Interview: EQ3 Product Development Team

Mar 12, 2014

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Meet the product development team; Carla Zacharias (accessories), Enri Tielmann (upholstery) and Madi Cash (casegoods).

 

EQ3’s spring collection is centered around natural materials like felt, hand woven wool, undyed linen, solid wood, and raw marble. With the use of these materials, EQ3’s product development team has created a cohesive collection to help make your home both comfortable and inviting. We sat down with Carla, Enri and Madi back in January, while EQ3 was busy with the spring catalogue photoshoot. We asked them how they began working at EQ3, what inspires them, and of course about the new spring collection!

 

A condensed version of this interview can be found in the 2014 Spring Supplement Catalogue. Watch for it online and in-store starting next week!

 

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Portrait of EQ3 Product Developers: Enri, Carla and Madi

 

 

EQ3  What is your background?

 

Madi  My educational background started with business and then shifted towards design by enrolling in a cross-disciplinary undergraduate program in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture. During my time at the U of M I took a furniture studio, taught by the talented and inspirational Deb Scott who influenced me to pursue furniture design after graduation.

 

She gave me a great understanding of how certain things fit together – not only physically, but also conceptually. I think she was really good at pushing her students to really use their mind in ways that they may not have organically.

 

Carla  I too was part of U of M’s Faculty of Architecture. Both Madi and I graduated with an Environmental Design degree, specializing in Interior Design.

 

Enri  I grew up in Germany. After a mandatory year of social service I went to study Theology in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Afterward, I started a second degree in Business and Economy back in Germany. It was then that I had the opportunity to intern at EQ3 in 2010. I joined EQ3’s product development team shortly thereafter. I was very excited to combine my educational background in business with my interest in design.

 

 

 

EQ3  What influences your work?

 

Madi  In product development, our work is a response to different needs. I think my friends and family have a lot of personality, and they all have a lot to say, all the time. I’m definitely inspired by them.

 

I read a lot of magazines and newspapers and I’m on the internet all the time so I take a lot of influence from what is happening in the world. I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on nationally and internationally and relate that back to what we’re doing here at EQ3.

 

Carla  There isn’t one specific thing I look to – I take a lot of inspiration from my day to day. Oftentimes on weekends when I’m not working, all of a sudden, things will come to mind. Or, I’ll see something on the internet and not think anything of it, and I’ll think of it later as being great inspiration for a new project.

 

Enri  I think everybody has a unique background, filled with special people that you admire, different places you have visited, where and how you’ve grown up and what you’ve been exposed to culturally. I believe it’s a mixture of all of those things that have influenced my life and certainly my perspective on work.

 

 

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New Stumpy Wall Hook (Large), designed by Carla

 

 

EQ3  Is there a specific designer whose work you’re inspired by?

 

Madi  Right now is such an amazing time with so many exciting things happening in architecture, furniture and fashion. There are just so many people doing great things both here in Canada and globally that I’m continually inspired by what I see. Furniture, and even fashion to some extent, have traditionally been boys clubs, with men often dictating the forms and materials that influence what we live with. Now we have crazy-talented women like Phoebe Philo, Mary Katrantzou, Inga Sempé and Patricia Urquiola at center stage shaping the trends that are influencing the entire industry. I love that so much.

 

Enri  I would say for myself, I totally agree with Madi on the amount of designers and artists that you can name. I’m personally fascinated by the work of Oscar Niemeyer. He was a Brazilian architect who just recently died at 104 years of age. What I really admire, in general, are designers who strive to question the status quo and who reinterpret things that already exist.

 

Carla  I was always very interested in Richards Serra’s work. How his work affects space by using scale and volume, and how people respond physically and emotionally.

 

 

 

EQ3  What is your favorite design that you’ve done for EQ3?

 

Enri  I would say I particularly liked working on the Eve Sofa collection. Besides the aesthetical aspect, we were able to introduce high end components such as feather seating and a die cast aluminum leg at an affordable price.

 

Carla  This is always changing, and my answer would probably always be something that I’m currently developing. In the beginning it was probably one of our rugs, like the Corfu. You learn about the different techniques and then when you finally see your design being developed – it’s pretty cool. In terms of a current favorite, the Stumpy Wall Hook was a fun project to work on.

 

Madi  Definitely the Reclaimed Teak Bedroom. It was fun to work on it because I spent a lot of time in Indonesia learning where the reclaimed teak originates. I really like that this material has a story and has had all of these different lives. Each piece has all this history literally engrained into the material, and when you buy the finished piece and take it home, the material embarks on a new journey.

 

 

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Eve Chair, designed by Enri

 

 

EQ3  What tool or resource do you find most important to your job?

 

Madi  Definitely a notebook – pen and paper.

 

Enri  I carry a Muji passport notebook that perfectly fits into my back pocket. When we travel to furniture shows overseas, this is where I put all of my notes and sketches down. It becomes a chronicle of all of our experiences.

 

Carla  Pantone colour swatches are important for my work. It’s a common language across all the countries that I work with and I reference it daily.

