BDW Open Studios – PLYDESIGN

2022.09.12. 22:45

The furniture brand, which focuses mainly on the design and manufacture of seating furniture, is also present on the international scene with its competitive products. With the creative attitude and business approach of its founders, it aims to boost the domestic furniture industry and strengthen its international position.

Who are the team members?
Plydesign was conceived through the lucky meeting of Tamás Babits and András Kerékgyártó. Tamás was studying for his MBA in the USA. After years of work there, he returned to Hungary to work as a sales manager for his family’s almost 30-year-old business. Since its establishment, the woodworking company has been producing furniture components from plywood, supplying Western and Northern European design brands. Seeing the untapped potential in the knowledge of Hungarian woodworking professionals, he decided in 2014 to develop his own product collection. That year, he met András, a designer who was exhibiting his chairs at the Salone del Mobile at the time, and had just graduated with a master’s degree in furniture design from Aalto University in Finland.

What type of enquiries do you most often receive?
Public projects dominate, but through our partners we are also contacted by residential users. We feel that domestic decision-makers, business leaders and contracting authorities increasingly prefer domestic products. Together with our parent company and manufacturing partner, we are working to rebuild trust in domestic design brands.

Which model are you most proud of?
The FLAGSHIP armchair is the first joint product of our own, showing off the beauty of the wood grain, yet the soft fabric counteracts the hardness of the wood during prolonged sitting.
The FRIGATE range of chairs results from an exciting experiment. 3D veneer manufacturing technology has made the design more economical, bringing perfect ergonomics to the general public. Situations where we are fortunate enough to work with partners who share our values of mutual care, awareness and curiosity represent a particular success to us.

What characterises your working method?
It is best described as serendipity: the ability to find something of value where it is unlikely to be found, and to benefit from every new encounter or conversation, giving rise to further productive and innovative ideas. Our work approach is characterised by an energetic, connection-seeking, experimental attitude, combined with deep reflection, long-term thinking and professionalism. The brand seeks to provide a platform for this creative soaring and creative synergy through a variety of knowledge transfer tools, most recently with the launch of the PLY DESIGN HOUSE incubation programme. The aim of the tender is to nurture young talents, share the experience and know-how accumulated at Plydesign and to put new ideas and concepts into production.

How is responsible thinking, social and environmental responsibility reflected in your work?
We see the pursuit of sustainability as a process of making positive and balanced choices for our direct and wider environment, based on the no harm principle. This is why we only use FSC certified forestry veneers and water-based glues in the manufacturing of our products.

How typical is it that you work together with architects?
We are always happy when Hungarian designers are an integral part of an architectural concept. Some architectural studios are very keen to furnish their spaces with domestic objects. We like projects that have a history, are in dialogue with the present and the past, and create a supportive and sustaining environment in which the community can thrive.

How are you preparing for the Open Studios programme?
In a family workshop, we will talk about the peculiarities of plywood, design and furniture design while we are painting furniture items, moreover, Tamás Babits and András Kerékgyártó will talk to Anna Kovács, winner of the PLY DESIGN HOUSE award 2021, about the experiences gained and lessons learned.

fotókredit: Mohai Balázs, Rácmolnár Milán