Today, the UK took the momentous, but far from unanimous decision to part ways with the EU. From a design perspective, I love having access to such a diverse range of skills and styles, while knowing that I can introduce clients to new products without unduly worrying about excessive transportation costs, problems with communication or attitudes to business and issue resolution. More and more often, great European designs are emerging as the result of people coming together from different cultural backgrounds, enabled by their ability to study and work together.
Occasionally I look askance at the range of products available to my US counterparts and feel a pang of envy, but I know they do likewise ― the grass is always greener. However, although I've looked into importing items a few times, it rarely proves worthwhile once shipping, taxes and timescales are factored in. China has a wealth of options but presents a minefield when it comes to consumer rights, product quality and business practices. It's unclear what the future will bring in terms of trading, but I can't help feeling that the design community has been diminished by today's vote.
And so, a round-up of some much-loved designs from around the EU.
top to bottom, l-r:
NETHERLANDS / Kelp 100 Light, Brand van Egmond, LATVIA / Cliq Asorti, Cliq, PORTUGAL / Lune B stool, Duisst, LITHUANIA / Foldin, Emko
CYPRUS / Savoia cabinet, EmmeMi, ITALY / round coffee table, Erba, GERMANY / B4 pendant light, Gant, POLAND / Intern lamp, HOP design
ESTONIA / Dune bookshelf, Jaanusogusaar, GREECE / Leather table, Lina Patsiou, HUNGARY / SI4 suspension lamp, Bullarum, CROATIA / Hexagon, Love Anna
FINLAND / Kumpu pendant, Kairo Collection, BULGARIA / Fuchilla sofa, Marina Dragomirova, SLOVAKIA / Street mirror, Mejd, CZECH REPULIC / No4s chair, MM Interier
SPAIN / Rio table, Moanne, IRELAND / Splendor brass pendant, Mullan, SLOVENIA / Homework desk, Nika Zupanc, DENMARK / Pipe set light, Norr 11
AUSTRIA / Folded stool, Philipp Aduatz, LUXEMBOURG / Basica basin, Lago, FRANCE / Sconce, Serge Mouielle, SWEDEN / side table gold finish, Olsson & Jensen
BELGIUM / Muro cabinet, XVL Home, MALTA / Zebra chair, Scab/Buiani Group, ROMANIA / Geometry clothing rack, Radu Abraham