It’s January (just in case you weren’t alreay aware) and that means we’re taking a look at the major milestones being reached by some of the industry’s finest (and most enduring) businesses.
ege carpets – 80 yrs
Mads Eg Damgaard was the pioneer behind Danish carpet company ege. From an estate in bankruptcy, Damgaard bought four looms at the humble price of 20 EUR per loom – only to resell two of them immediately and, thus, both production capacity and starting capital was in place. From there, a business adventure unfolded, although tough times were experienced during World War II, among others. Always staying true to his roots and the first location of his entrepreneurial backyard factory, Damgaard also located his subsequent factory in Herning, in the heart of Denmark. Today, this is still the hometown of ege.
Mosa Tiles – 135 yrs
Mosa has a passion for ceramics. For over 130 years the company has been manufacturing tiles using the purest materials and the magic of innovative Dutch design. By embracing the sustainable Cradle to Cradle philosophy and providing a customer service that is second to none, Mosa’s products enable its clients around the globe to create signature buildings that last.
Karndean Designflooring – 45 yrs
Recognised by architects and interior designers for its innovative and realistic luxury vinyl flooring, Karndean Designflooring remains a family-owned global brand with over 250 wood and stone designs, including intricate geometrics, ceramic effects and parquets. Each Karndean design is handcrafted by in-house product designers, who pay meticulous attention to detail when replicating each individual knot, grain and texture of real wood and stone. Bringing characterful and intriguing designs to life, Karndean sources every collection from around the world. It also recently launched the UK’s first rigid core collection (Korlok), offering enhanced acoustic benefits for reducing noise transfer to rooms below by 19dB.
Staverton – 90 yrs
2018 marks the 90th anniversary for office furniture design and manufacturer, Staverton. Founded in 1928, the company’s history stems back to a team of skilled craftsmen restoring vast halls and manors across the south of England. Over time, the company has gone on to work with and provide top quality joinery and furniture to prestigious hotels, cutting-edge workplaces, the Ministry of Defence, County Crown Courts and has exhibited at an eclectic range of design events across the UK.
Now a multi-award-winning company, with a showroom in Clerkenwell and a manufacturing base in South Yorkshire, Staverton provides world-class design and manufacturing services to the workforce of today leading the way with technology and style, including designs such as its mobile, sit/stand desk and various other products. Managing Director Paul Edwards states: ‘I’m remarkably proud of the company and the team. We’ve completed some fantastic projects working with marvellous clients over our time. Here’s to the next milestone – 100 years!’
Bisley (MultiDrawer) – 60 yrs
This year Bisley celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ubiquitous Bisley MultiDrawer. This design icon has never lost its appeal, growing in popularity year on year. Almost two million of the diminutive cabinets have been sold, helping the brand name Bisley become part of the lexicon in the German language when describing storage cabinets.
Created by Freddy Brown, founder of Bisley and an experienced metal worker, the MultiDrawer was first made in 1958. The Bisley factory was expert in metalwork, having evolved from car body repairs, then making metal waste paper bins and, during the war, designing and making the large metal containers that were dropped by parachute into warzones to deliver supplies.
Forbo (Coral) – 50 yrs
Forbo’s Coral entrance flooring system is now 50 years old – and it’s still the international market leader in textile entrance flooring. It can provide safe and hygienic environments for end users, while keeping buildings looking clean and presentable. In fact, independent testing by Cleaning Research International has shown that by installing Coral, up to 95% of dirt and moisture can be removed from the soles of shoes in just six steps, which can reduce cleaning time of adjacent floorcoverings by up to 65%.
ophelis – 125 yrs
Founded in 1893 as a carpenter’s shop in Wiesloch, ophelis is now one of Germany’s leading manufacturers of modern design-led furniture.
In the 1980’s a fire destroyed the production facilities but, undeterred and with a continuing desire to create beautiful furniture, the company was rebuilt and a 30,000 sq m, state-of-the-art, production facility was designed and built in Bad Schoenborn in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg in South West Germany.
In 2005 Peter Bajak was inspired to take over the business and continues to run it as the family-owned enterprise it has always been. This was also the year the ophelis brand name was established to match the company’s vision to be the solution-oriented manufacturer of modern design-led furniture, with a growing focus on international markets. ophelis has always been advocates of innovation and technology and couples this with ergonomics, functionality and aesthetics to create beautifully designed, award-winning furniture that lasts including Mixology North17 loose furniture of the year.
