Designtree exists in a small studio in the industrial town of Wellington, New Zealand and is run by a like-minded, husband and wife duo, Tim and Rebecca.
The couple develop innovative furniture and lighting for homes and businesses. They not only create their own products but also work on commission for a variety of clients on their interior/exterior projects.
“We design everything with lots of care and attention. We search for materials at great lengths, which have the best social and environmental credentials. All of our products are made in New Zealand,” say the proud couple.
Designtree’s mission is to create beautiful experiences, through objects that are well-made and well-loved.
Their pieces are designed to age gracefully so people can develop rewarding and lasting relationships with them. The couple strives to make products that resist obsolescence and use materials and processes that reflect their respect for the environment.
The Wellington Sustainability Trust found Designtree and engaged it to produce a suite of furniture for their new offices and community space in Wellington city in 2013.
The list of pieces which were ordered were reception desks, point of sale display units, indoor and outdoor planter boxes, seedling trolleys, room dividers, a window garden as well as some generic items such as seating and storage units.
The brief called for a family of functional pieces that could be made quickly and economically using recycled pallet timber. Working closely with architect Joseph Nicholls and the staff at the Sustainability Trust, Designtree developed and produced 35 pieces of recycled furniture for the trust.
Designtree was also commissioned to make a wooden crate for a local startup company which made fresh green smoothies and delivered them to local Wellington businesses.The designers developed a simple crate made from recycled wooden weather boards. Each smoothie crate holds six glass bottles, and with the use of a simple carry handle, 2 crates can be carried in each hand.
The Giddyup Rocking Stool developed from exploring less static ways of sitting. The designers wanted to combine the use of the saddle with the idea of ‘active’ sitting, and by doing so provide a fun experience for the user. The saddles they use to make the stools are all pre-owned.
They often find themselves wondering about the stories ingrained in the scruffs, scratches and wear marks of the old saddles: where did the saddle come from? What sort of person owned and cared for it? And what was the horse or pony like that wore it?