Investments in furniture design: the Italian furniture industry
June 2003, I Ed. , 84 pages
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Report Code: S.22
Copyright: CSIL Milano
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Italy is the leading furniture exporter and the second largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Among the competitive factors determining the success of Italian furniture is the fact that the Italian furnishings industry is at the forefront in terms of quality of planning and product aesthetics, and Italian design has a clear role as a global trendsetter.
Italian design is a by-product of a virtuous circle composed of quality workmanship, a winning manufacturing model (the industrial furniture districts), constant technological innovation and a strong creative attitude to the marketplace. This is an important success factor for the furniture related sectors (furniture components, woodworking machinery, household appliances) and is fundamental for the image of Italian furniture.
This report offers a deep analysis of the role of design in the Italian furniture and furnishings industry, taking into consideration the various stages of furniture production, the decision-making process, the human resources involved in the decision of investing in design, the impact of design on communication strategies and branding policy.
The result is clearly applicable to the Italian market (as data refer to the Italian furniture and furnishings industry), but also provides a tool for any business intending to evaluate the role of investments in design within company policy.
The research is based on interviews with 250 Italian furniture manufacturers, 150 among furniture and furnishing designers and consultants to the furniture industry, 250 furniture and furnishings distributors operating both in the Italian market and overseas.
Addresses of 100 designers are also included, as well as a list of 100 design magazines and 50 design related websites.
Among the considered products: office furniture, furniture for shops, public furniture, contract furniture, home furniture (household furniture), kitchen furniture, upholstered furniture, bedroom furniture, wardrobes, children's bedrooms, living room furniture, seats, tables, occasional furniture, bathroom furniture, furniture parts, lighting fixtures, mattresses, built-in appliances, complementary furnishings/accessories, modern/contemporary furnishings, classic/traditional furnishings.
Abstract of Table of Contents
- A definition of industrial design
- Investments in design and turnover in a sample of Italian furniture companies
- Investments in design: the decision-making process
- Role of the company committee in investments decision
- Participants in the decision-making process in companies with and without a company committee
- Participation of designers in the decision-making process
- Investments in design: the role of human resources
- Breakdown of investments in design:
- - internal planning/development office and external consultants
- Internal company resources
- Planning/development office employees by:
- - company size and market range
- - qualification (engineers, architects, design schools, other)
- External consultants: role of the designer
- Basic data on design consultancy for the furniture and furnishings industry:
- - turnover, number of designers, number of clients per designer
- Companies using external consultants, by company size and market range
- Designers using internal/external collaborators
- Breakdown of professional studios employees by type of work relationship and qualification
- Identikit of designers in the Italian furniture and furnishings sector
- Designers by: age, date of starting activity, qualification, type of client
- Designers teaching in design schools and universities
- Designers specialising in the furniture and furnishings sector
- Type of furniture item planned by designers
- How a new design project is born: who takes the decision to plan a new product
- Investments in promotion, branding policy, quality certification
- Impact of investments in promotion on company turnover by:
- - market range
- - style of furniture produced (modern-contemporary, classic-traditional furniture)
- - type of design (trendsetter, follower)
- - type of spending (fairs, advertising, promotion at distribution level, sponsorship)
- Companies with a branding policy:
- - market range, turnover, product style, design type, exports, promotional costs, investments in design
- Companies with quality certification:
- - market range, turnover, product style
- Catalogues and products
- Number of products/lines in catalogue and launched annually by market range and company size
- Rate of catalogue renewal, by style and segment (office furniture, household furniture, kitchen furniture, upholstery)
- Turnover and type of products' design
- Why invest in design?
- The impact of design on the definition of company strategy
- The reasons underlying investments in design
- Investments in design: a tool for competing on the overseas market
- The impact of design on Italian exports of furniture and furnishings
- The popularity of Italian furniture with overseas distributors: competitive factors
- The virtuous circle of Italian design: trendsetter companies, industrial furniture districts
- - addresses of 100 designers of furniture and furnishings
- - list of 100 design magazines
- - list of 50 design related websites