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5 Minutes With… dhab Studio

David Houbaer and Alec Balcombe are dhab Studios, a young Tasmanian duo that offer creative solutions across lighting, interiors and furniture

5 Minutes With… dhab Studio


January 7th, 2013

Your top 3 influences

A: Reaction from the user, Dave and the issue at hand.

D: Creative thinking, Tasmania and Mentors.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer

A: University motivated me to pursue a career in design, realising I had the ability to enhance people’s lives.

D: Skipping school classes to go and tinker in the design and technology department.

Favourite local landmark/building

A: Does the beach count?

D: The local drinking hole.

Favourite material

A: I wouldn’t have a favourite as such, every material is suited to a purpose or application. But there is an amazing beauty in wood, especially some of the Tasmanian natives.

D: Play-dough. It’s fun, colourful and perfect to get those initial concepts in to something tangible.

Favourite international landmark/building

A: My mum has a villa on the Isle of Kythira in Greece, located in a little village. It’s very basic and honest and really focused on the simpler side of things.

D: The Sagrada Família by Antoni Gaudi. I haven’t been there YET, but since learning about the history of the project I am constantly amazed!

Biggest career moment

A: If I could call 12 months a career it would come down to Launch Pad. We were lucky enough to be a part of the shortlist – and that really lead our studio into some great opportunities.

D: Launchpad, and the repercussions that lead to our first SID. I had a lot of fun!

Dream Project to work on

A: I’d like to work on an experiential event – something to wow someone’s senses with one overwhelming show or performance or experience.

D: An event/festival like Tommorowland in Belgium where creativity would have no boundaries.

Dream person to collaborate with

A: Richard Branson

D: Banksy

Favourite decade of design

A: 1948 – 1958.

D: 1890 – 1910.

Favourite Chair

A: Eames Lounge and Ottoman. Wooot wooo!

D: Paimio Chair – Alvar Aalto

#1 Concern for the design industry in the coming decade

A: Saturation

D: Consumables that have no regard for their life cycle.

Which items in the workplace can you not live without

A: My headphones. There’s nothing like rocking out to some beats when you’re on a roll in the workshop.

D: The whiteboard. It’s always covered with something that’s probably only legible to me!

The most unusual/interesting thing about the way you work

A: We hold our ‘board meetings’ on surfboards.

D: I enjoy the spontaneous decisions in working for yourself, and not following a routine.


dhab Studios


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