Blue Lounge Collection
- Keith Melbourne
- Commercial Furniture Solutions
The Blue Lounge Collection is a unique and truly contemporary new design. Defined by a unique combination of crisp flowing lines and soft rolling faces. The collection was realised through close collaboration between the designer and manufacturer. Combining advanced computer controlled timber, foam and fabric cutting technology, with the artisanal handcraft of upholstery.
Encompassing a lounge, armchair and ottoman that may be upholstered in fabric or leather. The collection is manufactured in Melbourne from environmentally certified timber and foam, and has industry recognised environmental certification.
The calibre of the design has enabled the manufacturer to enter a new market, selling products into the high-end furniture market, which is often dominated by imported European products.
Enthusiastic feedback from the target market, and encouraging early product sales, confirms the broad aesthetic appeal of the Blue Lounge Collection
Many local furniture manufacturers are struggling under the pressure of cheaper imported products. Yet there is a strong market more expensive designer products, which local manufacturers are often unable to access, and is traditionally met by imported European products.
The missing link here is internationally credible furniture design. This project, and the Blue Lounge Collection, is an example of how high level professional design can enable manufacturers to become more competitive.
The furniture market in Australia has shifted rapidly towards contemporary design in recent years, and many manufacturers are struggling to move with the times. This project is a successful example of how collaboration with professional designers can assist.
The level of professional design service provided to the manufacturer during the project was a new experience for them. Enabling them to understand how professional design can bring value to their business. It is interesting to observe how they now ask for certain design information, use different language, and seek to work in different ways, highlighting the positive changes that the project has helped initiate.
In particular this project was an example of the level of design development that can and should go into a design prior to any prototyping. How computer controlled manufacturing can be effectively linked computer aided design output. Reducing overall development time and cost, whilst also increasing the quality of the final product.
Through cross-disciplinary design and development, involving designer, manufacturer and traditional craftsmen, new manufacturing techniques were developed. Enabling the development of this new aesthetic, and creating a lasting enhancement of manufacturing capability.
For example, a new method was developed to create fabric patterns for the lounge cover directly from the computer model, rather than the traditional iterative hand chalking process. These new patterns were loaded directly in to the manufacturers computer controlled fabric cutting machine. This saved a great deal of development time, and resulted in a much more accurate, attractive and consistent product. This represents a new level of integration and produced an outstanding result.