Ikea raises prices, a lawsuit against Herman Miller and more
This week, Americans are concerned about economic inflation – the design world, meanwhile, is busy with a different kind of inflation. Stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading and more.
A recent lawsuit alleges that Herman Miller Inc. and the non-profit George Nelson Foundation conspired to fraudulently obtain the intellectual property rights to the late designer’s bubble lamp, MiBiz reports. Filed by the estate of Nelson’s wife Jacqueline Nelson and son Georges Mico Nelson against Herman Miller, the George Nelson Foundation and the Foundation’s Executive Director Karen stein, the lawsuit alleges that Herman Miller used the foundation to trick Jacqueline Nelson into ceding the intellectual property to her, when she was in her 90s with “severely impaired mental and physical capacity” at the time. Herman Miller and the foundation have until November 22 to file formal responses to the claims. A spokesperson for Herman Miller declined to answer questions from MiBiz, citing the company’s policy of not commenting on pending litigation.
Ikea has announced plans to raise prices for the first time since 2019, Furniture today reports, after profits fell 16% for the year ending August despite record demand and increased online and retail sales. The furniture giant attributes the problem to challenges in the global supply chain and the subsequent increase in the cost of transportation and raw materials, which has resulted in declining product availability – an issue which the retailer, will continue in fiscal 2022.
Abound, a wholesale marketplace for independent retailers, raised $ 36.7 million in a Series B funding round led by DE Shaw Group, bringing the company’s total funding to $ 59.6 million . The new capital injection comes just eight months after the completion of a $ 22.9 million Series A funding round and a year of growth for Abound, during which the gross value of its goods has increased by four times that of 2020.
Modern Matter has announced the completion of an initial $ 1.2 million funding round led by TiE DC, a Virginia-based investor network 757 Angels, entrepreneur-focused nonprofit, and CEO by Bassett Furniture Rob spillman and Samir behl, the former regional president of Europe, Africa and India for the multi-level marketing company Amway. The decorative and architectural hardware design and manufacturer company will use the funds to grow its e-commerce platform, expand omnichannel distribution, grow its team and open a new headquarters in Norfolk, Va. With a hub for distribution and a design studio.
Block Renovation, an online platform for homeowners and contractors, completed a $ 50 million Series C funding round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. Led by the co-founders T. Luc Sherwin (a co-founder of Casper) and Koda wang (a former Rent the Runway executive), Block offers an automated end-to-end home improvement process for owners and contractors. With the new capital, the company plans to invest in its team, platform, user experience and further national expansion. To date, the company has raised $ 104 million in venture capital funding.
Nemo Tile + Stone made its first acquisition with the acquisition of Modern Stone Consulting, specialist in sourcing, project management and quality control of natural stone. The founders of Modern Stone Consulting Robert McArdle and Allvaro Torrecilla will lead a new initiative for combined companies, developing a training program for Nemo employees.
Sampling Marketplace Material Bank and commercial flooring installation supplier Diverzify have formed a partnership to offer each company’s existing services to each other’s customer base, developing project planning tools and resources to industry professionals nationwide. Through this collaboration, Material Bank users will have access to Diverzify’s digital platform, which provides expertise in the selection, installation and maintenance of interior surfaces. The Diverzify base, meanwhile, will be able to take advantage of Material Bank’s sample ordering platform, which connects material brands with specifiers and buyers for overnight ordering.
The field of autonomous trucking has made many advances this week, Morning infusion reports, starting with San Diego-based autonomous truck start-up TuSimple, which announced plans to remove safety drivers from its vehicles for all-human-free testing on 80-mile runs in Arizona. In other news, Aurora, an autonomous vehicle startup founded by Google alumni, became the first company of its kind to go public through SPAC, just a week after launching its tech platform in beta mode. Finally, autonomous trucking company Gatik has announced plans to send its first fleet of driverless vehicles to haul goods between a Walmart facility and the Arkansas neighborhood market, although its trucks will still contain security passengers. human overseeing the trip. Advances in the field could have a big impact on the global supply chain – one of the biggest problems plaguing the system today is a massive shortage of skilled truck drivers, New York Times reports.
Launches and collaborations
Baccarat called on a Japanese artist Hiroshi fujiwara for its latest collaboration, a 25-piece limited edition collection inspired by the Pokémon franchise and designed for collectors and fans of the series. Celebrating Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, the coin selection includes a crystal Poké Ball replica as well as two versions of the popular cartoon character Pikachu, designed as both a crystalline shard and a figurine.
A selection of artists Julien lennonthe fine art photography of, curated by Portia de Rossi and his fine art publishing company General Public, debuted for viewing and purchasing on the RH site. The collection of 18 black and white and color photographs illustrate Lennon’s travels around the world, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale going to the White Feather Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental and humanitarian causes .
At the University of California at Santa Barbara, a 97-year-old billionaire Charles Munger– a Berkshire Hathaway executive and very little licensed architect – is causing a stir after donating $ 200 million to design a dormitory that bears his name. Plans for the space include cramming more than 4,500 students into an 11-story building in which almost all units lack natural light or fresh air. The Los Angeles Times describes the now viral controversy, which prompted a member of the university’s design review committee to resign in protest. “The basic concept of Munger Hall as a place for students to live is unbearable from my perspective as an architect, parent and human being,” the Los Angeles architect wrote. Dennis mcfadden, design director at Leo A. Daly, in his resignation letter.
Instagram’s official design account @design has announced the recipients of its first #BlackDesignVisionaries grant program of $ 205,000, presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Museum. The winners include the Head of State fashion house, run by the designer Taofeek Abijako, for the Visionary Small Business Grant; Morcos Key graphic design studio, founded by Jon Key and Wael Morcos, for the impact grant; and aspiring design grants for space designer and founder of Limbo Accra Dominique Little-Brother, founder of Vocal Type Tré Seals, and multidisciplinary designer and artistic director Stays in Sabla.
Call for applications
Cosentino has announced the 16th edition of its International Cosentino Design Challenge. This year, the competition will be divided into two categories of design and architecture, with submissions to be judged against various subcategories, including environmental friendliness, conceptual and technical quality, and creativity and innovation. For more information or to apply before June 1, 2022, click here.
To celebrate the launch of Woman Made, a book celebrating great women creators, Kering and Phaidon announced the inaugural Women In Motion Design Scholarship, awarding up to $ 25,000 to an outstanding undergraduate female designer for her fees. tuition and its fees for the university 2022-2023. year. For more information or to apply, click here.
Jeremiah Program, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting intergenerational poverty, has partnered with Roarke Design Studio to launch a scholarship to address talent pipeline and diversity issues in the design industry. interior. The 10-month paid program will allow an individual to work on interior design and business development projects across Europe and the United States. For more information or to apply by November 25, click here.
Home page image: Courtesy of Modern Matter