"In a modern rapidly developing world people travel a lot, therefore multifunctional solutions are especially relevant in both furniture and interior design. More often, people choose furniture that can be transported, reassembled or renewed, and long-lasting materials," – observes Audronė Drungilaitė, the Director of Lithuanian Design Forum.
The Main Focus on Functionality and Production Technology
A. Drungilaitė maintains that sometimes the success of furniture may be the result of being in the right place at the right time – and applying the latest technologies. Even though significant investment is required to keep pace with modern trends, Lithuanian furniture manufacturers excel in this field.
"We live in times where practicality is at the centre and furniture must serve a purpose, make life more comfortable and easier. Not everyone wants to live with furniture which might be beautiful but which does not perform its function and entails time-consuming care. Silent-close kitchen drawers and foldable sofas are great examples of how production technologies make life more comfortable," – argues the Director of Lithuanian Design Forum.
A. Drungilaitė, a frequent visitor to international exhibitions, recounts that she meets a considerable number of Lithuanians there, not only looking for but also presenting innovations that draw the attention of world market players. For example, Lithuanian carpet manufacturers who adapted wool tufting machines to linen carpet weaving.
Successful Furniture – Invisible Solutions
A chair assembled in only a few minutes consisting of 7 elements: 6 screw-on legs of equal size and shape and an ash seat. This chair Naïve, designed by Lithuanians, perfectly satisfies universal needs. Its creators are the Vilnius Academy of Arts and Royal Danish Academy graduates Inesa Malafej and Arūnas Sukarevičius who founded the design studio "etc.etc.".
Designer I. Malafej is convinced that when designing furniture the most important thing is to consider its future location and how it will create a welcoming feel to the atmosphere of a home or office.
I. Malafej shares the secret to successful furniture: "The beginning of furniture making varies – you have a specific order or initiate a project. When designing furniture, it is very important to find an original, organic and clear solution so that this huge amount of work becomes invisible. Best decisions are not necessarily visible to the naked eye – they are felt."
I. Malafej and A. Sukarevičius are the first Lithuanian designers to have received prestigious design awards such as Red Dot or iF (iF Design Awards).
The discussion on how to design successful furniture will be organized in this year's international exhibition "Furniture. Interior. Design".
Lithuanian Names in Homes of World-Famous Stars
A. Drungilaitė remarks that Lithuania has quite a few examples of successful furniture making that are sought after in the most remote places of the world. She mentions two cases of successful design: "For example, furniture designed by the Lithuanian design studio "etc.etc." can be found at NATO headquarters, and a round wall cabinet "Multifunctional Pill" designed by Dalius Razauskas (trademark EMKO) is in the room of a child of the famous model Claudia Schiffer."
Aivaras Knieža, the Head of Export Department of Entrepreneurship and Export Development Agency Enterprise Lithuania (Versli Lietuva), notes that this success is also reflected in the economy: the furniture industry takes a significant part of the export market and is increasing rapidly.
"In Lithuania, we have not only highly skilled young specialists and furniture design professionals but also a well-developed furniture manufacturing industry. In 2017, it was valued at 1.5 billion euros and increased by 12 per cent over the results for 2016. Last year, furniture export volume increased by 6 per cent. The prices for exported furniture also grew by almost 4 per cent," – states A. Knieža, adding that Sweden, Norway and Germany remain key furniture export partners. He also points out that collaboration between designers and manufacturers as well as the education sector would further facilitate the development of the furniture industry.
Everyone who would like not only to discover the work of Lithuanian designers, but also to familiarise themselves with world interior trends, is invited to visit Exhibition and Congress Centre Litexpo on 11–13 October for original ideas on how to create a comfortable, stylish and functional home environment. Collections of furniture for various purposes, original design furniture, interior trends and solutions, materials, details and equipment for furniture manufacturing will be presented in five exhibition halls.
Head of Litexpo Marketing and Public Relations