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Is Orgatec Even Still Relevant?

Y-E-S. And here’s why…

Every year, some journalist fresh out of uni with no industry experience will drag themselves out of bed at 2:30pm to pen some wildly inaccurate article, proudly proclaiming “I’m so anti-trade events, man”. And it’s total garbage. Design events are the lifeblood of our industry. They are literally the ONLY place to come together as an industry to really challenge and question what it is we’re doing and where we’re headed.

Salone, Stockholm, Maison, Sydney Indesign, ICFF, LDF, Clerkenwell; these events push our industry FORWARD. They give us momentum. And without them, we wouldn’t have a format in which to disrupt and experiment with our collective practice of design – and that is a dangerous prospect.

This year’s Orgatec is a stellar example of why the entire global design industry needs to get together once a year and present their R&D for the year ahead. This isn’t just products, it’s critical and revolutionary ways of thinking, making, designing that are shared here by veterans and emerging designers alike.

Orgatec 2016 for example focuses on New Visions of Work, with the specific driver of #CreativityWorking. Our understanding of work is changing – whereas a few decades ago nothing happened without a fixed desk and set hours, work is now increasingly mobile and networked. How is this change going to evolve further? What will the office of the future look like – will it even exist? How will we live and work tomorrow?

These and other questions are being creatively dissected by the next generation of architects, designers and creative thinkers at the Orgatec 2016 #CreativeWorking space. The results speak for themselves really, where these students were given the opportunity to really upset the apple cart and aggravate the establishment with their ideas for where this industry should go next. Ideas that otherwise would not have been shared or voiced. Some students are hell-bent on “making the office great again”. Others graffitied ordinary grey workstations that ripped apart industry cliches like “Make Things Happen” to “Shit Happens!”, “Start Making Sense” to “Stop Making Bullshit!” and my personal favourite “No Pain, No Gain” to “No Money, No Fame!”.

Trade events like Orgatec are a chance for our industry to change, to disagree, to try something new. Without them, design as we know it would arguably not have progressed as far or as rapidly as it has.

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