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."
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)."
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.
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|
|1||Création Visu||Albert Leclerc||Bedroom Suite|
|2||Créations Verbois||Arium Vision||Side Tables|
|3||G. Romano||Pierre D'Anjou||Sofa/Sectional|
|Meubles Italdivani||Claude Mauffette||Sofa|
|5||Sofas International||Nancy Bergeron||Sectional Sofa|
|6||William Millénaire||Charles Godbout||Sofa/Chair|
|Morigeau-Lépine||Maryse Duval||Single Bed/Desk|
|Table 2. Participants 2005/2006|
|Hemsley (lamps)||Michel Morelli||TBA|
|Les Industries A.P.||Cean-Pierre Viau||TBA|
|Mobican Meubles||Sebastian Miuccio||TBA|
|Via Meubles||Jean-Michel Gauvreau||TBA|
© furniturelink 2005 (text and images)