Scott Ballum’s Impossible Mission Made Possible: The Consume®econnection Project

23 01 2009


Scott Ballum at Interesting New York from David Nottoli on Vimeo.

Design Goes Green – The popular series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry in Green Printer’s Blog is back again. Wild, isn’t it?

By Contributing Writer Nate Burgos of Design Feast and the Design Feaster blog.



In March 2008, Scott Ballum, a designer, began a quest to locate and meet the people responsible for some of the products in his life. For example, curious about the making of New Balance athletic footwear, Ballum traveled from his home base in Brooklyn, New York, to the New Balance shoe manufacturing plant in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

There, he met plant manager Claudio Gelman who shared his tale of arriving to the United States and his experiences as a New Balance employee for the past 13 years. Ballum was “amazed at how hands-on the process is, with highly skilled individual line workers manning presses and sewing machines to get every detail right in the shortest amount of time.”

Making a determined effort to connect with some of the people responsible for our artificial and natural landscape might sound extreme, but it reminds us that products and services are more than a façade. They have a face—or many faces. As Ballum explains:

“We’ve become pushed further and further away from the people who actually produce. And I think that both the producers and consumers would feel better about the things that they do if they had an idea of how their actions are actually affecting people.”

A product’s realization and ultimate appearance in the public domain is borne from a path of human making, and it’s a complex one. The final result of such a hard-earned journey didn’t satisfy Scott, whose mission to match a face and a place behind bourbon, business cards, vegetables, or a pair of sports shoes has proven not impossible.

It’s simply a more advanced form of meeting the farmer, the brewer, the chef, and the printer—all of whom Scott Ballum met in person as he closes the gap between producers and consumers. The value chain is visible.

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One response to “Scott Ballum’s Impossible Mission Made Possible: The Consume®econnection Project”

23 01 2009
MegaMillionsCalifornia (07:48:14) :

nice video!

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