Well networked, ingeniously interwoven
Pulling the right strings - the product designer and manager Teresa Urbano masters this art. The result of her interdisciplinary cooperation and design concepts are textile worlds of experience in the domestic furniture industry.
Fil-à-Fil means thread upon thread. Strictly speaking, it is light and dark warp threads that interweave in regular up and down to form a fine pattern. You will notice this relatively early on when you grow up in the Mühlviertel, like Teresa Urbano, where weaving has been a tradition for centuries. So there is a good reason why her company, whose focus is on the development and production of textile collections for bed, bath and table, is called Filafil!
But that's not all. Urbano also sees the "thread to thread" as an ideal description of trustworthy cooperation in its interdisciplinary projects. "While working for international companies in the textile and furniture industry, I increasingly noticed a gap between designers and producers. They simply speak different languages." This is exactly where the business model of the product designer with an MBA in innovation management comes in. "I wanted to close that gap and provide a service that would benefit both creative and furniture and textile companies."
Sympathy when buying a bed
Initially, she dealt in detail with the current developments in the furniture industry and home textiles. "The crisis in the traditional Austrian furniture trade poses new challenges for manufacturers of beds and sleeping systems and is changing the sales channels in the large-scale retail sector". On the other hand, it is becoming apparent that even when buying functional furniture, such as beds, emotional aspects score points. For example, likeable bed linen, Filafil's first cooperation project!
For the implementation, the product developer relied exclusively on local partners: the Vorarlberg bed linen manufacturer Fussenegger, the Viennese illustrator Veronika Lambertucci and the Upper Austrian company JOKA, which had already taken an innovative path with the natural, ergonomic sleeping systems of its premium brand ProNatura.
Stories on the duvet
The three companies took up the design and production concept that Urbano had developed in the meantime and together they further developed the ideas. The illustrator contributed her knowledge in designing collections and her feeling for trends, patterns and colours. "The best part of the project for me was that Teresa Urbano explicitly asked me in the briefing to include my collages in addition to ornaments. But they work very differently from ornaments because they tell stories." She had rarely before experienced so much creative freedom. "Usually the plans are tight and my work is finished with the design, I hardly ever see the finished fabric." It's very different with this project. She was able to follow the various stages of production and take the result into her own hands.
The Vorarlberg textile company Fussenegger ensured efficient, resource-saving production and also experienced a premiere with the digital printing of artistic collages. And for JOKA Managing Director Anna Kapsamer-Fellner, the concept of a collection ready for series production came in handy for several reasons. The own bed linen collection would optimally complement the brand positioning of the premium line ProNatura and at the same time the company could concentrate on its own core competences and save the costly establishment of internal structures for product development. From the first meeting it took only half a year until the unusual bed linen collection was presented in the new ProNatura showroom. "A good, goal-oriented and uncomplicated cooperation", says Kapsamer-Fellner about the innovative networker Urbano, with whom she is already working on further plans. "We would never have learned so much about material and design if we hadn't met her."