features
#064 / 2005
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SIDIM solutions for québec design

The idea of contemporary designers and established furniture manufacturers working together to develop new products at minimal cost to the taxpayer may be hard to believe, but Québec's "Mobilier d'ici à demain" program - "furniture for today and tomorrow" - proves it is feasible.

Now in its second year, this unique concept is the brain wave of Ginette Gadoury, president of SIDIM, Montréal's Interior Design Show. At this year's SIDIM, she explained how the program works for the manufacturer and the designer.

"The manufacturer commits to having a presence in the show, to meeting with the designer and periodically exchanging information about the project. Then the manufacturer produces a prototype that is presented for the first time at next year's SIDIM, so they have a full year (for development).

The designer (the prototype belongs to the designer) must meet with the manufacturer and assess what the manufacturer is capable of producing, not necessarily his actual production . . . the idea of matching is to bring in new ideas. If all they achieve is restyling of the manufacturer's existing products, there is no purpose to the project."

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Pierre D'Anjou

The most surprising aspect of the arrangement is that no money/fees change hands between the parties until the prototype is displayed at SIDIM - the designer works for free, and the prototype is manufactured for free.

As Ms. Gadoury commented, "There is a relationship built up between the manufacturer and the designer, and this relationship can either build up into something that is lasting or be just a flirtation." On the task of pairing designers and manufacturers she proudly points out that "there was never a designer who said no (to the proposal)."

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Charles Godbout

Pierre D'Anjou (shown seated on the sofa he designed for Montréal-based G. Romano) is the enthusiastic coordinator of the program. Montréal designer Charles Godbout (seated on his sofa design for St-Hyacinthe-based William Millénaire) confirmed his support of the project, stating that his design was already slated for production.

Québec's "furniture for today and tomorrow" program could be inspiration for similar programs across Canada that would help to reverse the all too-prevalent trend toward "virtualisation" of new furniture product development (see issue #063).

Table 1 lists the participants in the 2004/2005 Mobilier d'ici à demain program (the numbers [#] in the chart refer to the numbers on the images). Table 2 lists the participants for 2005/2006

Table 1. Participants 2004/2005
# CompanyDesignerProduct
1Création VisuAlbert LeclercBedroom Suite
2Créations VerboisArium VisionSide Tables
3G. RomanoPierre D'AnjouSofa/Sectional
Meubles ItaldivaniClaude MauffetteSofa
5Sofas InternationalNancy BergeronSectional Sofa
6William MillénaireCharles GodboutSofa/Chair
Morigeau-LépineMaryse DuvalSingle Bed/Desk
Table 2. Participants 2005/2006
# CompanyDesignerProduct
BoffJason ShatillaTBA
BermexMarc ChapleauTBA
BestarLuc-Etienne GagnonTBA
BiltmorePatrick MessierTBA
Hemsley (lamps)Michel MorelliTBA
Les Industries A.P.Cean-Pierre ViauTBA
Mobican Meubles Sebastian MiuccioTBA
Via MeublesJean-Michel GauvreauTBA

 

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