11th September 2020Comments are off for this post.

No. 14 Chair – a retrospective of mass furniture production

Six pieces of steam-bent wood, ten screws, and two nuts. All it takes to start the rea of mass furniture production.

You walk into IKEA excited about the prospects of finding simple, cheap, yet nice-looking furniture. You then return home with your new furniture either knowingly ready to tackle the labyrinth of an instruction manual, or unknowingly expecting to build your new set of drawers with ease. Either way, you can't ignore the significance of being able to buy furniture in such a casual manner.

Ikea has become synonymous with assembly furniture, but the origins of what made IKEA so successful must acknowledge the ambition and talent of German-born cabinetmaker Michael Thonet. Over 160 years ago.


An innovator who ventured beyond the conventional.

Thonet is an innovator who ventured beyond the conventional to test the structural limitations of natural wood. While his contemporaries created furniture of a more heavy, rigid style, Thonet pushed furniture design towards a new direction of elegance; he gave us the framework for simple, light-weight, and well-engineered furniture that has lasted until the modern-day.

The progression of culture and design that came from Thonet's chair is apparent as it has become the quintessence of bistro furniture style. Whether you're in France or America, bistros and cafes all commonly take after the elegant design aesthetic that followed from this chair.


In 1859, innovation and technological breakthroughs looked very different than they do today.

Thonet's ability to use steam to bend wood into curved shapes was revolutionary technology at the time; today, we're shooting humans into outer space and bringing them back alive. However, the impact of his success is no less significant or awe-inspiring.

Made of just six pieces of wood, ten screws, and two nuts, the No. 14 Chair remodelled the way furniture can be produced. Each part was created separately and then shipped together, ready to be assembled upon arrival. This new method marked the beginning of mass furniture production.


Thonet's goal was to create something capable of being both mass-produced and affordable, a coupling that at the time was unheard of. Mass-produced and affordable furniture - sound familiar? The heart of IKEA's entire business strategy is the ultimate evidence of just how prominent and influential Thonet's "simple" chair turned out to be even a century later.

While the No. 14 Chair comes from the 1800s, the achievements that it reached mirror many ambitions that we see today. When talking about democratizing design in the current world, we often talk about fancy design sprints or design thinking methods. Thonet's chair is a very early-on nod towards the democratization of design itself. By designing a chair that can be easily assembled, has a simple design, nice aesthetic, and is cheap, the No. 14 Chair enabled people to start thinking and viewing furniture production in a more accessible manner.

But the breakthroughs that were made by Thonet's chair must also address the dissenting views on how they have impacted today's world in an undesirable way.

Although democratizing design is a movement that has now become popularized, it's important to question whether or not it devalues the work and jobs of the original creators. What does enabling the mass production of furniture mean for traditional furniture producers?

Decentralizing the production process has lead to a decrease in the importance of individual cabinetmakers. Today it is more common to see people buying mass-produced furniture than it is to see people buying directly from the original designer or cabinet-maker. So while mass production has made purchasing furniture easier for the masses, it has significantly devalued the notability of cabinet-makers' skills and creativity.

Another point I feel needs to be explored is what this means for mass production and the environment. It's no secret that these fast and mass production businesses like IKEA don't have the most sustainable practices; the focus is less on the efficacy of original and quality products and rather on pure efficiency.

While we try to create products and systems to solve current-day challenges, how much into the future should we be thinking about long-term impacts?

This is not to say Thonet had any idea what his innovation would mean for world production a century later and planned to see the use of mass production so recklessly, but the reality of his design has caused such a system.

So, if Thonet is to thank for the origins of assembly furniture, does this mean he is also to blame for inaugurating a system of unsustainable production practices? I'd say no, because his aim for the innovation at the time had no environmentally-related intent.

What, then, does this mean for the way we consider current innovations for the future? Thonet had no idea what his outstanding creation at the time would mean for our planet a century later. Should we be even more forward-thinking about our technological breakthroughs than we already are? How can we be even more intentional about the future when it comes to innovating today?

The iconic design of the No. 14 Chair marks a symbol of creative genius and ambition. Thonet has shown us that simplicity is not to be overlooked when it comes to being innovative and transformative. This unassuming chair from the 1800s has made a monumental impact on the way we all live and experience our lives now. After all, it is ultimately what's to thank for your love/hate relationship with IKEA furniture.

