Taking societal trends into account and translating them into product design is an integral part of the formula for success at Franconian kitchen manufacturer Schüller Möbelwerk KG. As the new creative partner in the matter of fair design and conception the D’art Design Gruppe had a talk with Markus Schüller about storytelling, the comeback to Milan EuroCucina and the premiere of their cooperation.
Mr. Schüller, the world is changing rapidly due to the omnipresent digitisation. After all those years you are still very successful with kitchen furniture – a contradiction?
No! Essentially, cooking is a fundamental matter. Beyond that the kitchen is linked with emotional values. The kitchen is a piece of home and has additionally over time turned into a designer piece, or even an object of prestige. That is what makes the kitchen even more desirable.
The digitisation has amongst other things triggered the countermovement of re-analogisation, people are increasingly looking for the real thing – how does this play into your hands as manufacturer of sustainable kitchens?
As an antipole to our very complex world, which is demanding more and more from us as humans, cooking is a manual craft which can provide a certain balance there. Many an amateur chef has the skills of a professional. Thus, the awareness for quality kitchen furnishings has grown, which comes in useful for our made-to-last products Made in Germany.
The megatrend individualisation can be found within your products, as well: they are individually customizable, satisfy even high quality standards and help with self-optimisation, in this case with cooking. To what extent are kitchens a mirror of society?
Today’s kitchen furnishings are as demanding as the rest of our lives. In our assortment we have a vast range of cabinet types, numerous surface materials and functions are available – not forgetting the option of different working heights. Where many things are being globalised, the private safe haven of the kitchen offers the opportunity to express your own personality. Furthermore, an individual kitchen has become a status symbol and reveals the high claim to perfection.
You are intensively conducting trend research – how difficult is it as a manufacturer of kitchen furniture to find answers to recent societal developments and offer solutions with your own products?
We just stay close to the people and their needs. For that, there are three good examples from recent years: first, the certification with the PEFC seal was an answer to the grown ecological awareness. Second, we have met the trend of Scandinavian-natural style with our modern country style. And third, we have ideally interpreted the current housing situation with the new concept for the subject matter of the utility room. Whether urbanisation on a few square metres or new build in the country without a basement – the concept looks smart and organises provisions, laundry, cleaning and recycling. Do you need any more examples?
In April 2018, Schüller is presenting itself at the worldwide biggest and most important kitchen trade fair EuroCucina after an eight-year break – why did you choose to be in Milan, again?
Milan is the hotspot for international furniture design – a melting pot of creativity. Here, everyone who is anyone in the design world comes together – the ideal platform to present ourselves as a strong company and introduce the premium brand next125 to a broad, international audience.
For EuroCucina 2018 you are working with the creative agency D’art Design Gruppe from Neuss, Germany, for the first time – due to that, what has changed about your fair appearance and what does good fair design mean to you?
We have very high standards in regard to our fair stands. For us, a beautiful shell alone is not enough. We want to tell stories, ideally work out the differences between the two product lines and communicate our product innovations. To see that through the eyes of a fair professional has been really exciting. The realisation with Dart as a competent and capable partner has been the right decision.
The company Schüller has been owner-managed since its beginnings in 1966, just as the D’art Design Gruppe – how important is that common ground with the new cooperation partner to you?
A common basic understanding of values is of advantage. From the beginning, we have been in agreement about many aspects. Carrying responsibility and mastering challenges with the goal of being sustainably and in the long run successful, and that with a maximum of personal commitment. That is what distinguishes owner-managed companies. Hence, our way of thinking and acting has a common basis.
With your appearance at Milan EuroCucina you are presenting the premium brand next125 as well as the trademark Schüller.C – what was important to you regarding the spatial staging of the two brands?
Every collection is consequently run independently. To perfectly showcase the benefits and the respective look and feel was an important objective to us. We were instantly delighted with the design for the differently staged areas on a consistent platform.
Your Milan fair appearance as well as your next125-campaign is quite “beastly”: there are sheep, geese or Allgäu brown cattle placed in the next125 kitchens. How have the brand ambassadors with wool and feathers been received?
Our leading actors of the brand campaign next 125 are highly popular figures. They bring an emotional component to the motive and are being complemented by the unusual location. The motives as central theme at the next 125 fair stand accompany our brand attributes of the product and perfectly make a feature of them with the staging. Who could resist that?
Mr. Schüller, thank you for the interview.