KONTOR: A Tool for Design, Sources

Products / September 1, 2015

It’s a wonder no one thought of this before:

Taking its cues from the roaring success of Houzz as a platform to align residential designers, architects, manufacturers and clients, KONTOR will soon do the same for the commercial market.

Four partners – Kevin Ryan, Mia Lewin, Andy Parsons, and Tom Melcher – each with strong backgrounds in tech and design, have developed the new online tool for design and sourcing products.

“It’s a platform where architects, designers and clients can interact – a Pinterest with privacy, inspiration and demonstrations,” Parsons says. “It’s a place where clients can comment and where architects can understand their needs.”

And where fixture and furniture manufacturers can showcase their work.

The KONTOR team has carefully curated the firms and manufacturers invited to show on the site, including some of the best designers in Europe. Currently, it features more than 10,000 images of projects by more than 200 design practices, including Ippolito Fleitz Group, Origins Architects, i29 Interior Architects, and more than 50 other top European firms.

“Where permitted by architects and designers, we’ll highlight anything from an architectural interior, like a wall design or a furnishing or a fixture – and the manufacturer will have  a profile on the site,” he says. “Architects can identify furnishings and clients can find interesting manufacturers who can provide an entire line online.”

On the manufacturer side, more than 75 premier design brands – including B&B Italia, Ligne Roset, Moooi, and other European companies—have committed to joining KONTOR. When the platform launches to the public later this year, it promises to provide business owners and design professionals with access to an unprecedented array of designers and products.

The company’s recent acquisition of Alisco – a commercial interiors website created by Florian Bolle, formerly  senior architect at Renzo Piano Building Workshop – will only help Kontor accelerate that process.

That, and a substantial round of venture capital will keep the platform moving forward into the future. “In the past 18 months, we’ve raised $5 million,” he says.

But its real success will be measured by enabling collaborations between designers, manufacturers and clients.

For more information, go to http://www.kontor.com


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Mike Welton

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