Eco-Urban – Meet the Wellington couple behind Design Tree
Eco and socially responsible designers Rebecca Asquith and Tim Wigmore run Design Tree – developing furniture and lighting for homes and businesses, creating their own products and doing work on commission. Happyzine caught up with the couple, asking them about the materials they source, their most exciting commissions, how they sustain their passion and creativity, and which projects they’re currently the most excited about.
1. Tell us about the materials you source for your products, and in what ways they meet your social and environmental standards?
We really enjoy exploring materials, we’re material geeks. High tech and low tech, we are often searching for unusual materials or unusual applications for everyday materials. Every material has a story, and this is critical for a reading of the product and to create the best possible combination of attributes in a design. The use of any material involves many considerations, from extraction, production, transport, to emotive, cultural and sensual elements and also on through to functionality, durability, longevity and end of life considerations.
Currently we’re using a felted recycled PET (plastic from milk bottles and plastic goods) to make a new collection of lamps and lightshades. The material is very fit for purpose, made here in NZ from upcycled plastic waste, and is sensual and tactile, is good to work with and looks beautiful.
3. What keeps you buzzing? How do you sustain your passion for your work?
Design is something that both Rebecca and I have been focused on for many years now. In the past we often moonlighted, designing and making furniture while working full time or part time jobs to fund the creation of new designs. Now we are able to sustain ourselves by doing this thing that we both really enjoy. We realise that this is rare and I sometimes still need to pinch myself. Each year we take occasional breaks from the business and from each other in order to see things with fresh eyes and a new enthusiasm.
4. Which products do each of you love working on the most and why?
As above, we’re generally pretty focused on what we are working on at present. Many of our products are lamps or lampshades. We both have a fascination with light – how it activates materials, how it can change a space. We are currently pretty excited about extending our current lighting range – The Frankie Collection, to encompass storage and seating in the near future.
Tags: green design