Uno pen and pencil 20.10.16

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A set of minimalist, aluminium writing instruments designed by a Los Angeles-based architect is a hit on Kickstarter

It would seem paradoxical that today’s connected consumers would yearn for something as technologically old-fashioned as a pen. Yet the Uno range, designed by Los Angeles-based outfit Ensso, received not one but two successful rounds of Kickstarter funding, and is now ready for mass production and distribution. ‘The secret to crowdfunding is a mystery to me,’ says Ensso’s founder, architect-turned-designer Carlo Aiello. ‘The only constant is that successfully crowdfunded products are always refined and well thought-out pieces with high conceptual, material and aesthetic value.’

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In the case of Uno, this means an anodised aluminium barrel in different colours (gold, rose gold, red, black, blue and grey) and a cylindrical grip that slides and turns to reveal the pen’s tip. ‘Designing industrial objects is an escape – a creative explosion that can be realised in a short period of time, without the uncertainties of architecture,’ says Aiello. Freed from the compex concerns of building, Aiello was able to realise his vision of a pen ‘liberated’ from any superfluous components and ornament, without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics.

Another twist of ingenuity is the pen’s ability to transform into a mechanical pencil, simply by exchanging the inner ink cartridge for a mechanical pencil one and adding a push button. To complete the collection, Aiello plans to release a fountain pen in early 2017. Let’s hope it matches up.

ensso.com

 

Words

Peter Smisek

quotes story

Successfully crowdfunded products are always refined and well thought-out pieces with high conceptual, material and aesthetic value

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