A group of undergraduate students is driving solutions for problems influenced by a remote lifestyle with the launch of Studio Skosh, a Portland, Oregon-based design studio.
The team came together last spring when eight product design students realized they shared a similar passion for intentional design, a common aesthetic philosophy, and a dedication to quality, craft, and process.
The word “skosh,” which means “a small amount,” represents the group’s commitment to doing more with less.
“We have a pedal-to-the-metal attitude when it comes to the excellence of our work, and maybe just a skosh of fun while we’re at it,” said Mila Penrith, a senior in the product design department and one of the studio’s founders.
When COVID-19 prevented the group from physically meeting on campus, they developed Studio Skosh to stay creatively engaged with one another through virtual meetings.
Over time, the founders decided to explore their collective creativity by developing a line of products designed for the remote lifestyle.
“Like many during COVID-19, we found difficulties in combining work and home lifestyles into one confined space,” Penrith said. “Studio Skosh was born to create unique designs that provide simple and discreet forms of organization for both.”
Studio Skosh’s first product is the Wireless Original, a dedicated smartphone charging station with an all-natural cork surface and computerized aluminum body.
Subsequent product variations—the Wireless Mini and the Wireless Valet chargers, which boast the same design language but answer different consumer needs—followed suit, and more product lines for the work-from-home environment are in development.
The group’s initial seed funding for product development came from the Koehn Design Entrepreneurship Award, an annual grant provided by Michael and Stacey Koehn.
The Studio Skosh team worked with the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship to help develop the business side of their company.
“I met many of the Studio Skosh founders during our 2019 Sustainable Invention Immersion Week boot camp, during which several of the team members took the top three awards,” said Kate Harmon, the center’s director of cross-campus engagement.
Part of the Lundquist Center’s mission is promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and challenging students to think critically in order to solve major societal health and environmental problems. Students need not be business majors to take advantage of the center's wealth of resources.
“It has been exciting to watch the team’s progress and to help connect them with mentors and resources in our network that can aid their continual venture development,” Harmon said.