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New Collaborative Initiative: The Tandem Project

Furniture designer Christel Hadiwibawa recently teamed up with Laura Lay, owner of Sydney based Gallery, He Made She Made, to initiate The Tandem Project.



December 3rd, 2014

Above: ‘P4’ chair by Savage Design and ChristelH

Above:Jewellery stand by Coco Reynolds and Kenny Yong-Soo Son

The Tandem Project was an exhibition launched in late October showcasing individual and collaborative design projects by 7 Sydney based designers. The purpose of the exhibition was two-fold; firstly to promote Australian designers, and secondly, to promote collaborations within the local design industry.

What sparked the project was Hadiwibawa’s curiosity as as to why there was and is such a growing interest in collaborative practice.

Above: Homeware collection by Carlie Ballard and Linda Tahija

Above: Custom ‘Block 2’ by Henry Pilcher and Alex Lance

“It’s quite novel because collaborations have existed for a long time, it’s just that now it seems to have a larger and louder platform of presenting itself, drawing attention across all industries not just in design. One obvious reason is simply that companies, individuals, organisations, and business both large and small, across multiple industries, are merely seeing the benefits derived from collaborative practice, period.”

‘Ombre’ light by Dennis Abalos and Haryono Setiadi

But the question then remains, what does that look like on a practical level in relation to the industry that we’re in? And more specifically, what does that look like on a social and local level, beginning in our own city? “It’s one thing to know, hear, and see collaborations all around you, but it’s a completely different ball game all together to experience the process first hand. The Tandem Project was one way to address this.” Lay states.

Above: Custom ottomans by Tom Fereday and Danielah Martinez

The brief of the project was simple; each designer was asked to submit two projects – one had to be an individual piece from their studio collection. The second project however, had to be a collaborative piece between another artist or designer of their choosing.

Above: ‘P4’ chair by Savage Design and ChristelH

Given 6 months to complete their projects, the final results were a mixture of furniture, product, industrial and fashion inspired pieces. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from this project. Not only did each designer gain valuable knowledge and experience from the collaborative process, but all of the designers are now taking the next step of looking at getting their pieces to market. And this is really what we wanted, to not just have an exhibition that showcased pretty work, but that the final pieces could also have market potential to sustain the designer and their practice in the long term, and ultimately strengthen the industry.” concludes Hadiwibawa.

The Tandem Project – Edition One from The Tandem Project on Vimeo.

Photography: Cedric Tourasse

The Tandem Project
He Made She Made


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