This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

George & Willy, Making Everyday Tools Great Again

Creative People

Do not let the laddish and laid-back charm of today’s designers fool you! They may describe themselves as starting from a ‘tin shed’ but the boys behind George & Willy have built their business using the know-how of their degrees in commerce.

We chat with the New Zealander duo about starting George & Willy after university, and their approach to making everyday life better designed. The pair has also increased our vocab – we are truly ‘fizzing’ about their work.

9th August, 2018

From tin shed to design studio. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

George and Will love to play and tinker in the studio. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Many of the designs George and Will produce are addressing items the pair needed for themselves but couldn’t find on the market. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

George Wilkins and Will McCallum. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

The studio roller. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Letter Display. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Designs to improve daily life. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Daily roller. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Making clothes drying aesthetically pleasing as well as functional with the Hanging Drying Rack. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Firestarter. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Keep up to date with the Daily Roller. Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Draw on the walls! Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Will and George enjoying the New Zealand outdoors! Photo – courtesy of George & Willy.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 9th August 2018

‘We call them everyday tools, things which make your daily life easier, better and more enjoyable’ – George Wilkins.

George Wilkins and Will McCallum were childhood pals, who reconnected at university while studying commerce. As part of the degree, the pair elected to take classes in design, and soon found themselves more excited by the university workshop than their commerce lectures (can you blame them?). Will explains that the design workshop was filled with ‘all sorts of tools and materials to play with, and having come from a childhood of tinkering in the shed we were both ‘fizzing’ to get in there.’ The pair were like kids in a candy store, making everything from indoor swings, lamps, toy helicopters and giant matchsticks!

The duo soon found themselves increasingly committed to spending time in the workshop, and when they were ‘supposed to be applying for graduate jobs, just kept making things over summer.’ After graduating, they started painting houses in order to generate an income, and spent time in the workshop for love – until slowly they found themselves  painting less and making/designing more.  ‘There wasn’t really a moment where we decided, let’s make a design studio, we just ended up there by making things that we liked.’ Will explains.

This energy and ‘matter of fact’ approach is evident in the clever collection of functional pieces the pair have produced. Each object is informed by a simple desire to make ‘daily life easier, better and more enjoyable’.

George & Willy studio is perhaps most recognised for their inventive approaches to signage, such as Letter Display and Baker Menu – interactive design pieces for restaurants and cafes. Will explains that ‘when you go into a cafe, craft brewery or anywhere with a menu, it’s the first thing you look at…  and there just aren’t that many options out there for exciting menus that are quick, easy and good.’

Their latest creation is a sleek laundry drying rack, next on the drawing board is a new indoor plant wall divider…  and we love their wall mounted paper rolls. Getting through your everyday ‘To Do’ list never looked so appealing…!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Furniture

Douglas and Bec · Arch

The Auckland based design studio unveils its elegant new Arch collection.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

Doing Business Across ‘The Ditch’

Three Kiwi creatives on how they’ve made their small businesses work across Australia and New Zealand.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Meet Made By Morgen

The in-demand Melbourne furniture maker introduces his 'clean, uncomplicated' designs, and talks 'designing on the fly'.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

News

A Father-Daughter Duo Explore Warlawoon Country In A New Show At Koskela Gallery

‘Ngaboo-lang’ by Rammey Ramsey and Kathy Ramsay comprises seven painted works exploring their ancestral land.
Sasha Aarons

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Travel

A Stylist's Bookmark-Worthy Guide To Byron Bay + The Northern Rivers Region

Stylist Jono Fleming shares his impeccable recommendations for the best eating, shopping, swimming and sleeping spots on the NSW North coast...
Jono Fleming

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

On The Market

An Architect’s Iconic Carlton House Is For Sale For The First Time

Tube House, one of very few residential houses ever designed by acclaimed architects Denton Corker Marshall, is for sale in Carlton.

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

Similar Stories

Furniture

Douglas and Bec · Arch

The Auckland based design studio unveils its elegant new Arch collection.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

Doing Business Across ‘The Ditch’

Three Kiwi creatives on how they’ve made their small businesses work across Australia and New Zealand.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Meet Made By Morgen

The in-demand Melbourne furniture maker introduces his 'clean, uncomplicated' designs, and talks 'designing on the fly'.
Elle Murrell

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.