- Internationally-renowned designer
- Founder of Spierenburg Studio
- Creative Director of imm
- Jury of Interzum Award
Hon. -Prof. Dr. Sascha Peters
- Renowned material expert in Europe
- Founder of HAUTE INNOVATION
- Member of the Advisory Board of "Twenty20 – Partnership for Innovation"
- Jury of the Red Dot Award
1. What is your overall evaluation of this year’s finalists?
Dick Spierenburg: This year's selection consists of refined products and materials focussing on rising quality, better processing, improving comfort and additional use. All are effective evolutions deserving prominent roles in future interior products and architecture.
Sascha Peters: Looking at this year's finalists, we see a clear shift towards sustainability and digitalisation. The use of natural materials on the one hand and the exploitation of big data and artificial intelligence on the other are the two poles of a field of tension in which companies in the furniture and interior industry are currently navigating with their new developments.
2. In terms of design, what outstanding performance of the nominated products has left an impression on you?
Dick Spierenburg: A clear aspect of the nominated products is that the design is not loud but playing a modest part. Many designs are invisible or only partly present. This however does not make them less interesting and meaningful.
In terms of materials, what outstanding performance of the nominated products has left an impression on you?
Sascha Peters: The objective of many companies in the use of materials is clear. On the one hand, it is about fundamentally reducing the use of resources and increasing effectiveness. Furthermore, it is noticeable that many manufacturers refrain from using synthetic materials and substances that are even remotely harmful to health. I was impressed by the high number of developments in which adhesives were dispensed with and reusable, flexible connections such as rails or clamps were used.
3. What trends in the furniture accessories industry do you think are indicated by the winning products this year?
Dick Spierenburg: We are moreover coming to a post trend society that is asking for meaningful innovations, products and materials that are adding value. I am happy to see all winning products have reached these goals.
Sascha Peters: In the area of furniture components, the focus this year was particularly on smart systems that can be used in a simple way and, if possible, do not appear visibly in the later product. Outstanding examples are furniture that clicks together without tools, glue or screws.
4. In your opinion, what factors need to be taken into account to develop sustainable products?
Dick Spierenburg: Not only the product but especially the way to produce it and to dispose of it later must be carefully planned. Before and after using, product and materials must match the rules of conscious planning with limited resources and future waste management.
Sascha Peters: As a company, you should think about the products from behind, i.e. starting from the question of what happens to them after the end of their service life. Can products be repaired or can components and structures be reused? How do the resources and materials used get back into the cycle? Circularity is becoming a decisive competitive factor.
5. From your professional point of view, what should be the focus of product development for furniture accessories in the future?
Dick Spierenburg: As mentioned, in my view new products and materials must serve the purpose to improve peoples living or work or situation and at least make the use of it more enjoyable for a longer time.
Sascha Peters: In the future, the focus of product development for furniture accessories in the interior industry will be on establishing the circular economy in all phases of the value chain. Climate-neutral economic models are the essential prerequisite for companies' global market access.