A first look into the story and meaning behind the NDSU Bison Sports Arena Bleacher Wood project by Grain Designs. This video details the opportunity, process, and meaning that inspired the officially licensed North Dakota State University product line.

Video by Exposure Creative Group

“When the opportunity to purchase the bleachers from the bison sports arena was presented to us it was a project we knew we wanted to take on. It was a project we wanted because it has meaning to us. I think it’s really that simple. NDSU was the incubator for our business plan as Blain and I were finishing our architecture thesis projects and to be honest, it’s the reason for grain designs today.

As a business that cares about sustainability, repurposing local goods, and thoughtful design we found out that this quickly became a project that would showcase our passion for what we do and the pride we have in our local community. It exemplifies what we do everyday but it makes the connection much simpler because people take pride in NDSU just as we take pride in an old piece of wood. Being a successful designer is not just in an ability to produce a functional and sustainable product it’s knowing why you are designing something at all. Not only because it may be needed to complete the look of a room or a Bison themed man cave but because it is a reflection of who the customer is and their personal relationship with NDSU.

It kind of goes back to the age old question, Do you buy something because you need it or because you want it? And Maybe the question can simply be answered by saying ‘buy something because you care about it’. In the case of all of the Bison products our designs had to consider the fact that nobody one needs to hang a piece of old bleacher wood on their wall, but they want to because they care about what it is. It’s a piece of NDSU sports history. The products functionality is a bonus, not to say the design wasn’t highly considered but the purpose for doing the project at all was to continue to tell the story of NDSU and to be able to offer a tangible piece of Bison sports history to every fan.  The Bison products were designed to showcase the wood, and that was the first priority; that’s what it’s all about. It was important that we reused all of the components of the bleachers that we could, reusing the original carriage bolts, and reusing our scrap bleacher wood to assemble the signs.

Being a sustainable company does not just mean that we build out of reclaimed materials and only offer repurposed goods, it’s also in the fact that we are building quality products that will give another 60 year life to the bleacher wood as it has already lived.

What’s more sustainable than that?”

A special thanks to…
Ryan and Dustin at Solid Signs & Designs, Mike at Alloway Industries, Troy at NDSU, J. Alan Paul Photography and Exposure Creative Group for all your help and contributions in making the Bison products a reality.