For a long time, we were on a quest for a more distinct way of working with our designers. That is, in terms of the ideation, research efficiency, processes and actual products. We are now, instead of working with individuals to address a range of different challenges, introducing a way for multiple designers to work on a specific functionality theme at a time.
Typically, a furniture manufacturer approaches a designer without a brief; the request is simply be to create something that would sell the following season. However, to produce yet another chair is not progressive, and furniture manufacturers who stick to traditional ways, miss vital routes to challenge the industry's status quo.
On the contrary, +Halle is a brand that represents a new, brave, generation of manufacturers that lead with a somewhat different method, setting a new brief every year. During this formulated provocation, a group of architects and designers are invited to interpret a behavioural challenge together, fostering creative height and criticality that enable every piece of furniture to be made with clarity of purpose.
The Annual Briefing is an insight-led daylong session by +Halle that inspires multidisciplinary thinking. Instead of working with designers individually to address a range of different challenges, +Halle are working in a collaborative and focused way. More specifically, around one theme at a time with a different group of designers—handpicked because of their competences, personalities and backgrounds.
The rationale is dual; creating a distinct brief that is then given to multiple designers, architects, artists and engineers, to encourage an inclusive dialogue. At the same time, the intention is to focus on behavioural realms, inviting participants to collaborate on purposeful furniture that improves—dwelling, producing and sharing.
Today’s public space needs to be agile and able to match a physical and mental metabolism of the day in order to stay relevant. This calls for diversity, demanding a much more user-driven development process.
During the briefing day, +Halle articulates a given purpose as a narrative, presented along with opinions from diverse sets of experts, anthropologists, human resource professionals and urban planners. The architects and designers then have to work together to come up with one collection each, directly responding to the brief.
Throughout the year, the teams meet to share thoughts, prototypes and concepts, as well as give feedback, constructive criticism and further ideas. The group meets a minimum of four times in the given year, in an on-going dialogue of experimental, innovative thoughts. The ambition is to launch multiple collections of furniture that respond to a particular purpose, designed by a collective mind, shaping better performing public furniture together.
Every designer ends up with their own products in the end—but the fact that the group are working around the same theme and get to inspire, and influence each other, adds an important assessment of the final product.
The test launch takes place the following year with a separate event for each collection. It is only through testing the furniture in real settings; the collections are qualified and approved. All briefs correspond to an actual behavioural shift and it is only when the needs of specific performance are met, the products will be brought to the market.
The first Annual Briefing took place in February 2018 in Stockholm with Form Us With Love, Nick Ross and MSDS.
Extract from the brief on dwelling: Today, we live in an environment of constant distraction, multi-tasking and multi-screening. As a result, we are looking for the greatest possible contrast to being bombarded with stimuli. We find it in confined conditions where we feel safe to let our minds run free. As a basic human need, we all desire non-routine experiences. We long for an organic change in the environment that a moment of dwelling provides—a break in our routines that makes us better able to enjoy stimuli when we resume it.
In the same way, our enjoyment of other people is increased by the time we spend alone. When we are alone, we are free to be ourselves, to let our imagination roam, to remember, to dream or to make plans. Dwelling allows us to step out of our customary flow. And it is precisely this deviance, that let us engage in what we most want to do, to rediscover and re-create ourselves.
Explore some of the designs originated from the Annual Briefing design process.