Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Workshop - brush up on your trends prediction

Interiors & Lifestyle Futures is hosting another of its popular trends workshops on 29 May. Please note start time 9.30am, not 11.00am as previously advised.

The workshop has been devised specially for interiors and lifestyle companies and will be delivered by trends expert, Kate Thorley. It is free for registered ILFutures' companies but places are limited so you’ll need to book via info@ilfutures.co.uk by 21 May 2012

What do your customers want and need?

The aim is to help you:
  • identify the trends that are important to you and your business
  • find opportunities for your product development.
  • provide you with methods for tracking trends
  • separate long-term trends from short-term fads

The workshop will include techniques for exploring your customers’ profiles and enable you to answer questions such as: Who are they? What are their needs and desires? Where do they shop? What do they buy?

As well as an increased knowledge of trends you should leave the session with the confidence to support your future product development and understand your customers better

Date and time: 29 May 2012 9.30am to 4pm (refreshments and lunch included) 
Venue: British Jewellers’ Association, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham B18 6LT

Here's what some delegates at our last Trends workshop had to say:

"To be in business without all the tools to know your customer and market, limits your ability to forge ahead in front of your competitors to new markets" Peter Wright from Strata Orangeries and Conservatories

"Excellent day, a fantastic thought evoking presentation. I've taken away a lot today" Rosie McLaughlin & Wendy Gao from F&L UK Ltd

"Intelligent and thought provoking - it will certainly help me with planning future directions" Russ Bedson from Direct Salon Suppliers Ltd

"Interesting, fun and informative – a great day!" Hannah Bates from Hannah Jewellery Designs


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Store launch for West Midlands' hot talent

Next Tuesday evening marks the opening of Birmingham’s latest retail venture and here's the wonderful thing -  it is all about and run by the great design and entrepreneurial talent, including many from  the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures community, working away in the West Midlands.

Taking up over 2,000 square foot of retail space in The Mailbox, the Birmingham Made Me store is divided into four zones; applied arts, fashion and lifestyle, jewellery, textiles and homewares.

Chris O’Neil, Executive Dean of Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University, will deliver the opening address for this flagship of fresh ideas, hot talent and design-led thinking.

If you’d like to be part of the evening launch (5.00pm-7.30pm 15 May) at the Mailbox,  please email caroline.thorley@bcu.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Of course, if you can’t make the launch, just call in to the Birmingham Made Me store during normal shopping hours and meet the faces behind the West Midlands' innovative interiors and lifestyle products.

Interiors & Lifestyle Futures is one of the founders of Birmingham Made Me, which is part of the IDEA Birmingham initiative. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Meet contemporary jewellers at work

There’s a wonderful opportunity this month to see Birmingham’s creative and innovative jewellery designers and makers in action.

The collaborative group Centrepiece are opening their workshops to public view on Friday 18 May  (4pm until 7pm) and Saturday 19 May (10am until 4pm). Centrepiece has also invited guest jewellers to take part. Visitors will be able to explore 10 venues and meet around 40 designer-makers in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter (see map below)

See jewellers at work, invest in some original pieces

“It’s the perfect chance to see behind the scenes and glimpse the modern working environment of this historic area of the city,” says designer Alice Gow who took part in ILF's most recent Visioning workshop.

 “It is a terrific opportunity to meet working jewellers and buy original, contemporary work from the hands that made it.”

Ten venues to explore in the Jewellery Quarter

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

ILF trip to Milan furniture fair, 16 – 19 April 2012

Post by Christine Foss
Interiors & Lifestyle Futures took a delegation of companies to the Milan furniture fair last 

At the Salone fair

A recent research trip to Milan Design Week with a group of seven ILF companies went smoothly and exceeded expectations. The visit included a day at the vast Fiera Rho complex, home to the famous Salone furniture fair and showed little sign of austerity with a plethora of high-end design on offer.

This was followed by a call in on MOST, the conception of Tom Dixon at the Museum of Science and Technology and organised by Designers Block. Graham Powell, leader on Birmingham City University’s MA product design course had an international debut with Obsessionistas – a display of products by people obsessed with collecting.

Tom Dixon lighting
Graham Powell at MOST

The remaining time was spent around the various design districts: Tortona, Lambrate and Brera. This included a mass of design installations and exhibits in warehouses, shops and churches. A mix of emerging and existing designers and brands presented their latest concepts to enthusiastic crowds. Collaboration was high on agenda, exploring materials and technology to stimulate the senses.

Chair at one of the design districts
Established and Sons at Tortona

What our companies got out of the trip:
  •         Companies arranged meetings with suppliers
  •         Great chance to check out the competitions
  •         Trends analysis
  •       Discussing ideas and concepts within the group
  •       Focussed networking opportunity

“The trip to view the wide range of offerings relevant to the design and lifestyle markets has been invaluable in future strategic decision making.” Graham Powell, Obsessionistas

“A fantastic opportunity which has inspired new product development and improved connections within the design industry.” Peter Wardleworth, Glassdomain

“A massive thanks, I had an amazing time and it [the trip] will make a big difference to our company.” Mel Spencer, Spencer Swinden