Collectors of ideas
Stylepark: With Struppler Industriedesign you have been a successful designer and developer for 25 years for clients like Interstuhl, Steelcase or Wittmann. So, what made you recently set up roomours, your own label?
Andreas Struppler: On behalf of clients, we have often supported product development right through to market launch. We simply wanted to go that bit further. Our plan was to develop a small collection and then market it ourselves via various new channels. Thematically it was to dovetail with our skills and not encroach into our main business of developing chair and table systems for big-brand manufacturers. So it made sense to design complementary products, which are of little or no interest to the big manufacturers.
In the end you opted for tools for design thinking processes?
Andreas Struppler: Precisely. This is an area where the work process has undergone radical changes in recent years; for certain scenarios there is a strong demand for innovative tools for design thinking processes, for collaboration efforts, or working in co-working spaces. So, it seemed only logical to provide this area with new solutions and offer concepts that are easy to understand and use. Moreover, they should also ideally complement high-class products of other manufacturers.
And so you consciously choose a reduced design language?
Andreas Struppler: Yes, our products are specifically geared to the typologies we are familiar with from analog days: the easel, (white)board, noticeboard. These products work best in a familiar design featuring wood and natural materials precisely because there is a special focus in development processes on the manual, the hand-written and work using tactile materials.
Where do the ideas for new products come from?
Andreas Struppler: Naturally, we keep in close contact with our clients, typically architects and planners. This way, we often find out directly from them what products are needed. That is how our “Post & Pin” board came about, for example: Another agency we collaborate with was on the lookout for a suitable board for its Post Its and pins. Moreover, the agency wanted a board that could be used either on a wall or anywhere in the room. So, we developed a mobile base into which the boards made of polyester fleece or Gator foam can be inserted. That means when it’s free-standing the “Post & Pin” board can be used from both sides. The “filled” boards can then be presented, say, on our wall rail.
How does the manufacturing process work at roomours?
Andreas Struppler: Our products are almost exclusively made in South Germany. That means we are able to rapidly and simply initiate development processes with our suppliers, have everything close at hand, and can make decisions quickly. And it is easy to realize customer wishes. Often, we use special timbers and finished surfaces that we define with our customers in advance. Or we have items specially made to suit our clients. There has been a strong increase in the customs-made field in recent years, and here we can act quickly and to the advantage of our clients thanks to our network of reliable suppliers.
How do you market the roomours products?
Andreas Struppler: For marketing we rely on our online shop, because it is hard to imagine being able to sell a new label from scratch via the classic route, namely specialist retailers and our aim was to be able to make our products available quickly and directly. That’s why we decided to start with a relatively small portfolio and then gradually expand it. In 2018 we had our own stand at Orgatec for the first time and had very good feedback from architects and planners. That encouraged us to attend again in 2020 with a bigger collection and a larger stand.