A family business that originated in southeastern Spain 65 years ago, Andreu World is renowned for the quality of its ecological indoor and outdoor furniture, which can be found in hotels, restaurants and residences in over 120 countries. The company is also proudly celebrating the launch of the 20th edition of their International Design Contest in 2020 – a milestone that the company hopes to showcase the future of tables and chairs through the lens of sustainability, which is the theme of this year’s competition.
Getting his start in cabinet making, Francisco Andreu Marti founded the company at the age of 17 in 1955 and grew the business during the heyday of timeless modern furniture – a Nordic style that has yet to lose its lustre. What began as the assembly and finishing of chairs, quickly shifted to include the design and ownership of the complete manufacturing process. Within two years, model 72 was produced followed by model 123 in 1963 cementing Andreu World as an established chair design and manufacturing entity with a growing presence across Europe.
(right: model 72)
Citing no material as noble, unique or warm, the core of Andreu World’s material selection is wood. To preserve its place in nature, only FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood is used, which is sourced from controlled and reforested areas – a policy that was instated in 2005. Andreu World was reportedly the first furniture manufacturer to use 100% reforested wood in their entire production chain, through to delivery of the item to the customer.
Happy Chair collection
Whether wood, upholstery, or other materials more robustly made for exterior furniture, each piece is deliberately designed and studied in the name of sustainability. “All of the possibilities [of one chair or one table are explored], constantly pushing [the team] to improve comfort, finish and function. It is this active process with each of our products that allows for the intelligent use of our resources,” said Jesús Llinares, CEO of Andreu World.
“We depend on our [material] resources to inform our entire working method, from obtaining the raw materials all the way through to finishing. Through a continuous investment in advanced technology and infrastructure, as well as in the training of our team, we maintain and improve our processes. This in the only way we can maintain our passion for well-made products,” he elaborated.
Flex armchair and Radial table
The tradition of well-made products was recently transferred to 12,000 face masks for the local community of essential workers in Valencia (Spain). In light of COVID-19 and the widespread pandemic’s effects on all industries, the factory team wanted to contribute to the local cause and began to design, prototype and produce face masks in March 2020. These hydro-repellent and waterproof fabrics are being certified by the appropriate agencies in order to be used by workers in both healthcare and residential facilities.
Despite the pandemic, the company decided to maintain the launch of 20th annual competition especially hoping for submissions from emerging designers and design students. Over 130 000 € have been awarded in the previous editions of the International Design Contest, where more than 31 000 participants in 124 countries have submitted prototypes and concepts for new tables and chairs. This year, the company is looking forward to applications that consider not only creativity and ingenuity in these seemingly common objects, but the entire life cycle of the product, with a clear focus on the selection of materials to guarantee high durability and longevity. Proposals may also promote universal accessibility, cultural enrichment and the application of design to improve the well-being of people in the environments they inhabit.
Past winners of the contest
The winner, selected by a jury, will receive a 5 000 € prize and a runner up will receive 2 500 €. The jury consists of an international panel of highly prestigious professionals in the fields of design, architecture and sustainability, who will evaluate both the quality and level of innovation and the responsible use of technology and manufacturing processes for all projects presented. With very few limitations on who can apply, here lies the opportunity to change or improve a product that is a part of many facets of our lives.
Submissions will be accepted until 27 November 2020 and information is available here.