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Fort Standard

Fort Standard

When people write about Fort Standard, they write about the workshop in Brooklyn that overlooks the Statue of Liberty, the forming of Ian Collings and Greg Buntain’s friendship at the Pratt Institute, and the endless conversations the pair have to have in order to transform an idea into a product.

What they don’t write about is the pair’s ability to do just about anything.  When they started out their design collaboration in 2011 after a stint abroad at the Bauhaus institute, Fort Standard was a workshop producing small scale goods.  Since then there have been terrariums on tripods, mirrors, leather chairs, candelabras, marble light pendants, tables, marble trivets, multifaceted fine bone china bowls and even shop fit outs. 

The extensive product line is reflective of the pair’s open mindedness.  With combined backgrounds in glass blowing, surfboard shaping, welding and mechanics, when Greg and Ian decide to make something, they simply work out how.

In Greg’s words: “I think asking myself questions like… ‘Is this the best way to make this? Is it necessary? What can I do to make it better?’ …often leads to the most obvious solution or creates new opportunity.” 

Outdoorsy kids from Virginia and New Jersey respectively, making has always been a constant in both Ian and Greg’s lives.  While Ian’s ambition to become a designer was something of a slow burn, Greg’s came about a little more directly.

“I was fortunate enough to have a professor of mine at my first university tell me that I was wasting my time there and belonged in design school,” Greg has said. “I applied to Pratt and transferred into the Industrial Design program the next semester and never looked back.”

Collaborations with Othr, Areaware, MoMA PS1, and 1882 have catapulted Greg and Ian on to the international stage, but we would argue that it’s their geometric ‘Crest’ bottle openers that have kept them there.  Cast in bronze directly from hand carved wax, the Crest bottle openers are raw, durable, and designed to last forever. 

The success of the Crest bottle openers prove that industrial design has reached the turning point that Greg has described.

“I feel there has been a return to quality goods and that people are more conscious of what they buy and where it’s made,” he says. “People are willing to pay a little more for something that’s going to last them a long time.”

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Fort Standard’s Crest bottle openers are available now.

Images via Lonny.com, and Sword-Smith.