 

Madi  I’m travelling a lot so my iPhone has become a fairly essential tool and if it left me while I was half-way across the world I would cry – but I stick with my original answer – pen and paper is the most essential. You can do everything. You can take your notes. You can do your sketches.

 

 

 

EQ3  Tell us about the spring collection.

 

Madi  Our focus was toward really comfortable, wholesome, natural products that could fit into someone’s life in a very easy way. I would say warmth might be a way you could describe it. I used a lot of solid woods and clean lines – nothing too decorative.

 

Carla  I used a lot of weaves and natural materials – cottons, wools, natural felts and linens. I focused on softening the table setting with the use of textiles and subtle colours.

 

Enri  The natural materials we’ve used allow the collection to be integrated into various contexts from, perhaps the most obvious one, a cottage at the lake, to the minimalist condo.

 

With upholstery specifically, we have introduced a new design language with skirted slip covers. This is a new addition to our product range. It’s interesting to offer something to our customers that will broaden our product offering.

 

 

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Reclaimed Teak Low Dresser, designed by Madi

 

 

EQ3  What does your own home look like?

 

Enri  Well, that’s a good question. Are you visiting today? If we are expecting a visitor, then it is very clean, but if not, I’d say it’s a very eclectic mix of shoes, clothes and bags everywhere – so really messy.

 

Aside from that I would say it’s a collection of pieces here and there that have been added overtime that we have become emotionally connected to, such as, a set of molded plywood dining chairs that we got from my grandparents and refinished. But then there are also very utilitarian, very useful objects that we just try to combine with the rest to make a cozy home.

 

Madi  I don’t know how to describe my home…

 

Enri  As an art exhibit.

 

Madi  (laugh) Yeah, it’s not so much a display, but I’ve collected a lot of little objects and books and prints and photographs throughout my life. It’s sort of a mixture of smaller items – a lot of things, but I like to think that everything I have is very intentional.

 

Carla  We just purchased our home this past fall. It was built in 1929 and has all the original oak floors and oak banisters. It has a lot of character details, which is what made me fall in love with it in the first place, and now we’re just slowly furnishing it. Currently it’s a mix of old things that we’ve kind of always had, and a mix of new things. For the most part it’s not overly cluttered. Most things we have pose function, except for the large amount of pillows and textiles throughout.

 

 

 

EQ3  How do you explore creativity outside of your regular work week?

 

Carla  We all have the opportunity to travel and it’s definitely an interest for all of us. Definitely going to new places, and seeing new cultures, meeting new people and the conversations you may have. Exploring the world is definitely something that inspires each of us.

 

I also love to cook and definitely would consider that a creative outlet outside of my day to day.

 

Madi  I spend a lot of my free time trying to get out to as many different galleries and shows in Winnipeg. There are so many talented people living in Winnipeg right now! Fine artists, musicians, chefs, film-makers – it’s insane. So I always try to make sure that, even when it’s inhumanely cold outside, I make it out.

 

Enri  I enjoy carving wood sculptures. What I find fascinating about carving, in contrast to other art forms, is that you take away all unnecessary material until you arrive at the piece that you had envisioned.

 

 

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Corfu Handwoven Rug, designed by Carla

 

 

This interview was prepared for the 2014 EQ3 Spring Supplement Catalogue. Stay tuned for the announcement of the catalogue’s arrival next week.

Blogger’s Style: Marie-Ève from Lake Jane

Mar 11, 2014

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We are thrilled to have Marie-Ève Best as EQ3′s March Blogger of the Month! Based in Montréal, Marie-Ève runs Marie-Eve Best Interiors, a design consulting business that focuses on sustainable and accessible design. She works with homeowners to redesign their spaces using a combination of new and existing pieces, and regularly sources furniture from EQ3.com for her clients. Marie-Ève is also the founder and editor of Lake Jane, a blog sharing her love of design, decor, fashion, food, travel and more.

 

She recently moved into a new house, and has been busy designing every room to suit her young family’s needs. As is often the case, the master bedroom was the last room in the house to get Marie-Ève’s attention, but armed with a pair of EQ3 Tate End Tables, Marie-Ève has now transformed her bedroom into a beautiful, functional and modern space.

 

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“I love a bedroom to be serene, airy and open. I usually leave the walls quite bare, stick to all-white bedding and carefully select accessories that are both functional and interesting to dress up the space. Our king-size bed is a monster so it leaves little room for more furniture, which means that I have to be extra selective about the pieces we bring into the room. Up until recently, we were using outdoor tables as end tables. This was due, in part, to laziness and to the fact that simply we couldn’t find nightstands that featured clean lines, a large surface and a height that worked well with our low (and gigantic) king-size bed. I don’t like nightstands with too many shelves or drawers because they inevitably become cluttered and are a pain to dust. What I need is a simple table that can hold my bedside essentials: a book or two, my cell phone and a candle. After months of looking at nightstands that were too big or too high for our bed, I began to look at end tables instead and found that I had way more options available to me. Investing in versatile modern end tables is always a good idea because you can easily move them to another room, like a living room or den, should you want to switch things up.

