On the 24th December we met with Atif Rashid (from the Design Technology Centre and http://www.gograssy.com) who has been working with Hatil (see http://www.hatilbd.com) on a consultancy basis for a number of years.
Atif took us to the Hatil furniture factory to meet the managing director Selim H Rahman. The factory was about an hours drive outside of Dhaka and is one of the largest furniture manufacturing plants in Bangladesh employing 1200 workers.
Hatil manufactures a range of products from domestic through to office furniture and doors. Hatil was set up in 1989 and in 21 years has grown to a progressive nationally recognised company.
Mr Rahman was very generous with his time and showed us the production facilities including the timber processing, machining and finishing, the preparation for the laminates for plywood and the upholstery workshops. Each one of these departments has a major factory floor dedicated to it.
We discussed the opportunity for designers from the UK to work with Hatil on an extended internship project. We feel that the large workforce and their skills form a great platform for contemporary furniture designers to explore new markets. We intend to work with Mr Rahman and Atif on developing a design network between Britain and Bangladesh.
see video of ply wood drying on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuXBixDYyTI