• Design, print, launch: Morgan’s Rio 2 collection unveiled

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    Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Morgan Furniture will showcase new design, Rio 2 collection, at SLEEP +EAT…

    Contract furniture designer and manufacturer Morgan Furniture will launch its new Rio 2 collection, created in collaboration with studio Integrate, at Sleep + Eat 2018 (November 20-21, Olympia London) on stand C60.

    Through its Clerkenwell showroom art installations and furniture designs, Morgan is always seeking out new ways to celebrate the art of collaboration – and the Rio 2 table collection will be its most recent collaborative project.

    Combining skills and expertise with architect Mehran Gharleghi of studio INTEGRATE, Morgan will introduce a new collection of tables for the contract market that include 3D printed components. The first of its kind within the sector to include this cutting edge technology with a commercially viable price point, the sophisticated and luxurious collection is not to be missed.

    “Rio 1 was a new collection to be exposed to the mass market, and contract furniture industry. We experimented a lot and learnt so much from it. We listened to our customers and took their feedback into account,” said Gharleghi. “We ultimately decided to add new variation to the existing collections which was a super exciting journey. In Rio 2 we carefully designed a collection that maintains the iconic look and the unique experience that we aimed to provide to our audience, and yet add a distinctly different look and materials to our existing collection. One of the Rio 02 variations is still on its way and we cant wait to show it to people. Overall we believe we have been successful in maintaining the original ethos of the Rio 01 collection and move one step forward in almost every aspect of design.”

    The first Rio collection was launched in 2016, combining the skills and expertise of the Morgan team with Mehran Gharleghi’s knowledge of new technologies to explore the relationship between the craft of yesterday and the craft of tomorrow.

    The second generation sees two new table designs. With this version, a greater understanding of the technology provided the designers with increased creative scope, resulting in a more geometric and regular aesthetic, as opposed to the organic feel of the first generation. The use of materials was also reduced and refined, adding further options to the entirety of the collection. On the edge of design and technology, the tables are an iconic piece at an affordable price.

    The collection uses a polyamide 3D printed component as the main structure with which to attach a glass or timber top and timber turned legs. This joining element was designed using a mathematical algorithm to create a unique framework that could not have been made via any other process. The technique is an additive process and therefore not only offers design freedom, but also a sustainable manufacturing solution.

    Both Mehran and Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s design director, approach design in different ways; Katerina sketches and draws to scale with a pen, whilst Mehran designs digitally through modelling. Initially this resulted in a series of miniature 3D printed resin prototypes from Mehran and then full-scale models from Morgan. These two processes allowed the team to review the design both aesthetically and in terms of scale and proportions giving an immediate sense of reality.

    Q&A with the architect

    Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour?

    Mehran Gharleghi: My favourite colour from the existing collection is walnut with the black basket. I personally prefer the higher tables as I find them more elegant. However, a lot of our customers have preferred shorter versions. We are currently in the process of creating a back table with black legs, with clear glass. We haven’t done this before and I haven’t seen the outcome yet. But I think it’ll look very sharp and I can’t wait to see it.

    HK: Where do you find your inspiration?

    MG: I find inspirations in nature, history and culture. Seemingly they are very different, however they all have one thing in common. They all evolve gradually, over a long and extended period of time in a step by step manner. I believe we have followed the same principal in designing the Rio Collection. We haven’t looked at emerging technologies, such as 3D printing as an element that disrupt traditional craftsmanship. We considered it as an addition to the existing methods of making. We have maintained the traditional and careful craftmanship of Morgan furniture and added a new dimension and experience to it. Using the new technologies enabled us to go one step further and provide a new experience for our audience.

    HK: What’s the key to a successful collaboration?

    MG: Understanding and respecting different skill set, vision and expertise that collaborators are able to bring on the table is the most important element to a successful collaboration. Establishing a design method where all contributors are able to freely share their input in an iterative process leads to very successful outcomes.  My relationship with Morgan team began very positively few years ago. It got better and better over time and now we consider each other as one extended team and have established a seamless collaboration method. Our working process is very enjoyable which I believe is crucial in creating ambitious and high risk projects and products.

    HK: What’s the most interesting trend you are seeing for 2019?

    MG: I can’t follow trends. I know what I’m interested and am focused on getting better at my own passion every day. I have a fascination with design and technology. I believe both of these areas can significantly improve our quality of lives and have dedicated my life and practice to it.

    Through the design process, Morgan and Mehran managed to bring down the production cost significantly and increase the factor of strength three fold. This was done by introducing geometric differentiation in various parts of the table according to the structural analysis conducted by Morgan Studio. Digital analyses were informed by previous Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) testing and guidelines. By establishing an iterative feedback loop between design and analysis, the team perfectly balanced the cost, strength and aesthetic of the collection.

    Morgan Furniture are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

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  • AUTHOR

    Hamish Kilburn

    All stories by: Hamish Kilburn