But, my lasting thought to you remains around what this means for designing and innovating for the future. While we try to create products and systems to solve current-day challenges, how much into the future should we be thinking about long-term impacts?


Sarah Smith is our community manager, working closely with partners and community members to help us transition to a circular economy. She also runs our product community for TGW – a free design thinking and innovation platform for tomorrows changemakers and entrepreneurs. You can request access to our community by reaching out to Sarah Smith via email sarahsmith@flf.design

5th August 2020Comments are off for this post.

10 apps that can do it all

Welcome to our new segment "10 apps that can do it all". A productivity review from product people for product people. We will ask selected, CX and product experts to tell us what tools they like, how often they use them and how much they pay for the perfect product design stack.

This segment is brought to you by Instaread. Enjoy access to bestselling book summaries and premium content from selected partners, all available in 15-minute audio or text segments. Please use the code NSUBS2 to get 40% off the annual subscription for the first year + 7-day free trial (no charge if you cancel before the end of the trial).

Fay:
Hi, Elisa! Tell us a little bit about you and what you have been up to?

Elisa:
I am a designer at heart. Whatever the job title, it is about storytelling and navigating a user down a path to get them where they need to be. That's what excites me.

In the last, I have been on a journey to better understand how to create innovation and how to design something that is chaotic by nature. Dealing with chaos and change is hard and resilience is key to survive. Being a designer and talking about innovation means to be comfortable with ambiguity.

It is about fast learnings and actually being at peace with the fact that you don't know what the outcome is.

Fay:
What do you care about most?

Elisa:
Clearly is designing beautiful experiences and services. I really like that word. Beautiful means functional, respectful, meaningful:
Like basic needs, i.e. privacy etc.

The world needs more purpose and more meaning. We need designers to be able to continue the work we have to do. There will always be injustice, poverty, the downside in the world. But the little improvements.

Most important is the inclusion of purpose. An environment-friendly inclusion. Why did we become designers?

Fay:
As a designer, if you were stranded on a deserted island, and could only install ten apps to work with, which would it be? (Assume that you have access to the cloud, unlimited space and a 5G internet connection).

Elisa:
Well, I would love to have something that's super powerful in terms of documentation. A good writing tool helps me to get to the core of my questions and the problems I wont to solve. I guess the word on mac should do.

  1. There is no drawing tool that can replace, drawing or sketching.
  2. Something about voice recording — it is always good to listen to your voice again. Later down the project and your understanding of your project has evolved.
  3. Something to test — we use a lot of prototyping tools but user testing tools that let users try to make sense. A good user testing tool that can almost record the thoughts of the user.
  4. The sketch I use for both low- and high fidelity. A collaborative version of the sketch would be the dream.
  5. Instant messaging and sending a picture
  6. A ping pong table — entertainment also for boosting the design teams mood. Is it a tool? no? but it helps teams
  7. Interactive walls, where we see all the work we do. But these screens are very expensive (minority report style)
  8. Good reads, I have subscribed to audible and listening to books is just perfect. I feel that I have less and less time to read books
  9. Podcast bookmarking — we are so lucky to live now because there are so many interesting stories.
  10. Newsletters sometimes arrive at the right time. You are looking to update your folio and then you get a Van Schneider newsletter on how to update
  11. Some folks love videos and I have a Netflix account but seem to have no time.
  12. I joined a debating club in London and try to move to real experiences

Fay:
What about Instaread?

Elisa:
I like it and effectively there is a need to shorten the version of a book. And I think I deleted it when I started it. However, I think there is a price. It is not about the number of books you read but more how you integrate the ideas you. It is great to discover ideas and lets you decide if I should read the full version of what I have listened to is enough. You make the assumption...

What are your 10 Apps that can do it all?

This segment is brought to you by Instaread. Enjoy access to bestselling book summaries and premium content from selected partners, all available in 15-minute audio or text segments. Please use the code NSUBS2 to get 40% off the annual subscription for the first year + 7-day free trial (no charge if you cancel before the end of the trial). Or click here 

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8th May 2020Comments are off for this post.

We are joining the APAC Financial Services Webcast Week 2020 with Forrester

Join us for an inspiring week of insights and best practices that will help you and your organisation get ready for the next normal.

From the 26th to 29th May, we are bringing together Forrester’s leading analysts and industry leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region for 8 complimentary online sessions, aiming to address the new challenges Financial Services leaders are facing from the next phase of the global pandemic:

Avoid imitation
Embrace an adaptive strategy
Prepare for the future of work

Read more

5th March 2020Comments are off for this post.

