UK office furniture start-up Keen is in the process of signing up UK furniture designers and hopes to showcase its first results in the New Year.
Founded by former Vitra UK managing director Charles Keen, and backed by Terence Conran and John and Frances Sorrell, the Keen Group’s Web-based operation will materialise shortly.
It will not adhere to a dealer network principle, but will sell “design-led system office furniture” worldwide, having been structured around the Internet.
The company aims to give UK office furniture design a chance to flourish in a market dominated by the US and Germany, says Keen.
The business structure will remunerate designers in two ways. First, by royalty agreements linked to sales, and, second, through a trust which will reward designers regardless of a project’s commercial success.
“Our structure enables us to produce objects from a concept point of view or for technical innovation, without every project needing to be a best-seller. The designers will be rewarded if the company is successful, through the trust. It’s a commitment from the company,” says Keen.