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Thorntree Social: Product Innovate

As a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Texas-Oklahoma chapter, we love to sponsor and participate in their creative events.  In the past, we have created intricate clothing garments that incorporate our porcelain and slate products as a part of the fashion forward event, Product Runway. This year in lieu of the ever-popular Product Runway, we participated in a brand-new design challenge: Product Innovate Jubilee.

The new event, Product Innovate, was held at Bayou Music Center (formerly known as Revention Music Center). It was socially distanced and still equally as fabulous. The participating firms were invited to create an 8’x 8’ structure that captures the spirit of a preassigned festival theme. Thorntree was partnered with the Inventure Team, Byrd Construction, and Janus et Cie with the assigned theme of Songkran Festival in Thailand.


Songkran is known as the Water Splashing Festival – it is a celebration to mark the start of the Buddhist New Year. In the streets of Thailand, locals use water guns and decorate elephants to spray passersby to “purify their spirit” for the new year. This made it easy to choose a colorful elephant to capture the entertaining representation of the festival through multicolored tiles, fabrics, and other materials. To signify the water cleansing, we utilized a bubble machine to make the display more animated.


After the event, we found out our team display won “Crowd Favorite” and our display was donated to Spring Branch Middle School. In addition, Team Mardi Gras by Gensler and associates won “Most Sustainable”, and Team Burning Man by Corgan and associates won “Most Instagrammable”. We are grateful to be surrounded by so many hard working and innovative individuals in the design community through IIDA.


This event benefits three industry nonprofits: “Houston Furniture Bank, TAID, and the IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter Education Fund. Houston Furniture Bank is a non-profit organization whose mission is to furnish hope by making empty houses, homes. TAID is an advocacy group that addresses legislative issues which affect the business of interior design in the state of Texas. The IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter Education Fund provides meaningful resources to commercial interior designers and their clients to advance the profession and enhance business value.” We are proud to participate and raise funds for these worthy causes. Thank you to IIDA and all the participating teams for their hard work. We cannot wait until next year to engage in this creative and philanthropic opportunity!