FS & CX. Improve Your Self-Service & Reduce Your CAC.

We are giving away some of our top-performing CX secrets, to shorten the time-to-register, speed up the time-to-first-transaction and reduce call centre costs through better self-service offerings. At FLF, we continuously improve frameworks to integrate BAU and innovation. We know what it takes to get it done right and the pitfalls that can make your FS onboarding a very frustrating customer experience. Turn your CX transformation efforts into value-generating experiences with the Forrester 
“CX Transformation Playbook”. 
Or talk to one of our financial services experts and find out how we can increase your ROI on CX.

Read more

23rd February 2020Comments are off for this post.

Auckland Climate Solutions Unconference — Company News

We will join the Auckland Climate Solutions Unconference.

Get your tickets now! 🦄🌏🎫 https://lnkd.in/dBE7qxt

We are committed to a more sustainable economy, and we believe in designing products and services that contribute to a circular economy. Every ticket counts. (Humanitix gives events impact, using booking fees to close the education gap).

 

18th February 2020Comments are off for this post.

Salt Recruitment is sharing the hottest talent with the best companies

The co-sponsor for our next Indie Hackers event is continuing to get great high calibre talent in through the doors, and they just shared a small sample with us – they cover any needs for freelance, contract or perm across creative.

Multi-skilled advertising copywriter and content creator who’s worked across a vast range of brands and products writing for digital, social media, TVC. Enthusiastic, passionate and down to earth about writing - can do everything from light humourous content through to boilerplate corporate copy. Available now!

 

Eighteen years in the creative industry and now working as Lead Experience Designer looking for that next role to embrace their passion for design thinking, ideally mentoring/ leading a team. Starting in UI, moved to head of creative production before finding a love for the customer experience space.

 

 

 

 

A super talented, fast and efficient designer/ animator available now for freelance and contract while looking for that next perm fit 80-90K. Used to tight super-fast deadlines and can work end to end from storyboard to render. Good skills across Adobe Suite as well as Maya 3DS Max, Cinema 4D, Blender. Green screen and Rotoscope experience also!

 

Find our more

18th February 2020Comments are off for this post.

THE GOOD WORKSHOP™ — Company News

Our latest campaign is live! 

FLF Product Design is launching a campaign to raise awareness for its latest product development: The Good Workshop™

Find out more on
PledgeMe

 

FLF Product Design's proprietary software The Good Workshop™ (TGW) is an innovation and growth tracking platform for CEOs, sponsors, and product experts, helping them to balance autonomy and alignment with accountability. TGW is a design thinking facilitation and automation platform that helps navigate innovation initiatives with human-centred design methodologies, ROI on CX, sustainability benchmarking, and real-time performance monitoring.

 

1st February 2020Comments are off for this post.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH FLF PRODUCT DESIGN

Our Growth Advisors take a birds-eye look at your whole business, then help you connect with the right resources and experts so you can build capability and grow. As part of a national network of people who can help, we’re your first port of call when you want to grow your enterprise efficiently and effectively.

FLF is now part of the Regional Business Partner Network in New Zealand

That means expert growth advisors can take a birds-eye look at your whole business, then help you connect with the right resources and experts so you can build capability and grow. As part of a national network of people who can help, the Regional Business Partner Network is your first port of call when you want to grow your enterprise efficiently and effectively.

The Capability Voucher Funding helps business owners to access business training and coaching services, by providing them with up to a 50% subsidy towards the registered service cost. 

The funding is one of the services available through the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network who employ Growth Advisors to support business owners looking to grow and innovate.

FIND OUT HOW IT WORKS

HOW TO GUID — BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY FOR VOUCHERS

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the drum
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Adesign
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New Zealand

501 Karangahape Road, CBD — 1010, Auckland

New Zealand

501 Karangahape Road, CBD — 1010, Auckland

New Zealand

501 Karangahape 1010, Auckland

New Zealand

501 Karangahape Road,
CBD 1010, Auckland

New Zealand

501 Karangahape Road, CBD
1010, Auckland

Say hi!

hi@flf.design
+64 (0) 212 997 459

Say hi!

hi@flf.design
+64 (0) 212 997 459

Say hi!

hi@flf.design
+64 (0) 212 997 459

Say hi!

hi@flf.design
+64 (0) 212 997 459

Say hi!

hi@flf.design
+64 (0) 212 997 459

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