Fostering the Future of Design

The concept of ‘anything is possible’ has a useful ability to unite ideas and people. This iconic mantra has been synonymous with Schiavello Group, a multi-disciplinary, global organisation since its inception 50 years ago and continues to serve as inspiration to the company, even in contemporary periods. Having gained a reputation for strong work ethics, service excellence and innovation, their latest role in supporting emerging designer platform Front/Centre presented by DENFAIR, is a commitment of what they offer. Schiavello’s goal is to make a powerful contribution to the future direction of design, to identify new opportunities, develop new product and processes, and most importantly collaborate with international and local designers.

Anton Schiavello, Design and Marketing Director of Schiavello International believes in constantly redefining the norm and crafting fresh modes of thinking, which is why he is a true leader in global design excellence and brand initiatives. After five successful years in Singapore, Anton brings back his passion and cultural awareness to Australian design.  It reinforces the essence of producing considered design and building a powerful stage, fundamental in gathering talent and design community, some of the core principles Schiavello is known for.

Anton believes that  platforms such as Front / Centre help foster design further,  giving sometimes struggling designers a platform to express their creativity on an industry level and increase their limited exposure to the wider design conscious community. In general, the benefits support the concept of future-proofing within the industry and manufacturing, stimulating flexibility, building resilience and promoting collaboration.  From a design perspective where the world is becoming a small space, there is a great level of responsibility to produce good quality design and create legacy for younger generations. As a product manufacturer Schiavello maintains the need to support the future, which is just as important as today. “It’s one way to support the design industry and energise emerging talent to broaden the landscape beyond Australian borders”.

Whether designing a chair, a sofa or a light, there are fundamental elements that contribute to the development of designers in early stages of their careers. A sense of reality of the industry and what the future of design will look like are paramount to designers’ progress. As with anything, it’s human challenge to get the balance right between travelling, experiencing and producing. Anton maintains that designers need to build knowledge and self-awareness to help them think and feel rigorously and deeply.  It is through trial and error they can respond to real needs and drive out design. “From a youth perspective it’s important to emotionally connect to design in order to foster it through the outcome.”

A deep ethical current flows through Anton’s thinking as he advocates design empathy and draws upon people’s real world experiences to address modern challenges and unlock the creative capacity for innovation.   He believes that the way forward is through the exploration of concepts and materials as well as being open to experiencing mistakes. Mistakes are not failures, they are simply the process of eliminating ways that won’t work in order to come closer to the ways that will, thus keeping the designs alive for longer. Confronting mistakes and gaining new perspectives through these experiences can lead to outcomes that are functional and emotionally meaningful, essentially a refinement of products eventuates.

While the aim of DENFAIR is to engage and support an industry that brings together hundreds of local and international brands, it also extends beyond these factors to help shape Australian Design by promoting outside the country and pushing outside of the borders. “We are competing with the rest of the world, and essentially we are a small industry and a group of people who collectively can create a bigger movement”.  Anton reflects on Scandinavia and their movement across the world that follows a product from idea to realisation, covering the process of developing, designing and producing as well as the challenges of creating something of global consideration and impact of carbon footprint. In his opinion; DENFAIR is certainly in a position to support the road rich in innovation, where everything is more evidently connected as part of a larger ecosystem.

How progressive will the Australian Design industry be in 5 years’ time will be dictated by future needs and supply. “If there is a beautiful way to improve or create something, then it should be designed” – Says Anton.

The positive outcomes of Front / Centre pave the plausible way forward, and act as a channel to highlight design that has depth and emotion. Encouraging this kind of design progresses through, so that it can reach more people and have long-term positive impact.

In their long history of collaborating with designers for projects and products, Schiavello chooses to continue this trend instead of hiring in-house. By building upon young talent and fostering relationships, Schiavello has been instrumental in helping young designers into a new era while maintaining design empathy. Their ambition of what is possible when an inclusive approach to design is allowed to evolve and thrive, shows no signs of stopping.

Related Topics:

For Design  - Australian Design - Front/Centre - Nancy Ji