Hospitality Design - August 2015 - (Page 71)

products profile design by them By Alissa Ponchione Photography by Pete Daly and Rachel Kara 1. Australian designers Gibson and Karlovasitis launched DesignByThem in 2006. 2. Designed by Stefan Lie, the Ribs bench is made from steam-bent hardwood. 3. The Gibson and Karlovasitis-designed Tuck stool is made from zinc-plated steel with a powdercoated finish. 2 1 DESIGN DOWN UNDER Collaboration is the centerpiece for an Australian firm making its stateside debut After Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis graduated with degrees in industrial design from the University of Technology, Sydney in the early aughts, they set their sights on starting their own design collective. The native Australians had enjoyed collaborating during class projects, and wanted to see if that camaraderie would translate into a successful business. Their hope was to bring some muchneeded attention to the talented and oft-underrepresented pool of Australian designers. Each gave up full-time jobs-Karlovasitis at design consultancy 4 Design, Gibson at commercial furniture company Thinking Ergonomix-to pursue their dream, officially launching DesignByThem in 2006. For the first three years, they focused on consultancy, but soon that side of the business ebbed, and product development flourished. Pieces were designed by Gibson 3 and Karlovasitis almost exclusively in the beginning but recently have been crafted (with the duo's input) by a roster of six other designers: Tommy Cehak, Stefan Lie, Seaton Mckeon, Trent Jansen, Tom Fereday, and Jon Goulder. Their collections-from lighting and wood furniture to seats and tables made of recycled plastic-are "highly curated," Gibson explains, and the products must have personality with restraint. "We don't like when the character or details overbear the design," she says. "It's those two things that constantly play with each other." Living in Australia is also an influence. A massive café culture and the indoor-outdoor "open and free" lifestyle require pieces to have longevity even if used only for the interiors, she adds, such as in Melbourne's Kettle Black Café or Thai Kheen Khoon restaurant in Sydney. Yet part of what makes DesignByThem a provocative group is a true emphasis on sustainability. "We use a lifecycle strategy in all of our products," explains Gibson, meaning the materials dictate "the amount of energy and resources in the product. It determines the way you can process and finish and dispose of material." They source FSC timber and use water-based finishes for 4 4. The duo's Butter chair features 80 percent recycled content, mostly post-consumer milk containers. safer factory operations. As far as looks are concerned, "our goal has always been for you not to know that it's a sustainable product," says Karlovasitis. "There's no reason that it shouldn't look as nice or nicer than a conventional product." With the launch of a furniture collection with John Goulder (refined in style and made of timber), the debut of their Wire furniture (which will be more playful than utilitarian, explains Karlovasitis), and a partnership with a well-known Australian fashion designer in the works (yet to be announced), DesignByThem recently took their wares across the world, launching to the North American market this May at ICFF with hopes that the U.S. design community will embrace their thoughtful and versatile offerings. "That's a big part of our strategy," says Karlovasitis, "so much so that we're getting more and more product manufactured in the U.S." hd d esi gnby August 2015 071

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - August 2015

Hospitality Design - August 2015
online TOC
from the editor
from the show director
trends 3d printing
interview helen jorgensen
5 questions for karim rashid
profile kelly hoppen
profile poesis design
profile 13&9
profile maria cornejo
profile design by them
profile ladies & gentlemen studio
profile emerging designers
trends collaborations
trends spanish influence
special feature custom solutions
airland hotel
press hotel
hotel henriette
newport marriott
industry kitchen
ad index
back space

Hospitality Design - August 2015