Product designer Duane Smith received a bachelor of industrial design in 1996 from Carleton University in Ottawa and studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. A native of Newfoundland, he worked as a design consultant at various North American firms before beginning his own venture with partner Stfane Barbeau. In 1999, they co-founded Vessel, a housewares design and distribution company. Smith is also a founding member of Release1, a collaborative that explores design as a cultural activity independent of commercial forces. His firm’s work has earned Industrial Excellence Awards, Medical Design Excellence Awards, and Virtu Awards, and has been featured in I.D., The New York Times, Adbusters, Real Simple, and Wired.