6/14/13 - 9/16/13
6/20/13 - 6/22/13
Denver (United States of America)
9/10/13 - 9/12/13
9/11/13 - 9/15/13
EDDA founder Jordi Milá
It comes as a surprise to find that an industrial design company employs social anthropologists. But Barcelona-based EDDA is no run of the mill firm. It doesn´t work on superficial observation or conjecture, it Designers need to understand what people think and feel subonsciously before they can get to work on a product.
EDDA´s founder and Studio manager Jordi Milá, 39, explains what this means, using the example of its Go-Up Shopping trolley for Playmarket-winner of a Red Dot design award in 2007. “When Playmarket asked us to design a trolley, the first thing we did was to send our anthropologists out onto the streets and into shops and supermarkets to observe people shopping. They watched over a periodo of months what people do…and slowly you come to identify the non-expressed needs of a particular market”. A successful product, he says, is one that addresses those unexpressed needs. In the case of Go-Up, what resulted is a trolley that looks modern, can be folded, is easy to manoevre, and works for young and old-the latter like it because it aids their walking and allows them to buy heavier goods. Young people like it because they don´t feel embarrassed by the look of it.
The range of products designed by EDDA is extensive. Recliner seats for trains, micro-cars, amusement machines, bluetooth transmitters for motorcycles, medical equipment and lollipop dispensers are just some of the projects it has worked since Jordi founded it in 1995. Key to its success is its willingness to embrace new technologies and to bring in people with the right expertise.
It now has 40 staff covering product design and engineering, Graphics design, 3D animation, web and new media, market research and branding and anthropologic research. The team uses the latest software tools as well as Rapid Prototyping (SLS) and CNC machining. Jordi says the Studio started to add new services to link more closely the design process and manufacturing, because in the past there has been too much distance between design and the end product.
The company is not cowering in the face of the recession and is, in fact, launching new sub-brands. These include Jordi Milá Furniture, the first Collection of which has just launched at this year´s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. EDDA is also moving into Entertainment, with its own production house producing animated content for pre-teens, called www.sweesters.com. This is available online and on televisión in Spain and Italy and inicial responses from young people suggest they like it.