The world doesn’t need another chair unless it has something new to bring,” says Thom Fougere, creative director of Winnipeg-based EQ3, maker of Canadian-manufactured modern furniture.

Stool_EQ3-P_EQ3-Why_Design_Matters_April_2016-300x450Photo: EQ3

In January, the company unveiled its Assembly collection—a set of 10 houseware products from 10 up-and-coming designers across the country. “We were looking for new voices,” says Fougere, whose cantilevered, three-legged beechwood stool occupies a spot in the Assembly lineup. “We wanted to assemble the different voices in Canada’s design realm to showcase what design in Canada looks like at the moment.” Designers were asked to stick to their own vision, so the result is a product line that ranges from bottle openers to towel racks to dressing tables, each distinctive in its own very personal way.

In addition to EQ3 producing an innovative new line of products, such limited-edition collaborations with individual designers and small studios are a way for the company to test out ideas in order to remain relevant in a competitive market. “What we’ve learned is that perhaps there isn’t just one design language in Canada,” says Fougere, “but many different ones.”

This article is from the “Why Design Matters” special report in the April 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Click here for more!

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What do you think of EQ3’s product development strategy? What other smart or bold takes on everyday products do you admire? Let us know by commenting below.

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