The search for a better designed dog kennel was the inspiration for Michael Mabuti and Susan Chung to form Made by Pen, a product design studio providing a platform for Australian designers and architects to deliver their vision side-by-side to a global audience.
The first collaborative effort by the Melbourne-based founders and designer Michael Ong has resulted in The Dog Room and was the beginning of a new process and a new way of thinking when it comes to product and homeware design.
"The three of us had this discussion about how there are no designer dog kennels that fit in seamlessly with existing architectural spaces, and don't cost an arm and a leg,” say Mabuti and Chung. "We knew there was a definite need for it, hence, The Dog Room transpired.”
Also part of its latest collection are collaborations with Nick Rennie for Sway, a new concept in floor-lamp lighting; Field by Helen Kontouris, which is a tiered serving platter that incorporates movement akin to a ‘lazy Susan’; Linea by Jim Hannon-Tan is all about tabletop architecture, its form is like a miniature streetscape when a number of different interchangeable components are brought together; and Wingnut by Stefan Bagnoli, a modular storage system constructed from anodised aluminium that’s easily configured to fit a long or short wall.
Made By Pen’s main objective is to showcase and celebrate Australian talent within the architectural homeware design space.
“Australia has countless innovative designs to show the world, and Made by Pen is bringing them to the forefront,” says Chung.
The dream, of course, is taking the Made by Pen vision international, to let the world see the unique and innovative designs coming out Australia today, she says.
“We are still building the dream, but any little progress we make gives me confidence we are inching closer to our vision of taking Australian design to the global stage.”
By Marion Gerritsen