them out and arranged and rearranged them until I felt the theme and contributors were well represented.
What has been your single most popular Small Thing?
In terms of clicks, the Keybrid, USB Battleship, Stick Lighters, and Bonsai Forest have all been popular.
Don’t we have enough stuff? Why more gifts?
People will always give gifts–its ingrained in the social nature of humans, if you believe anthropologist Marcel Mauss, anyway. The type and scale of gift is where things can change. Your point about having enough stuff is part of why Small Time was chosen as the theme–we hoped that people would be happy to receive things smaller in size or humbler in gesture, but big in impact or specialness. The real answer to the problem, is, of course, to just be less materialistic as a culture; we’re not claiming that Small Time touches on that.
Okay, I like gifts too. What would you get for me?
An easy one: 77 two dollar bills, though the eye clock is a close contender.