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September 10, 2019

Using Design and Technology for the Greater Good

Innovation, whether in design or business, has always been a core facet of our brand - this is especially the case when that innovation means giving back to a community in need.

We recently partnered with an incredible team to build and furnish the first permitted, 3D-printed home in the United States - a 500-square-foot building that will serve as the welcome center for Community First Village, a master-planned community in Austin, TX that provides a permanent housing solution for some of the city’s chronically homeless population.

Community First Village is run by Austin nonprofit Mobile Loaves and Fishes, an organization that has served and cared for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Austin area for more than 20 years. When completed, the unique community will provide housing for nearly 500 formerly homeless men and women through a range of home types and styles, some of which will be 3D-printed.

ICON, the construction technologies company that built the 3D-printed welcome center, developed the low-cost, low-waste building process, which allowed for the structure to come to life in just 27 hours. The building is made from a material called “Lavacrete,” ICON’s own super-resilient and structurally-solid building material, with the help of the Vulcan II 3D printer - a commercially-available construction printer that, with the help of some software, can turn a set of plans into a home in a just fraction of the time of conventional building methods.

 

Industry West and Icon Builders in AustinIndustry West and Icon Builders in Austin

We teamed up with our sister brand, Favor, to donate an assortment of furniture pieces and accessories to outfit the welcome center, and Austin interior designer Claire Zinnecker pulled it all together to create a curated and functional office space with elements that look and feel like home. After all - the welcome center is where residents may be entering the journey of homeownership for the very first time.

“At Industry West, we believe the places that help individuals heal or learn are just as important as the hotels and restaurants that we furnish every day,” said Anne England, Industry West’s co-founder and president of social responsibility. “The worldview of giving back is why we often work with non-profits to provide free or discounted furnishings.”

A partnership with these like-minded companies and organizations exists at the intersection of disruptive innovation and a spirit of giving back - which allows for the creation of new, creative and transformative solutions to tough problems, like homelessness. We were thrilled to help neighbors in need as a part of this one-of-a-kind development.

Industry West and Icon Builders in AustinIndustry West and Icon Builders in Austin
“At Industry West, we believe the places that help individuals heal or learn are just as important as the hotels and restaurants that we furnish every day."

Giving back is key here at Industry West, whether in providing furnishings and decor to a worthy cause or organization, or by supporting the local communities in which we work. Using good design to empower those in need is an important extension of our mission to make high-design and beautiful products more accessible.

WRITTEN BY ERIN WEINBERG