Threadless have taken co-design to the next level but creating an opportunity for a consumer to be crowned “Designer of the Year” and win $20,000 in the process!
The Internet retail company allows users to design t-shirts which are then uploaded and critiqued by other users. Users are encouraged to vote for their favourite designs with the most popular going into production. A scoring system has been designed which ranks the users who have purchased previously more authority when voting. If your design goes into production you receive a share of the profits.
This is a clever strategy to empower consumers and learn from user generated content. It creates a platform for co-creation and the community atmosphere allows users to support each other. The opportunity for consumers to profit from their creativity is a great incentive and can you imagine how they would feel seeing a stranger walking down the street in their creation!
This makes me question the role of the designer. As we entering an era the designer takes on a facilitator role? I think collaboration is an exciting prospect as consumers are becoming much more design savvy and educated about where their clothing comes from and how it is made.