Xchange Design is an award-winning Australian-Swiss brand of furniture with a global approach and a new presence in Singapore. We find out more.
15 January, 2014
Top image: Calma chair
Xchange Design is the brainchild of Anthony Kotarac and Daniel Korb. Both are architects and furniture designers, with Kotarac based in Sydney and Korb in Switzerland. Despite having only launched its first products in 2012, Xchange Design has already been awarded several notable design accolades. The company has also recently established an Asian presence in partnership with BW Furniture in Singapore. We find out more from Kotarac, and BW’s Managing Director, Charlie Brazier.
(Left) Daniel Korb (Right) Anthony Kotarac
Hi Anthony, how did the idea for Xchange Design come about?
Korb and I knew each other from our past careers and stayed in contact over a period of 10 years. In 2010 we discussed the idea of creating Xchange as a design brand. The reason being that we didn’t want to create another manufacturing brand or furniture brand. We wanted to create a brand that came from an architectural perspective.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by ‘architectural perspective’?
Being both architects we wanted to create an architectural design brand that was focused on commercial furniture solutions on a global scale. For us it wasn’t just about creating a company that simply sold product; we want to look at things from an architectural standpoint instead of a manufacturing standpoint. So Xchange is an exchange of ideas, an exchange of communication, and a sharing model around the world where we get together with like-minded people in the architecture and design community and really focus on designing product solutions that meet the needs of architects and designers around the world.
Obviously with Daniel being Swiss we have a Swiss focused design edge. So our designs are very clean, very simple. We are not designing products for the trend right now. We are trying to create classic designs that have a timeless look and feel and quality to them.
‘System thinking’ also forms the basis of our design. We apply those principles to the design of our products. We make them with minimal components, but with maximised potential as far as configurations.
Where are the products manufactured?
The whole idea behind Xchange Design is to create a global product solution but one that is locally manufactured in the markets we operate. Currently we have manufacturers that manufacture for us under license in Australia, Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, and the US.
So you and Daniel design the products? Do you also collaborate with other designers?
Yes we work with designers from around the world. It’s not just about Anthony and Daniel. We have products that will be launching in 2014 that are from other designers. If [the designers are able to meet] the Xchange brief, which is a global design that has an aesthetic that would work in most countries around the world, then obviously we will collaborate.
Which are you star products?
Our star product right now is the XF table. We’ve won numerous awards for it, and we’ve won some good size projects in the region and in North America as well. In 2013 it was rated “Best Product, Contract System Furniture” by Interior Design magazine in the US. It also won a Gold award at NeoCon and a Gold award at the Dubai Furniture Fair.
So on a global level we have won multiple awards with that product, which shows us that it is truly a global system and design that applies to many markets worldwide
Kira chair and XF table
You also have a Living collection? Tell us about it.
It’s a hybrid between work and living. These designs can be used in a residential setting but can also be used in a commercial setting. Our Kira chair, for example, can be used as a boardroom chair or as a dining chair.
We ask BW Furniture’s Managing Director Charlie Brazier about their recent partnership with Xchange Design.
Hi Charlie, what made you decide to collaborate with Xchange Design?
The Xchange brand is in line with our aim to only represent design driven brands that are focused on the Asia market. Xchange Design is also developing products for the collaboration spaces in offices, which is a big focus for us as this is where we see the future of offices.
What do you feel the brand can offer the local market?
Xchange Design’s product ranges are developed with space utilisation in mind. Our clients are trying to get more out of their spaces while still providing a comfortable working environment. The brand’s range gives the best of both worlds, especially their system products.
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