This year, the Design Matters seminar concentrates on the more material and traditional
design topics. The central theme of the lectures is furniture design – something which is
tangible for both the consumer and the manufacturer. The furniture industry has always been consistently in the forefront and it is one of the main export industries in Estonia.
The number of people who wish to study furniture design has been constantly increasing. The reputation ofvocational education and professional skills are rapidly improving. Thus, Estonian designers know wood as a material and furniture manufacturing relatively well. However, not many people are able to find a job in this field. Only a few furniture companies employ a designer. A more extensive involvement of designers into the process can be observed in the field of office furniture due to its intricacy and fierce competition. Experienced designers who possess basic marketing skills have started creating their own brands. However, in the majority of cases, the design service is still purchased based on short-term project agreements. With the help of professional associations, several joint product development projects have been carried out which can be seen as the beginning of the cooperation between the designers and the manufacturers.
The seminar Design Matters displays the first results in the furniture cluster – August Kull introduces products which were designed based on the manufacturer’s initial brief. How to distinguish yourself from the others? What to avoid in order not to damage the environment? Can a physiologist help to determine whether your designs are user-friendly, ergonomic, etc? What are the differences between working as an in-house designer, freelancer and creating your own brand? Tapio Anttila (Finland), who won the Designer of the Year title in Finland while creating his own brand and has been involved in product development at Isku for years, delves into these topics. Furniture designer Fabien Cappello (United Kingdom) talks about the role of the designer in today’s society. The head of the INDEX news, Adam von Haffner Paulsen (Denmark) introduces the evaluation criteria for the INDEX design awards and talks about the projects which can improve people’s lives. The British designers Nick Rawcliffe and Adam Fairweather introduce the results of the furniture recycling workshop, which takes place before the seminar where new products are made from sports equipment. The godfather of Estonian design politics Per Mollerup reflects on the topic of design thinking.
We hope that the panel discussion will, first and foremost, turn out to be a constructive
exchange of ideas between open-minded designers and furniture manufacturers.
Seminar: Design Matters
Time: 20.09.2012 at 10.00-15.45
Venue: Coca-Cola Plaza (cinema hall nr. 5, entrance from the back door which opens to the Rotermann Square)
Ticket: 10 €/ 6 € for students and members of the Estonian Association of Designers