“We believe the International Furniture Design Contest for the outdoors acts as a catalyst for creativity and emerging talent all around the world. For us it’s a way of encouraging young creators to discover their ingenuity by rethinking the outdoor spaces that surround them using exterior furniture that allows them to inhabit them in a different way.”
The first competition took place back in 2006: How did the idea for the context occur to you and what are your memories of it?
I thought that it would be a way of supporting the ideas of young designers and promote life in the outdoors which I’m always enthusiastic about. I remember that we were thinking about and looking at other similar competitions at the time to see how they worked and we were excited about being the only outdoors furniture company to have one.
Over the years the themes of the competition have grown to explore the world of the great outdoors: between designing a product for the exterior habitat, which was the basis of the first competition, to coming up with a modular kitchen for the outdoors in 2017, the subject matter has been varied, as with for example the deign of a light fitting, a stackable stool, an outdoor shower and a swing.
Do you think outdoor furniture has evolved greatly? Is it more daring now?
Undoubtedly there is a great advance in exterior furniture thanks to perhaps, the greater interest and contact there is with nature generally. Great advances have been made with materials which are constantly being improved in terms of diversity and resistance.
They are also more innovative, more specialised and more versatile.
How is the subject of the contest selected each year?
There is no definite criterion as such; we talk between ourselves, think about it and decide on what we think will be most interesting at that moment in time.
What have been the most memorable projects over the years?
Each year there are interesting and diverse proposals but we do try to award the ones that are closes to the spirit of our brand.
Is the competition a good launch pad for a young designer?
Well, it’s certainly a good way to get known and show one’s creative capacity.
What advice would you give young designers today?
My advice would be, as it always is, to believe in yourself and keep trying …at some point you’ll get there!!