Valencia – Spanish furniture brand Andreu World flourishes, in part, by collaborating with designers. Working with outside designers allows the family-run company to see its own values through different creative eyes. Since 2001, one cornerstone of that search for collaborators and fresh visions has been the company's annual international design contest.
The contest invites designers from around the world to re-imagine chairs and tables that are then examined by teams of creative industry experts.
Participants must use materials that are primarily wood (beech, ash, oak, or walnut in solid or ply) and upholstery in their designs with the possible addition of metal, thermopolymer and aluminium. The material constraint is key to the brand, for whom wood represents not just a warm, noble, always unique material, but for whom lignum is also a connective tissue to the design market and consumers because wood is shaped by hand, by craftsmanship. It is synonymous with artisanship in Andreu World.
For this year's edition, the Spanish brand is partnering with Danish textile icon Kvadrat. Since its debut in 2001, the competition has granted a total of more than €100,000 in prize money. This edition will offer two prizes of €4,000 and €2,000, as well as four honourable mentions.
In an effort to introduce new materials and promote innovative, sustainable and versatile design, the nineteenth edition of the competition is a special collaboration with Danish textile house Kvadrat. The designers are asked to use its upholstery catalogue in their submissions.
Proposals may include a range of seating pieces from armchairs and lounge chairs to stools, benches and sofas. From the beginning, Andreu World chose the chair as the object of the competition because it has the greatest capacity of any single piece of furniture 'to reinvent itself.'
For those submitting table designs, the main material must be Solid Textile Board by Really, a high-density composite manufactured from end-of-lifecycle Kvadrat textiles.
Andreu World was founded 60 years ago, but its core identity is still embodied by wood, which demands careful attention to detail and a precise combination of artisanry and the latest production technologies. All of the wood used in the brand's production is harvested from FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests subject to green protocols that control the growth process from planting and felling to drying.
Since the competition was inaugurated in 2001, its juries have included the likes of international designers Patricia Urquiola, Alfredo Häberli, Nani Marquina, Jasper Morrison, Mario and Claudio Bellini, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga, Sawaya & Moroni, Jeffrey Bernett and Giulio Ridolfo, architects such as Carlos Ferrater and Ramón Esteve, Michelin-starred chefs Ricard Camarena and Quique Dacosta and design journalists, including Interior Design magazine editor-in-chief Cindy Allen, Frame magazine director and publisher Robert Thiemann, Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Ana Domínguez Siemens and Michael Addams.
This year's will include Kvadrat CEO Anders Byriel and ÉCAL director Alexis Georgacopoulus, along with Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs, Loewe Foundation director Sheila Loewe, architect Belén Moneo and Antxón Gómez, the artistic director of, among others, Pedro Almodóvar's films.