David Houbaer & Alec Balcombe
"Our passion within design lies with the user. We aim to produce creative solutions within furniture, object, lighting and interiors that influence the way in which we interact with others."
David and Alec’s design career began when they were both awarded a scholarship to study furniture design at the University of Tasmania Architecture and Design School. Studying alongside other student architects, interior designers and furniture designers, their exposure to different disciplines and sustainable practice allowed them to forge a strong identity through their work.
Recently graduated, David and Alec have launched DHAB Studios: a creative practice that provides professional services that aim to enhance everyday rituals and experiences through their fresh approach to the design of furniture, objects, lighting and interiors.
Although only a fledging studio, the business has already clocked up some impressive successes. The Alumina Light was exhibited as part of the Workshopped 11 exhibition in Sydney. This year, the team’s Eco-light product has been shortlisted for Launch Pad 2012.
Recently developing a series of work for commercial design, David and Alec are not bound by the constraints of conformity. They see tradition as a springboard to find new expression of ideas that will be, first and foremost, of benefit to the user and, at the same time, allow them to continue to grow as creative thinkers.
“The process of design brings a greater consciousness of everyday situations and develops our intuitive ability to transcend everyday life. By challenging contemporary issues, a major role of the designer is to re-interpret these ideologues and impose meaningful order to help improve the quality of life.
Our goal is to sculpt people’s experiences as well as our own for the better. We work together to harmoniously combine our different approaches to create products that are not only expressive by their external features, but also hold meaning within. This relationship between design and the user is something we strive to foster in our creative solutions.”
The Alumina Light was inspired through collaboration with Tasmanian ceramicist Sonja Brough. Together, the team explored the potential of a slip-casted pendant that exaggerates the nature of porcelain as a raw material acting as a light diffuser, resulting in both direct and diffused light. Both contrasts work in parallel, with the Blackwood bracket highlighting the junction between materials.
An exploration of materials led to the creation of the Eco-light, a fluted pendant light with a clean form and warming quality. By manipulating the orientation of the cardboard’s internal fluting, we were able to create an alluring penetration of light through the pendant shade. Moving around the shade there is a curious diffusion of light that engages and draws people into its warmth.
DESIGN ISLAND PRODUCT SELECTION
MATERIALS: 3mm corrugated waste cardboard, Hulgers Plumens bulb, Cotton braided tri-core cable (Blue/Red/Orange/Grey/Black)
DIMENSIONS (mm): 400 x 220 x 220
MATERIALS: Slip-casted porcelain, Tasmanian Blackwood, Decorative Incandescent, Cotton braided tri-core cable (Blue/Red/Orange/Grey/Black)
DIMENSIONS (mm): 400 x 220 x 220