REVOLUTIONIZING FURNITURE DESIGN FOR RESORT LIVING
DEDON REVOLUTIONIZED the furniture industry by being the first to weave synthetic fiber into luxury outdoor designs. Founded by Bobby Dekeyser in 1990, Dedon had a barn for a warehouse and a chicken shack for an office in Munich. Today, Dedon is a global brand, extending to 80 different countries, with the heart of its operation in the Philippines.
Dedon’s sprawling, state-ofthe- art factory in Cebu is abuzz with activities that include administration, logistics, and research and development. However, a large portion of the roughly 3,000 employees in the city are made up of weavers. These exceptional artisans are what initially drew Dedon to establish its facilities in the island. “It just felt like home from the very beginning—the smile, the warmth and the hospitality of the people. They have the same mentality as us. They’re open-minded, they enjoy life, they appreciate the moment. And this all fits better with the Dedon spirit than anywhere else we’ve known,” explains managing director Vincent Lampert. This spirit is what Lampert largely credits for maintaining the brand’s status. “We have this attitude of friendship and mutual respect that pervades our company culture,” he adds.
But what propelled their name to the top is the highly durable but ecologically degradable synthetic fiber that they use. It is washable, extremely easy to care for, not affected by salt water, sunlight, and high or low temperatures. “What makes us unique is that we do everything ourselves, from fiber development to delivery of the final product,” Lampert points out.
It takes them anywhere between six and 12 months to launch a design, usually done every April during Salone Del Mobile in Milan.The process begins with a briefing which provides direction to their designers. “Upon receipt of proposals, a specialized team in Cebu, including myself, selects and edits them,” Lampert narrates.
Then the proposals are converted into two- and threedimensional renderings. Once the entire team agrees on the designs, a product engineer is assigned to the collection. “Under the watchful eye of the product engineer, each item is thought through down to the minutest detail, from the composition of component parts to the most efficient production procedures,” he goes on.
At the prototyping workshop, builders work on the aluminum frames. These are rigorously tested for strength and durability before they move on to powder coating, which is monitored and tested as well. Then the weaving begins. “The weaving is the step that takes the longest. Each new design presents enormous challenges. It’s up to the weavers to develop the technique that will be used in the actual production. Often enough, the weavers aren’t just dealing with new furniture designs but with new fiber variations as well,” he relates.
Their design inspirations have the most unexpected origins. “Fedro, a playful and colorful rocking chair with no legs by Italian designer Lorenza Bozzoli, was inspired by her son, who would balance in front of the TV on the seat of an old chair, its legs removed, while playing video games,” Lampert cites an example.
Always forging close relations with their designers, all collaborations are special such as the long running partnership with Philippe Starck. “His newest collection for Dedon, Rayn, has just been launched. We’ve developed an unprecedented combination of textures and materials; Rayn might blur the line between outside and inside and we’ve created it to dissolve just such boundaries,”Lampert enthuses, who promises more collaborations in the pipeline.
Originally posted 2016-05-15 13:52:46.