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The Engineering of Thoughtful Design
At BDI, great design is our calling card. We take pride in creating contemporary furniture that is elegant, timeless, and just as important, functional.
Plus, we’ve got the accolades to prove it.
Over the last three years, many of our designs have been the recipient of the coveted Pinnacle Awards, which recognize excellence, innovation, and originality in the practice of furniture design. We’ve also been recognized by the Contemporary Design Group with the Edward Haimsohn Award for design excellence two years running.
But when it comes to our products, there is more to them than meets the eye. There is no limit to what our designers can sketch out or create in a CAD design, but it doesn’t mean much unless someone can figure out how to bring designs to life. That’s where our engineers and product development team come into play.
"In this business, you have to be attuned to the needs of your customers."
Prithvi Kumar, Product Development Manager
Led by Prithvi Kumar, an engineering design and operations management expert, the product development team brings the art of science to design.
“I was drawn to BDI because the company never shies away from innovative ideas,” says Prithvi Kumar, BDI’s Product Development Manager. “Working with our designers to do things that have never been done in this industry is why I enjoy coming to work each day.”
And BDI has certainly made its mark on the world of furniture design.
Take our line of media cabinets for example. Every model has been engineered with performance features that BDI was the first to make standard in the industry. These include:
Hidden wheels: Built into the leg assemblies, the wheels allow our media furniture, even when fully loaded to easily be rolled or moved away from the wall for access to cables and connection.
Adjustable shelves: Electronics come in various shapes and sizes, and media furniture needs to be able to accommodate. With rubber-padded, steel pins, shelves can be easily adjusted to fit everything from sound bars, to cable boxes, to game systems.
Cable management: Cords and wires are a necessary evil, but that doesn’t mean they need to be out in the open. Integrated routing channels keep cables untangled, and out of sight, out of mind.
Flow through ventilation: Electronics can’t perform at peak level if they overheat. On the bottom, our flow through panel helps bring cool air in, while the back flow-through panels lets hot air out.
Integrated levelers: Floors aren’t always even. Built into the legs, integrated levels are adjustable for minor leveling or panel alignment issues.
Removable back panel: Most of our competitors have a small hole for you to stick wires through to plug in your electronics. We decided to make it easier. Our back panels are removable for easy access to your electronics.
“In this business, you have to be attuned to the needs of your customers,” says Kumar. “TV’s are getting larger and components constantly change in size. People expect more options when customizing their furniture. Success requires us to be leaders in this space.”
So how do we mix beautiful design with careful, thoughtful engineering? The answer is teamwork and collaboration, and a five-step process that carries product from the concept stage all the way to your home.
It begins the old fashioned way with designers like Matthew Weatherly, Louis A. Lara, Al Glass, Jason Guidry, Cristian Wicha and Noah Packard, dreaming up dozens of concepts and sketching out initial renderings. With the best designs selected, our product development team takes over, bringing their unique perspectives to the table.
“We have people who have worked in government defense, retail fixtures design, and contract office furniture,” says Kumar. “Having different points of view is enormously valuable when working to design, engineer, and sell the highest quality products.”
Phase 2 is business justification and analysis. This is where we determine whether there is a market for a product and if mass-producing it is going to be profitable. Often times this includes visiting trade shows and seeing what we can add that goes above and beyond existing products.
Next comes Computer Aided Design, or CAD. Using a suite of advanced software, this allows us to model designs in 3D and visualize key manufacturing processes, including sheet metal bending, metal die-casting, and more. The software also allows us to create production drawings with detailed dimensions so manufacturers can build the product to exact specifications.
“In my opinion, Engineering and Product Development are interchangeable and interwoven with each other,” Kumar said. “We sweat the details in Product Development and pay attention to the user experience and that drives us to engineer many of BDI’s popular product features.”
After our market analysis has proven that our new product design can fill a gap, our process moves into sampling and testing, which allows us to make sure our products can withstand daily household use. This is followed by a pilot run, which tests the manufacturing process and the capacity of the production facility to mass manufacture the product to consistent and exacting quality standards. The process ends with final production, which puts the product out into all our channels for sales.
As you can see, before our products make it to the homes of consumers, months are spent designing and defining each detail and ultimately creating a piece of furniture consumers will be happy with for years to come.
At BDI, we have an exceptional team of designers and engineers that make our products exceptional every day.