By Holly Burns
Issue 4 Summer 2010
Diane Ruengsorn is a Pratt Design Management graduate who is designing wellbeing. Born and raised in California, today Diane is the founder and director of Domestic Aesthetic, a design firm where 100% of the products created are sustainable and socially produced. Her powerful ideas have been featured in many locations from the MOMA Design Store to the pages of the New York Times.
Using design thinking, Diane has been working with a sawmill cooperative in Mozambique, where she has been working for over a year to promote growth and expansion of their sustainable furniture business by increasing their distribution to include the North American market. Mozambique is a war-torn country where many villagers have little access to education and a means to support themselves so it gives Diane personal satisfaction to work with “a group that promotes grass roots community development, local educational initiatives and allows [her] to fulfill [their] social mission.”
Diane’s inspiration for starting her company came from her experience working in a furniture factory. At the factory, she was affected by seeing the amount of waste being created and witnessing people who became her friends being exposed to toxic chemicals in their day-to-day factory work life.
Currently utlizing the Pratt business incubation lab, her goals for the future are to continue designing products that are affordable for consumers, environmentally responsible, and consider issues like production, while not jeopardizing the integrity of the design. Diane is also looking forward to growing her company by forming new partnerships in both social development and design.