Anyone designed and sold site furnishings?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums DETAILS & MATERIALS Anyone designed and sold site furnishings?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Brandon Reed, CVO, ASLA / Rooftop and Urban Designer / Landscape Architect 11 years ago.

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    Brian Hochstein

    I have some unique ideas on some site funishing designs and systems. I would like to know how to protect my design and potentially sell the design or possibly partner with someone to get it constructed and sold. I don’t think there is anything patentable about my designs, just that they are unique. All elements exist already of the site furnishings. Has anyone done this? Does anyone know someone who has done this? How do I protect a design? Thanks!


    Hi Brian!

    Thats funny you mention this topic….I have been looking for the same kind of thing….We have been talking about designing and selling furniture……It would be cool to be able to do some custom design furniture that would compliment your clients newly installed landscape and interior…..

    If you figure something out…..please let me know…..I will do the same!


    Brian Hochstein

    This topic has had my brain going for a while. If we design a unique feature, that is replicable, like a trash enclosure, and that trash enclosure is different in design from anything out there how do you protect it? Patents are expensive and I am pretty sure not applicable for 99% of what I am thinking about. Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery but getting paid a little for that flattery wouldn’t be bad either. Anyone think I am just greedy and need to just create a design that is “better” and then sell it as such? Thoughts?


    Rich Bensman

    I know some designers have partnered with existing fabrication studios on developing site furniture. Like Tom Balsley with LandscapeForms. Others like Robert M. Stern Architects have created their own line and then found interested parties to mass market and fabricate.


    Hi Brian,

    This is definitily what I am wanting and I belive this is good idea. Everybody would like to have a unique thing and many people paying lots of many to have them. I am studying at the oxford college of garden design and we are learning to design our feature for our project and how to build it up. Now a days I am designing couple of things and need to find manufacturers to discuss ara they able to make it and I would like to have some quatation for it. depends on your project, the other thing if you are interesting about photograpy, you can use some of your good photo as a some feature on your project.


    I truly think you ar e branding yourself and not the specific elements; if your design is copied, I would consider it to be a success… I think that your designed element will make its mark and if it is aesthetically pleasing and functional, you will have accomplished your goal and sold the units expected before it is copied. Continue to come up with exciting elements and your name is your patent, your brand will be purchased first and the copies later… The other side of this is to choose who manufactures your product wisely; one person could view your design and claim that it is a failure and then build it w/o you knowing. I have taken items to fabricators and requested for them to sign a document stating that they will not reproduce or share the design w/o written permission. Unfortunately there is always a way to beat the system, even a small dimension change might be enough for someone to get away with a copy.


    Craig Verzone

    Hi Brian,

    Perhaps one of the best ways to get a company to produce furniture is to have a bigger project to put it into. We have found that without a real project, a budget and public destination for a prototype, site furniture ideas won’t leave your office. Good luck.

    Craig Verzone
    Producer – Terragrams


    Why don’t you just copyright your designs. This should give you a level of protection you desire given that your site furnishing idea isn’t some new and unique invention.


    Brian Hochstein

    Thanks for all of the great thoughts everyone! Dennis is there a reference that I should look to for copywriting design or should I just look at the copywriting process in general. I am trying to get this idea incorporated into a project and have met with a manufacturer, who also recommended I try to get a prototype built into a project. Thanks for the insight Craig, now I just need to be patient and find the right project for this design. I will probably post some images to my page. It has been designed and modeled in sketch up.

    Thanks again!
    Brian Hochstein


    Adam E. Anderson

    Hey Brian,

    I know of a few firms that are doing this, one being Mia Lehrer. Typically you’ll create a non-compete disclosure agreement with a manufacturer which protects you from them making your design without proper royalties.

    I would assume the manufacturer would have these contracts as it’s fairly common.

    Unless your designs have a unique design feature, outside of a design patent, which is a bit lengthy and laborious, I think there is little you can do to prevent the public from reproducing your design.

    Remember, competition is relatively meaningless to superior products.

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