Swedish creatives, Note Design Studio, have become renowned for their bold approach to projects and, in a time where digital platforms are changing the industry landscape, the company has placed its attention on adaptation and innovation. With trade fairs being cancelled and the design calendar disrupted, many brands are rethinking their business approach and looking at news ways of connecting with consumers. The digital sphere not only provides sustainable alternatives to physical events, it also brings a new sense of engagement from the upcoming generation of creative thinkers.
At Note, this need for change has been on their mind. With the award-winning studio designing a variety of products for installations and projects, seen in hotels and public spaces across the globe, the items have previously only been accessible for B2B markets with manufacturers focusing on contract orders rather than individual sales. However, today marks the launch of Note Editions: a direct sales platform allowing customers to easily access the studio’s latest designs. This bold change for the company will be a welcome surprise for many of its followers and may even encourage similar outfits to follow suit. Could this be the new future in reducing the need for conventional trade fairs and giving consumers increased accessibility?
The Stockholm-based studio, founded in 2008 by Johannes Carlström and Cristiano Pigazzini, is launching its first listed design: The Mallow Lounge Chair, designed for Danish brand Labofa. Upholstered in a Kvadrat fabric, the chair is exclusive t0 the platform with variations of the design, alongside the Mallow Sofa and Club Chair, becoming available later via Labofa directly. The chair has a refined yet playful aesthetic, coupled with a luxurious comfort, and details such as a swivel base bring unique characteristics to the piece.
Alongside the digital platform, Note will also be opening a physical showroom later this year in central Stockholm. Allowing visitors the opportunity to engage with its pieces directly, it gives Note the versatility to host its own events encouraging further interaction with its community. Having autonomy over events is an appealing prospect for brands, rather than fitting into a wider schedule, and this move could indicate a shift towards a revival of smaller individual events for local audiences across the sector. While this won’t necessarily negate the need for global design events, it could help the industry shift to a calendar with fewer, and more focused, dynamic and purposeful occasions.
The launch of Note Editions heralds a new future for the studio and a bold step towards a more conscious and direct design approach. Digital platforms act as a ‘virtual’ stand as seen at design fairs, with the added flexibility to host all year round, and the chance to potentially reach a wider audience. “Is this the right move? Who knows?” states Cristiano Pigazzini, co-founder of the studio, “It’s something very different for us and that sense of risk and discovery is important in everything we do. After the strangeness of the pandemic, we felt the need to move, rethink, and explore new possibilities.”
Now is the time for brands to make bold decisions as we transition into a post-pandemic future, with the purpose behind design needing to be challenged in every way. The call to create an industry which represents its community, and one which operates with circularity and sustainability at its core, is key. “Everything started with a question of how other approaches might be necessary.” continues Pigazzini, “We had long wanted our new collaborations to be more readily available. By launching Note Editions, we can now speak to everyone at the same time.” While the digital developments we are seeing in the design industry were inevitable, the speed in which they have been adopted has increased through the lockdown period.
Not only bringing a new dynamic to the industry, the digital sphere raises vital questions around the logistics and impact of physical events and also questions the pressure of creating new collections just to show at such occasions. Stepping away from what’s become tradition into a new normal could be the refresh the design sector needs. And, with a ready-made consumer audience (150,000 Instagram followers and an international fanbase), Note Editions provides the perfect collaboration opportunity for many brands seeking to connect with new markets in what may, at this time, feel unfamiliar territory for them.