The name ‘OKAY studio’ does have a rather established ring to it, but the main relationship between the designers that take part in it is that they share a space. They influence and inspire each other obviously, and they may work together occasionally, but they are not one company. The differences between the OKAY designers may be more interesting in the ARCO workshop project than what they share. They are from six different nationalities, have different educational backgrounds, apart from the RCA, and different professional experiences. They all developed into people with different mentalities, reaching from dreamy to mechanical and from pragmatic to playful. Returning to what they share as designers, none of them feels the need to comment the way their predecessors did back in 2005. They mean business. The challenge is quite suitable for that. Their assignment was to explore new opportunities for furnishings, small furniture pieces that can serve as extra requisites to make life more comfortable. One could also say: no chairs, nor tables. There was more than enough space for new developments here, since this kind of products seems to be in a somewhat orphaned state. For some reason the convention among furniture designers is to do tables and lamps and particularly chairs. By focusing on the fringes of interior product design OKAY can return ARCO back to an earlier stage in its history, which may present an opportunity to enrich the product list with objects to read between the lines.
      During the project there were of course discussions and doubts. The commission was to design new products that could be produced by Arco, but they were to be presented in a design gallery. It did rapidly become clear that inspiration had to come from within the factory and that the presentation context was secondary.
      The outcome is nice and balanced. One can observe individual designers presenting completely personal viewpoints and solutions, the kind of things they would normally do, which at the same time all are designed to become Arco products. They all have this typical smooth quality. Partly this may also be the consequence of a shared RCA background, where industrial quality is a standard requirement. But the main cause is that they work with all the Arco machinery. The factory presented itself as a crucial part of all the concepts.