WantedDesign Brooklyn (May 17-23) at Industry City is the destination for design education and the culture of design during NYCxDESIGN. Celebrating its 3rd edition this year, WantedDesign Brooklyn reflects the growing importance of the borough as a hub for multidisciplinary creative thinkers and makers. We have worked to offer a 360-degree experience at Industry City with innovative installations, memorable projects, our permanent design store, interactive experiences, thought-provoking student workshops, engaging discourse and more. Register to attend and discover the program!
We have opened up registrations for WantedDesign Manhattan, May 20-23. This year, all trade visitors will receive a badge upon entry and all members of the trade should pre-register, making the on-site process much easier. Public visitors will be able to buy a 2-day pass for the weekend. Another exciting detail is that you can RSVP for WantedDesign programs you’d like to attend.
German high-end sofa manufacturer Rolf Benz will be part of WantedDesign next May, to launch its latest collection in the U.S. We had a chance to discuss with Stefan Russ, engineer and director of development department, Bettina Hermann, director of design and product management and Norbert & Silja Beck, designers, around the brand core values: design, comfort and quality.
WantedDesign: The company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Can you share a little bit of the history and background?
Bettina Hermann: Mr Rolf Benz has started the company in 1964 and established the brand right away in the contemporary premium segment. In these now more than 50 years we could gather experience in sofa and chair upholstery. On one hand we have always worked with well-known freelance designers. A freelance designer will work in different fields and is able to work on new creations without “RB glasses”. This ensures a different dynamic inside of the collection.
The continuous evolution and innovation of seat construction and upholstery on the other hand is the other pillar of the Rolf Benz collection until today.
Further developments in the last 50 years were the changing room layouts and open room concepts. They have initiated the engagement of Rolf Benz in the dining sector around 20 years ago and a little bit later the focus on the international markets started. The latter had tremendously influenced the design part. A total paradigm shift was necessary but had to be realized gradually in order to keep the brand’s identity and get a more significant design language at the same time.
The fourth edition of the Launch Pad program returns to WantedDesign with a group of 35 international design studios and independent designers competing to win the Best of Launch Pad prize selected by a jury of industry professionals. This year, there will be two winners presented, one in the category of Furniture and Accessories and the other in the category of Lighting.
Launch Pad is a special annual platform at WantedDesign where up and coming designers from around the world showcase their new products and connect with potential manufacturers, retailers, or distributors. Much like the world famous Satellite at the Salone del Mobile, Launch Pad seeks to match innovative products with the right markets, leading to successful launches for a range of captivating designs.