MDF Italia is making its debut appearance at Orgatec. What are your expectations?
Orgatec is the culmination of three years of work that involved a special focus on projects, in an effort to shift the company’s vision from its classic, largely residential and domestic approach to the contract world. Although Orgatec is a trade fair that focuses on the office environment, the audience comprises both designers and architects, i.e. hospitality professionals in general. So what better time to officially present ourselves to this world?
You are coming to the fair with a new identity. How did you reach this goal?
Over the years, we have increasingly realised that our products, created for the home environment, were also requested for projects, a completely different furnishing context. Architects greatly appreciate our products thanks to their pure, linear, clean design: it has been an almost natural evolution.
The fact that office environments, in terms of style, have become much closer to residential environments has certainly worked to our advantage. Three years ago, when we acquired 100% of the company shares, we decided that it was the right time to restructure the company.
What steps were taken?
Firstly, the creation of an internal Contract Division, which was purely commercial since our projects are linked to product supplies. We are promoting the brand among Italian and international architectural firms, thanks in part to a structured network of agents. We then designed a series of products that more effectively meet the requirements of projects, such as the Aiku chair.
How does it differ from your previous production?
With the Aiku chair, the company invested for the first time in a completely different target, namely hospitality: it is a very high-quality stackable plastic product (with a new-generation mold, two-tone frame and textured interior) at a very competitive price. Our strong point is having a product that can simultaneously go in two directions – residential and large supply – and the Flow chairs and Tense table perfectly represent this philosophy. However, with Aiku we went even further: it was created for contract, but it is also suitable for a domestic environment.
Currently, what does contract represent for you in terms of turnover, segments and markets?
Contract accounts for 15% of turnover, encompassing numerous areas of hospitality in general: representative areas such as an entrance, lounge area, meeting rooms in large offices; in small offices (i.e. law, notary and architectural firms) we become even more interesting because here you can find a high-level quality and aesthetic that we can guarantee; restaurants, bars, hotels, relaxation areas and lounges.
Our credentials are truly extensive, ranging from the Google headquarters in Milan, Zurich and London to the Nike offices in Milan, KMPG in London, Apple in Israel, Cartier in France and Hyatt Hotel in the UAE, to name just a few.
Export constitutes 77% of our turnover and Europe accounts for 70% of this figure (Belgium is our largest market), followed by America, Australia, the UAE and the Middle East. America is producing excellent results, when you consider that we have doubled our turnover there compared to last year.
Any new developments in terms of products?
The aim is to continue to create iconic products with international design brands: products that combine technology and innovation, in a way that ensures that they cannot be copied and that they will become successful products.
The Tense table is one example: with its four metres of maximum length, lack of central legs and minimal thickness, it is one of a kind. In the long term, the idea is to develop a principal collection for the project world, as well as to acquire technical certifications for products intended for the office and to explore the question of sustainable production.
The complete restyling of the company headquarters by Mariano Comense is part of this whirlwind of changes…
Yes, we have completely renewed our image, from catalogues to the website to social networks. So even the headquarters have become the concrete representation of our office concept: clean, elegant, linear and completely developed using our products.
It will be our calling card: a headquarters that we can experience and bring to life with events, workshops and meetings with clients and architects, where you can witness MDF Italia’s philosophy and identity at first hand.