This Artisan-Run Studio is Designing Sustainable Art Pieces That Connect People and Planet
Haptic Lab is offering up its intricate, one-of-a-kind art to connect people back to the world around them via the sense of touch. From kites that take the shape of a ship, to quilts that map out our stars, the small Brooklyn design studio is reviving lost art forms to help shape our view of and value for the planet around us. A certified B-Corp, Haptic Lab partners with artisans around the world to craft its heirloom pieces in small batches, with sustainable materials, providing livelihoods for marginalized microeconomies and minimizing environmental impact. Haptic Lab also invests in its local New York City community by organizing kite-making workshops for children, empowering them to create, away from their screens.
The Lost Art of Touch
Haptic Lab is a design studio collaboration between craft artists and designers that dream up handmade quilts and nylon kites to explore the human sense of touch.
Inspired to assist her Mother who was battling glaucoma, founder Emily Fischer began exploring quilts as maps and way-finding tools for the visually impaired, giving the start-up its name “haptic,” referring to the sense of touch.
Fischer’s studio is reviving one of America’s oldest art forms – quilting – which she believes is a powerful story-telling tool. The craft provides an excellent sensory canvas with which to embed textures that map out stories, places, and things. Exploring these quilts by touch creates a different connection between the art and its observer than what might be achieved through visuals alone.
And in a modern age where digitized screens are increasingly taking over our personal and public spaces, it’s Fischer’s hope to restore balance to our experience of and value for the physical world.
Between whimsical quilts that map out our celestial bodies, and others that depict city-scapes, coasts, and parks, this design studio brings a new way of getting to know the places around us that are within and out of reach.
With the help of these works of art, we can become re-sensitized to and even familiar with what is around us, inspiring us to create meaningful, positive connections with our surroundings nearby, and with our planet at-large, which is exactly Haptic Lab’s mission.
Respecting People and Planet
While designs are first created in their New York studio, Haptic Lab crafts its quilts and kites in partnership with small artisan vendors and factories around the world including India and Bali. The studio is careful to focus on cyclical small batches that protect artisan labor and provide reliable income.
As part of its mission to minimize environmental impact, Haptic Lab’s quilts are crafted from organic cotton and other chemical-free, recycled or low-impact materials.
The studio also intends for its art to serve as heirloom pieces, to be passed down over generations, in turn minimizing consumer waste that is characteristic of the fast fashion and home goods industries.
Haptic Lab is also advancing its mission by working with local schools, inspiring children to explore and create with their hands. In 2018, the studio ran free or donation based kite building workshops at 3 locations around the city. That same year, Haptic Lab became a certified B-Corp, solidifying its status as a company that has built sustainability into its business model.
As Featured In
Emily Fischer, the pioneer of Haptic Lab was recently featured in Domino.
Where to Find
Haptic Lab can be found at small independent Retail Partners such as Huckberry, One King’s Lane and Made Trade. Click here to find a store near you.