Umbrella – 1,000 days
Umbrella is a specialist division of the Wagstaff Group, set up to provide loose furniture solutions tailored specifically to service the architectural and design community – and is now celebrating its 1,000th day anniversary. During this short period, Umbrella has ventured towards the stars and is progressively becoming a name known throughout the industry and a go-to service. Umbrella embraces close working relationships with architects and designers – enjoying many Lunch & Learn events and product launch initiatives at its Clerkenwell showroom. Umbrella can celebrate a successful record of creative projects in those 1,000 days, including Circle Housing Association, Plexal and Estee Lauder.
Humanscale – 35 yrs
Humanscale celebrates 35 years as the pioneer in the field of ergonomics in 2018. Since its founding in 1983, Humanscale has upheld its commitment to performance, simplicity and beauty, with every product designed building upon the ethos that work tools should adjust to the user, not the other way around.
From the outset, Humanscale has created groundbreaking products that make work more comfortable. Beginning with the introduction of ergonomic accessories in the early 1980’s, Humanscale followed with its high-performance keyboard systems in 1993. A plethora of innovations followed, from the revolutionary Freedom chair in 1999, designed by the esteemed Niels Diffrient, to landmark task lighting solutions, monitor arms and innovative sit/stand developments, the Float table and, most recently, the QuickStand Eco.
Specialist Joinery Group – 30 yrs
Specialist Joinery Group – the Mixology Manufacturer of the Year award winner for the past two years – is, celebrating 30 years in business. This momentous milestone is being celebrated in a unique way, with the official opening of an immense newly extended three acre bespoke joinery manufacturing facility at its Northern Ireland headquarters. Together, the Specialist team has also decided to create a much greater legacy and has committed to raising a massive £100,000 within the year for 10 charities, carefully selected by the team. This type of challenge is completely aligned with the values of this family run organisation, whose trail-blazing team loves nothing more than getting out there and making a difference where it counts, all the time whilst continuing to deliver premium bespoke joinery for leading workplace strategy and fit-out projects throughout Europe for leading brands, blue chip companies, law firms and internet retail giants. ‘We see this expansion as a critical investment in the group’s growth and development,’ MD Ciaran O’Hagan tells us. ‘We have built our brand reputation purely on people, quality and service. This project is foremost an investment in our people and their ability to provide world class joinery and the ultimate client experience.’
Interface – 45 yrs
Interface has come a long way in 45 years. What started as a company with 15 employees, has grown into a manufacturer with facilities on four continents, which operates across 110 countries.
Its journey has been shaped by founder Ray Anderson’s bold vision for sustainability. Beginning with the Mission Zero pledge, an aim to eliminate the company’s environmental impact by 2020, Interface is now redefining what it means to be a restorative business with its Climate Take Back initiative.
This commitment to driving positive change goes hand-in-hand with Interface’s passion for beautifully designed hard and soft flooring.
Its endless design capabilities are the secret to its continued success.
Cambridge Park – 10 yrs
Cambridge Park owes its name to the quiet leafy suburb it originated in Richmond upon Thames. Cambridge Park started designing and manufacturing high quality meeting tables in 2008 and has grown year-on-year ever since. By collaborating with both in-house and external British designers, the company has expanded it’s offering to a wide portfolio of products focused on adaptable meeting spaces. Cambridge Park also has the ability to customise and deliver bespoke solutions, showcasing the finest craftsmanship in veneering and other materials.
‘We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved at Cambridge Park over the last 10 years,’ Director Mark Langston tells us. ‘Since joining New Design Group, we have gone from strength to strength. We’re looking forward to the next 10 years!’
Como Group – 15 yrs
Founded in 2003, Como is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018. Part of Mace, the fit-out contractor continues to grow and goes from strength to strength.
Last year it delivered a wide range of high profile commercial office projects across the UK, including new London offices for Adobe, Formula One and Expedia, as well as the new XYZ Works co-working space for Allied London in Manchester.
NeoCon – 50 yrs
NeoCon, the premier global platform and conference for the commercial interiors industry, is celebrating its 50th edition this year at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Widely known as the industry’s most important event of the year, NeoCon’s future wasn’t always so certain. In 1967 a fire destroyed Chicago’s McCormick Place building, the original site of NeoCon (then known as INTERCON). Recognising a ‘vital and compelling need for a truly international contract convocation’, the Merchandise Mart came to the show’s rescue, attracting nearly 10,000 architects and designers for the inaugural edition in 1969. In its 50-year history, the show has served as a launch pad for many of the most iconic products in the commercial design world. The powerful conference programme, which has included former Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley (2012), Rockwell Group Founder and President, David Rockwell (2016), and Thrive Global Founder and CEO, Arianna Huffington (2017) – to name just a few – delivers the finest experts and content in the industry and beyond. With over 50,000 visitors expected, this year’s edition will celebrate the show’s rich tradition and will continue to look to the future of commercial design and business trends.