Self-production versus royalties was the hot topic at this year's Blickfang designworkshop, held at Boisbuchet in France and led by designer Sebastian Wrong (+ movie).
Around a dozen young designers attended the workshop, which was established to help young designers develop the skills they need to turn their creativity into successful businesses.
"We thought it would be a good idea to bring together the professional design scene with independent, young designers and create a platform where they can discuss the business part of design," said Blickfang CEO Jennifer Reaves.
The annual workshop compliments the Blickfang design markets that are held in various cities around Europe each year, where young designers sell their products direct to the public.
"[The workshop is] about exchanging ideas and experiences on how this job, this passion, can bring a monthly income," said Reaves. "It's basically about the business prospects of being a designer; getting a reality check about how this business really works."
The workshop was held between 11 and 13 June at Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in southwestern France that hosts design workshops every summer.
Over the three days of the workshop, designers presented their ideas and explained the issues they were facing to a group of curators including former Established & Sons creative director Sebastian Wrong (who now heads new design venture Wrong for Hay), Authentics founder Hansjerg Maier-Aichen, journalist and Magazin curator Eva Steidl, and Dezeen founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.
"It brought to the surface a real current issue in the design world, which is about whether designers should actually look after the production themselves, or go down the more conventional route of selling a design to a company that will distribute and sell it," said Wrong. "It's all too easy to pursue your dreams and forget about the really important factor, which is: what is it going to cost?"
"We were very excited when we got the invitation to come to Boisbuchet, because of the thrilling curators," said workshop attendee Nina Wolf of German designers Nju Studio. "We discussed our products and we discussed the price, which is one of the biggest problems for start-ups."
She added: "The workshop was great, like a brainwash but in a very positive way."
"I really wanted to hear the opinions of other people, and hear how they bring their products to market," said another attendee, Dutch designer Charley Reijnders. "It was really good that we had to put our feet on the ground and really start thinking about money and about business. Because at the end of the day, this is my job."