To see the perspective of the industry and the future of Ukrainian furniture
Due to the destructive Russian aggression, the entire domestic economy is currently in trouble. In general, our furniture industry is also in trouble, but where the war allows, it works, sells, and exports products. He sees the prospect of his development. This is evidenced in particular by a webinar held by the Directorate of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers on the topic ” Let’s talk about the future of Ukrainian furniture.” And this was said by a member of the Board of UAFM and the owner of the furniture company “100% Interior”, authoritative and well-known in the field entrepreneur and designer Vitaly Ivakhov.
Undoubtedly, the war will change many things in our lives and will make its desired and undesirable adjustments in all its spheres and manifestations. Vitaly Ivakhov is convinced that in furniture as well.
How to plan and what to think about?
Significant undesirable adjustment: in the current conditions of the unpredictability of tomorrow, there is no need to talk about any long- or even medium-term planning of the furniture business, or production activities. The maximum that can be more or less realistically considered – is for weekly planning. But to think about the future of both the industry as a whole and a particular company can and should be in the long run, skillfully approach it and be ready for its challenges.
Looking to the future, we must understand that in an ideological sense, the current war is a struggle of tradition against modernization. Today’s Ukraine in relation to Russia is a modern project that irritates it. The law of the world order: progress will still prevail if it is not harmed. Knowing that the victory will ultimately be ours, everyone, and furniture in particular, must anticipate what tasks it will set for people and in the organization of further life in general, and life, housing in particular. So, if we finally narrow down to the scope of our industry, how should it change,
what should be the design of furniture on the scale of the whole industry and within a particular furniture industry?
First of all, we must realize that moving towards progress, we must not lose ground. That is, it is hardly appropriate, and in many cases, it will be impossible to attempt a radical, profound transformation of furniture design. But the trend in domestic furniture design planned in 2014 should be followed. It is that the furniture classics and baroque began to noticeably take positions. And then each furniture maker will have to choose between the laws of design development between old and new, serial and individual, mass production and production in small batches, looking for a balance between these poles.
It is necessary to rethink the furniture of tomorrow, the post-war day, anticipating what the needs and demands of the consumer will be then, and how they will differ from the pre-war ones. As a result, new competencies of your team will be in demand. What is the first thing? It is necessary to anticipate and have the potential – human, financial, and technical – to implement new competencies. At the junction of the expected needs of the consumer and the competencies of your team necessary for their future satisfaction, a new product will be born. Obviously, more attention will be paid to transformer furniture, modular furniture of a mobile nature, etc. Admittedly, design is always a compilation to some extent, so we need to look at the world’s authorities: where they are moving, what they are aiming for, what trends are emerging, and what fashion is “floating in the air”. Needless to say, this is not about stupidly copying someone else’s, but about one’s own rethinking of what has attracted attention, or about a creative combination of important things from several borrowings, and also with one’s own ideas and possibilities. The defence industry, which is always high-tech, will definitely suggest or offer something. Maybe new materials, technologies, ways of cooperation, business strategies and even decors.
After the victory, we will meet and determine the future of the industry
Vitaliy Ivakhov offers the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers to hold a congress on the victorious end of the war in the context of domestic furniture prospects, in order to “develop a number of initiatives to address the government in general” in domestic and world markets.
Even before the war, the world showed a growing interest in Ukrainian furniture. It should be preserved as much as possible and find opportunities to further develop. It is necessary to do without the synergetic, cluster efforts of furniture makers, which have already been tested in the industry. It is difficult to talk about any advantages of the war, but still, it has caused the fact that Ukraine is currently on fire in the daily attention of the whole world, and it will continue for a long time. This circumstance – when the whole world sympathizes, sympathizes and promotes Ukraine – should be skillfully used by producers, so to speak, for peaceful business purposes – in order to find new channels and markets for domestic products. Diverse assistance for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine is likely to be large-scale and powerful. It is necessary for the furniture community not to lose the chance to get into the zone of such assistance, it is necessary to think now if it does not bypass our industry. Assistance can be in the maximum promotion of Ukrainian products in international markets, so the furniture company should increase its export ambitions and transform them into products worthy of foreign markets. Ukraine’s approach to joining the EU will also give a lot of chances.