The Truss bench/table

I think there are shapes designers become fascinated with and return to, time and time again. You can see it in some of the designers that inspire me - like Glenn Murcutt's work and Tado Ando's scaled rectangular prisms.

Truss_Black_Brass

So I find it reassuring to know it's not weird, when my furniture sketches and resulting prototypes continue to play around in the same set of shapes repeatedly. 

This was definitely the case with Truss - a style and design approach to a table we had the benefit of creating in collaboration with the client, Jaye Edwards. An inspirational guy!

I have always been drawn to the Trussed steelwork in old factories and buildings. The strength of the shape and the elegant simplicity lend themselves to a lighter design. The danger that a piece could look somehow 'too light' is tempered by the finishes, the steel and the timber, and feel under your hand of the finished piece.

Our grandfather owned a bicycle repair shop in the Hague, Netherlands, prior to WW2. The language of this family business definitely found its way into this table, and our approach.

Taking a delicate and playful approach to trussed structural engineering, this style of table or bench floats lightly whilst being solid and stable on its feet.

Rather than being an off-the-shelf product, the emphasis is on a flexible design which is adapted to suit unique spatial and taste requirements. Sizes, heights and finishes may be customised and framing is designed in sections to allow for access through restrictive entries and corridors.

We have been happy to see so many of these finding their way into private residences. 

Publicly, you can see some Truss tables at Next Door Cronulla, and throughout the Edwards and Co spaces in Melbourne, Sydney.

-Dan

 

 

The Techne X Tuckbox Wine and Cheese Trolley

Techne x Tuckbox Wine Trolley

A design competition in the offices of the very creative Techne architects invited all members to submit a concept to create a drinks trolley for the office. 

Unsurprisingly there ended up being two designs that were made - one for the office to keep, and one for a vineyard connected to one of the directors. It was this design that Tuckbox collaborated with (then) Techne architect Tim Angus on. 

Tim's design aspirations were to deliver a beautiful and sustainable product. The expression of structural efficiency and beautiful natural materials were fundamental, a natural fit with the Tuckbox ethos.

The steelframe was conceived as an elegant triangulated skeleton within which the boxy raw timber boxes would sit. Together they work in harmony to provide a rigid floating structure that celebrates the unique grain and character of the reclaimed Douglas fir. 

Tuckbox Design ensured that the finished product remained absolutely true to the initial design intent drawings supplied by Techne. No compromise was made in the detailing, materials nor finishes. 

No ‘off the shelf’ elements exist in the piece - we crafted all components from scratch. 

TechneXTuckbox_Trolley_detail

We overcame structural and weight distribution challenges through the unique engineering of the 20mm thick solid front wheels. These were machined with discreet internal bearinged hubs, they provide key balance and solidarity to the trolley during operation.

Timber elements are crafted from a large singular reclaimed Douglas Fir beam. Scars from its previous life are retained amongst its flowing figured grain patterns. Precision routing of the top serving plane allowed the stone elements to subtly dropped into place.

The frame was fabricated in a series of parts from solid bar, then welded, ground smooth and highly polished before being copper plated. The final finish involved hand polishing and a protective clear coat. 

The trolley production was made to an extraordinary quality. There was no prototyping in the fabrication, it was a single and considered process from beginning to end, to realise the outstanding outcome. 

The project was a labour of love for the two collaborating companies. Techne had the concept and Tuckbox Design made it a reality and in collaboration they solved the technical requirements together with several meetings in Techne at the Tuckbox Design workshop in Campbellfield. 

About Dan

Daniel de Groot Tuckbox

Dan de Groot graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 1998 with a post-graduate degree in Industrial Design. He honed his skills in a leading UK architectural firm, designing furniture, signage, graphics and branding, for retail and hospitality clients.

When Dan and his wife Prue moved home to Melbourne in 2008, he took a break from the design office, choosing to pick up the tools, get his hands dirty again and experiment with the forms and pieces he'd had playing around in his mind for some time.  He convinced his best friend to join him: he had built cars and motorcycles with his brother Anthony, and couldn't imagine anyone better to go on this journey with.

Daniel and Anthony have a workshop space in Campbellfield that hums with the sounds of vintage machinery, prototypes, experimentation and the odd friendly greeting from Anthony's hound, Rex. 

 Dan's wife Prue helps the brothers in the prototyping decision-making, feedback and directions. When not wrangling their two children, she can be found working in a communications role in a global design practice.

Melbourne Design Awards

We picked up Silver at the Melbourne Design Awards in October! Founder of the awards, Mark Bergin, had some great words of encouragement about the local manufacturing scene and how we're all able to support it.

Now in its 5th year, The Melbourne Design Awards is the founding program in the design awards, and now includes 7 cities including New York, London, San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Dan was the only one allowed to leave the workshop to go to the awards,  and his hands are still covered in paint in this shot. About an hour later he was back in the workshop again...no champagne for him! Not yet, anyway ;)

We are honored to have received the award, and thank the judges for their comments and the Melbourne Design Awards for the support!