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Oku Space rises from the ashes of Melbourne’s lockdowns

When two expert craftsmen join forces there can only be one result, fabulous design with a great future.

A new design studio has been established in Melbourne and presents high-end sustainable products that are beautiful, usable and made locally. The idea of Oku Space came during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 in Melbourne, and now the collective is working overtime to meet demand.

Oku Space was founded early this year by Nick Rennie and Dustin Fritsche, who between them have years of experience and expertise designing and manufacturing products. Rennie is a designer of note, having worked with a multitude of global companies creating furniture, lighting, accessories and objects and winning many awards. While Fritsche, a cabinet maker and furniture designer, has a vast portfolio of bespoke products and a proven track record in design and making. Together they are Oku Space and their adventure has just begun.

The first collection consists of 11 pieces – chairs, stools, dining, side and occasional tables, cabinets and even a coat rack. The diversity of the products and the designs makes them suitable for a multitude of environments in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects. The flagship product is the elegant OS1 Chair available in a range of solid timbers, with or without an upholstered seat. The OS1 is a stand-alone chair but can also be stacked if required. While the design is about functionality, OS1 is a beautiful form with clean flowing lines and comfort at its heart.


Rennie elaborates, “I find chairs to be the most challenging design, as while most fundamental is the comfort, they need to be functional as well, and this is where I think the stackability is so important,” He continues, “While we understand that they might not be used as a stacking chair, especially in the home environment, the benefits especially from a shipping perspective is really important as it allows us to minimise the possible carbon footprint of the object in an area that is often overlooked with the shipping”.

Sustainability is at the core of Oku Space products and is considered at all stages of the design and manufacturing process. “It’s something we are incredibly proud of and are always striving to improve,” says Fritsche.

Rennie and Fritsche both believe in the idea that a product should be designed and manufactured with a considered approach toward creating a beautiful, functional object, using honest materials and responsible production methods. The ambition of Oku Space is to find like-minded clients who believe in buying something that will last a lifetime.

The word Oku relates to the concept of space within and often hidden, however, the products from Oku Space are bound to be in the spotlight. With two lifetimes of experience behind the brand, Oku Space is set to make a name for itself in the market. With a strong emphasis on design and quality and every piece considered and expertly crafted, Oku Space will become a driving force in the world of quality furniture, of this there is no doubt.

Photography by Victoria Zchommler and art direction by Natalie Turnbull 

Oku Space has been shortlisted in The Design Studio category in the INDE.Awards 2021.


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