Some people have just have exceptionally good taste. Two such people are Sydney based designer Sarah K, and Melbourne retailer Bree Claffey. Individually, each woman is a design maverick – Sarah K divides her time between projects including the The Other Hemisphere, Supercyclers and her homewares brand Blakebrough + King, while Bree Claffey is the proprietor of much loved Melbourne retail and exhibition space Mr Kitly. With such impressive combined design credentials, it’s not hard to imagine what these two are capable of when they join forces.
Luckily we don’t have to, because Sarah K and Bree recently teamed up on an inspired collaborative project – For School. Together the pair have approached a select group of Australian designers and makers, tasking each with the brief to design an object for use in a school setting. The varied mix of designers involved include Groupwork, Anna Varendorff, Kenny Yong-Soo Sun of Studiokyss, Henry Wilson, Daniel Emma, Supercyclers, Ben Blakebrough, Dear Plastic, Field Experiments, Bridget Bodenham, Elbowrkshp, and Many Many.
For this project, each object was designed with a Japanese sensibility in mind, as the resulting body of work was exhibited late last year at Tokyo Design Week. ‘The project was first conceived conceptually with the Japanese market in mind,’ says Sarah. However, since showing the limited edition pieces abroad, interest inevitably sparked at home, and the products can now be found at select Australian retailers.
Each object in this series channels the ‘school’ theme in its own unique way. They include a handcrafted brass abacus, bookends, and mathematical fractional blocks, to name a few. One highlight are the handmade bento boxes by Supercyclers, created by Sarah K herself in conjunction with Andrew Simpson. Together this clever pair developed ‘Marine Debris Bakelit’ – a new material created using washed up plastic collected from Australian beaches. ‘The challenge was to make something desirable from the mess we’ve made in our oceans, by creating a plastic that has some of the integrity I feel that early plastics like bakelite possess,’ explains Sarah.
Together Bree and Sarah are planning to continue this project into the future. Their next series will be rooted in functionality, taking its starting point simply from the word ‘for’. ‘For the garden, for cooking!’ offers Sarah. The possibilities are endless!