reams of thread in China

Inside Shaw Contract’s Shanghai Mill tour

May 21, 2018
  • Article by Natalie Mortimer

Over 4 days in March 2018, commercial flooring brand, Shaw Contract, invited a group of clients to experience the bustling city of Shanghai, China and take an exclusive tour of its Nantong Mill.

The state of the art Nantong facility represents a long-term investment in the Asia- Pacific region for Shaw, featuring new machinery with the latest, industry-leading technology.

Alongside the mill tour, guests were treated to an evening river cruise, a visit to Design Shanghai and free time to explore and absorb the culture and cuisine of the city.

ADR caught up with some of the tour attendees to find out what they thought of the experience and what insights they gleaned along the way.

The team assemble at the mill
The guest list included Dale O’Brien (Gray Puksand), Daniel Ballin (Hassell), Ingrid Kelly (COX Architecture), Jessica Green (Geyer), Madeleine Joyce (Architectus), Polly Schofield (Geyer), Poppi Kavaratzis (Davenport Campbell), Sue Fenton (Woods Bagot) and Tamaryn Harris (Geyer)

Dale O’Brien, senior associate, Gray Puksand

Why did you decide to take part in the Shanghai Mill tour trip?

I have always been interested in manufacturing processes, as I am quite a technical person by nature and a bit of a nerd. I couldn’t miss the chance to see the Shaw Contract operation in person. Also, not having visited China before, this was a great opportunity.

What was the most beneficial part of the trip?

Gaining an understanding of Shaw’s capability in Asia Pacific has reinforced Shaw’s position to me about being a supplier of choice. However, the bonus of any trip like this is having the chance to bond with industry peers and share war stories, experiences and find common ground in an industry where we often connected yet not close

What inspired you most about the trip?

I thought the new collections by Shaw are showing a real commitment to stepping out of their comfort zone and provides an insight into an exciting future. Design Shanghai was a real melting pot of creativity and at times had interesting products across the whole spectrum. I was impressed with how technology and drive and sheer will have really reinforced China to me as a true global power.

What did you learn about Shaw Contract’s brand or products that you didn’t know before?

As a global organisation, capacity and drive to always be innovative and a strong focus on R&D were some of the standouts for me. I know that Shaw make great product, but also being an employer of choice and a real focus on community was a nice surprise.

How has the trip changed your perspective of Shaw Contract?

Gaining an understanding of Shaw’s capability in Asia Pacific has reinforced Shaw’s position to me about being a supplier of choice.

Do you have any other comments about the trip that you would like to share?  

It was a great opportunity to socialise with my peers as well as the Shaw team. We went on a night eats tour, which was a standout moment for me – great food and great company, what more could you want!

 

 Sue Fenton, senior associate, Woods Bagot

Why did you decide to take part in the Shanghai Mill tour trip?

I’m a great believer in seeing how things are made. You gain a deeper understanding of materials and this informs how we design spaces. Also, Shanghai is a really interesting part of the world that I’ve only had the opportunity to visit fleetingly.

What was the most beneficial part of the trip? 

I loved travelling with people who are interested in the same stuff. It makes the whole experience more of an adventure.

What inspired you most about the trip? 

The Neri and Hu restaurant, the architecture on the Bund and Shanghai Design week inside a Russian Palace, French Concession.

What did you learn about Shaw Contract’s brand or products that you didn’t know before?

The range is evolving to become more of an architectural palette and textures are sophisticated.

Do you have any other comments about the trip that you would like to share? 

I met some great people some who can drink a lot more than me- respect!

Enjoying an evening in Shanghai

Poppi Kavaratzis, senior designer, Davenport Campbell

Why did you decide to take part in the Shanghai Mill tour trip?

It was a great opportunity to get to see the behind the scenes of Shaw product.

What was the most beneficial part of the trip?

The mill tour was quite an eye opener as there is so much that goes on to making carpet that I’m sure not many designers are aware of.

What inspired you most about the trip?

Design Shanghai was quite inspiring, seeing many different product showcased.

What did you learn about Shaw Contract’s brand or products that you didn’t know before?

I wasn’t aware Shaw had such an extensive product range.

How has the trip changed your perspective of Shaw Contract?

It was great getting to know what happens behind the scenes and of course the people involved.

Do you have any other comments about the trip that you would like to share?

Just a big thank you to the team that provided the opportunity to experience Shaw in Shanghai.

Shanghai at night

Ingrid Kelly, senior associate, Cox Architecture

 Why did you decide to take part in the Shanghai Mill tour trip?

For a number of reasons:

  • I like Shaw carpet and their environmental stance on their products
  • I had never been to Shanghai
  • It sounded like fun

What was the most beneficial part of the trip?     

There were lots of great moments, I really enjoyed Shanghai Design Week, the factory tour and the free time we had… oh, and of course, the tea!

What inspired you most about the trip?

Again lots of inspiration: learning and seeing the new products Shaw had, experience an amazing culture and meeting new people.

How has the trip changed your perspective of Shaw Contract?

It hasn’t really changed but it has reinforced their ethics and commitment to delivering good product and design.

Do you have any other comments about the trip that you would like to share?

I was really impressed with the commitment of the Shaw staff and the organisation that went into the trip. It was great fun.

Rolls of thread at the Shaw Contract Mill in China

“The aim of our inaugural Mill Tour program is to give key designers in the Australian and New Zealand markets a deeper appreciation of Shaw Contracts unique capabilities, cradle-to-cradle sustainability and our culture,” explains Max Ekins, marketing director, Shaw Contract.

“Our major event was a new product preview feedback session, which involved having a close look at all major collections planned for 2018 launch. The objective was to shape our offer to provide a compelling palette of styles and colours specifically developed for the modern workplace.

“Insights around the convergence of residential styling into the workplace and senior living spaces greatly influences our future direction.”

Shaw Contract is an ADR partner.

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