Let’s Play TOG: the innovative furniture brand is expanding its game-changing model of customer customisation
Last year collaborative furniture brand TOG’s launch at Salone de Mobile forged an innovative new era of customisation for the design world, in that same way that NikeiD has transformed the interactivity of the apparel market.
The Brazilian company, whose creative studio and production is all based in Italy, burst onto the Salone scene with the help of some heavy industry hitters - Sebastian Bergne, Industrial Facility (led by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin), Ambroise Maggiar and Dai Sugasawa included.
This year, TOG is returning to Salone with an expanded repertoire that debuts eleven new product families in addition to welcoming Italian architect and furniture designer Antonio Citterio into the TOG community.
With the goal of connecting the designer, consumer and manufacturer, TOG (an abbreviation of ’All Creators TOGether’), is the first brand in the furniture sector to offer self-customisation at the factory level, whereby the customer can choose from a range of colours, shapes and patterns to their specifications. ‘Maximum freedom is the very spirit of TOG,’ says Nicola Rapetti, head of design, research and development. ‘Everyone can create. Here they can stimulate their own creativity and share it with the community.’
The customisation concept was born from a mission to supply the world’s increasingly design savvy consumers with affordable, well-designed products that are unique or even one-of-a-kind. TOG serves to solve this paradox by uniting the advantages of industrial production, which ensures high quality and service, with superior craftsmanship and industry know-how. Part of the Brazilian industrial group Grendene, the world’s largest footwear producer and plastics specialist, TOG was the forward-thinking brainchild of entrepreneur Alexandre Grendene.
‘TOG is democratic and aims to make feel people happy and live well using good design,’ continues Rapetti. In the spirit of open source, all customisation is easily achieved through the creative community’s website. An example of one of TOG’s most successful lines to date, Philippe Starck’s stackable plastic Misa Joy chair, comes with interchangeable rubber back bands. French designer Ambroise Maggiar’s playful ’Vodo Masko’ children’s desk stools, conceal voodoo masks beneath their seats, and have been so popular that 2015’s Salone collection will see further expansion of this category. As you browse through the site’s product line-up you can also see examples of how other TOG community members have customised their pieces, as well as films of each item’s production at their factory in Italy.
‘In the near future we believe our customers will come to the TOG space to create their own products entirely according to their desire,’ says Rapetti, adding, ‘which they will then share with the community.’ Clearly, this is just the beginning.