 

I chose the Tate Side Table because I loved the simple tripod leg contrasted with a large round white surface. The design is timeless and the scale is perfect for a bedroom. It has more than enough room to hold our bedside essentials and has a light footprint that allows the space around our bed to breathe. The oak legs blend in nicely with the floors making the tables feel even lighter.”  - Marie-Ève, Lake Jane

 

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Image Source: All photographs credited to Marie-Ève Best

Music Library: Nils Vik Listens to Music

Mar 7, 2014

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Today’s music playlist is brought to you by Nils Vik!

 

Nils is a former EQ3 designer and product developer. One of his most notable designs for EQ3 is the Burrows Bedroom, a collection that’s still in production! He left EQ3 in 2011 to start his own business venture - Parlour Coffee - an independent coffee shop in downtown Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Parlour quickly became the hottest spot to grab a cup of quality, North American roasted coffee or espresso. The shop offers fresh and local baked goods, and contains a small retail store selling a carefully curated selection of coffee related goods! They also feature a rotating selection of artwork. Building on the success of Parlour, Nils opened a sister shop – Little Sister Coffee Maker – with his sister-in-law Vanessa Stachiw in Osborne Village last fall.

 

There appears to be no stopping this guy, and we’re excited to see what’s next for him. If you’re in the Winnipeg area, stop by Parlour and Little Sister Coffee Maker and say hello. Follow Parlour Coffee on Tumblr at parlourcoffee.tumblr.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

PLAYLIST 03.07.2014

 

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01. Working Titles | Damien Jurado

02. The Needle Has Landed | Neko Case

03. Heavy Metal Drummer | Wilco

04. Golden Cage | Whitest Boy Alive

05. Sanity or Not | Juan Wauters

06. Wanderlust | Wild Beasts

07. Phantom Anthills | Chad VanGaalen

08. Hannibal | Caribou

09. Chinatown | Destroyer

10. Here Comes the Night Time | Arcade Fire

11. True Thrush | Dan Deacon

12. So Blue | Low

13. Swing Lo Magellan | Dirty Projectors

14. Substance | The Dodos

15. You Put the Flame On It | Charles Bradley

 

Album cover art by Alex, EQ3 Graphic Designer.

Introducing: Solid Wood Entryway Pieces

Mar 6, 2014

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Don’t wait for spring to warm up your home! Welcome guests with EQ3′s new Harvest Entryway Collection: a selection of benches, consoles and wall-mounted storage beautifully constructed of solid, white oak wood. Although clean lines and quality craftsmanship are well-suited to the hardworking front entry, mudroom or back hall, these pieces fit into any room of the house.

 

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The Harvest Entryway Bench features a white sheet metal shelf that’s easy to wipe clean, offering a clever storage solution for shoes and slushy boots. But it would just as easily function at the end of the bed, as a place to don socks and shoes. The Harvest Entryway Console features one or two drawers with a wood shelf below, providing an opportunity to display cool treasures, and conceal unsightly clutter. Or, try it in the dining room as a sideboard next to EQ3′s most popular dining table.

 

Both the bench and console come in two sizes – 24″ and 48″ – making them perfect for spaces both large and small. Complete the room with a fun selection of mix and match wall storage designs, such as the Harvest Shelf with Hooks, Mail Storage with Hooks and Harvest Wall Mirror.

Visions of Urban Living: The FvF Apartment by Vitra

Mar 4, 2014

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Freunde von Freunden, translated as “Friends of Friends,” is an international interview magazine portraying people of diverse creative and cultural backgrounds. The magazine brings attention to artistic industries and provides an authentic look at the way people live and work. Just as its name implies, Freunde von Freunden started out by sharing portraits and stories of their friends. In just a few short years, the magazine has extended its reach globally, and today FvF features interviews with artists, designers and creatives from almost every part of the world.

 

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Interior of Artbau (translated as “Old Building”), the FvF Apartment by Vitra.

 

Freunde von Freunden has always been about people, but you can also count on them to deliver gorgeous photography of the apartments and workplaces where these creatives live and work. The concept of international urban living is presented throughout Freunde von Freuden’s work (including their 2011 printed publication, the FvF Berlin Book) and a common thread was discovered: Suiss furniture manufacturer Vitra. In over 500 portraits of international creatives, in almost 50 cities internationally, Vitra has always been a reappearing and natural, but not coincidental, component.

 

Based on their common styles and experiences, Vitra and Freunde von Freudon opened Altbau, their first apartment in Berlin, last week. Altbau, translated as “Old Building,” is a 65 square metre (700 square foot) flexible and adaptable space. The apartment will offer a platform for innovative products from friends and fellow partners, and will serve as a venue for events and presentations.

 

We’re a big fan of Freunde von Freudon, and since EQ3 is an authorized Vitra dealer, we’re naturally excited to follow this new collaborative project. We encourage you to check out Vitra.com and FreundevonFreundon.com each month to see more inspiring examples of selected creative minds.

 

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Image Source: All photos used with permission from Vitra.

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