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Turning 10 with Type: SBW

Razzy graphic forms and pops of hypercolour – this new furniture collection from SBW shows that after 10 years of designing and manufacturing, they really know what they’re doing.

Turning 10 with Type: SBW

It’s no small feat to celebrate 10 years of designing and manufacturing furniture in Australia. We’ve seen all the highs, lows and whiplashing twists that fate and circumstance has thrown the industry.

But Melbourne based brand, SBW, has endured it all, producing ever-fresh collections that feel always youthful and belie the realities of doing business in design with an alluring sense of lightness.

Marking its 10th anniversary, SBW last month launched Type, a collection of furniture that steps away from the studio’s trademark fine-lined, detailed style, to embrace something more sculptural in its expression. And, it’s designed and manufactured in Melbourne.

SBW Type Furniture collection
Arper chair, N coffee table, D plinth.

You’ll note in this collection the linear edges and classic curvature which meet to create the shapes of letters N, S, C, and D. They’re adaptable while also being standalone, and executed in delicious materials of buttery leather, velvety timber, intricate marble and stone, and subtly powder coated metal. 

Let’s hear what co-founder of SBW, Lisa Vincitorio, has to say about Type – as well as that major milestone of turning 10 in business.

SBW Type Furniture collection
Cos chair, N coffee table, and N & C side tables alongside B9 planter by Studio Ciao.

Alice Blackwood: As an Australian designer and manufacturer, what does turning 10 mean to you?

Lisa Vincitorio: As a designer and furniture brand, celebrating SBW’s 10th year in the industry, especially during a pandemic means a great deal. It marks for me that the brand and our aesthetic is well accepted and appreciated in what is an extremely competitive landscape. 

SBW Type Furniture collection
Ria chairs and Kol dining table alongside B6 planter by Studio Ciao.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self about design and business?

I think that my number one learnt trait for business in design has been to find that balance.  The balance between your creative aesthetic as a designer and what is required by your market. 

There is a fine line between being true to your creative wants and being marketable.  Finding that happy medium between design, manufacturability and meeting the market’s needs will mean designing a product that communicates your brand and results in successful sales. 

SBW Type Furniture collection
Plia dining table.

Tell us about the new direction that Type represents?

Type is an evolution of the SBW aesthetic from fine lines to bold shapes. Still synonymous with our timeless and beautifully locally-made ethos, the range commands attention and makes a statement. 

With the intention to appeal to our current market but also to catch the eye of a new client base who may not have looked to SBW before. This range allowed us to play within the material selection we are known for but also utilise materials we do not use as extensively within our previous collections.

SBW Type Furniture collection
N dining, Ria chairs.

There is a sculptural quality to this collection, what is the significance of this?

Type is a balanced visual collection of sculptural tables and seating solutions that combine sharp, definite shapes in a sophisticated and muted palette, infused with graphic boldness. Type was an exploration of typeface, and evolving what is a 2D element into a 3D form. 

We drew inspiration from a more post-modern typeface with its bold, sculptural aesthetic as the basis of the collection. It was important for this range to command attention. It is a statement, even in a neutral pallet such as the one chosen for this collection.

SBW Type Furniture collection
C bar table, D ottoman, Halo high stool.

Given the major shifts in the way we live and work, how do you view the evolving role of furniture?

I am seeing an increasing expectation that products no longer have a traditional function. For instance, if you were sourcing a chair for a study, you would in the past lean toward a more traditional style of desk chair. 

As we move more toward work from home life, it has become increasingly important that the visual appeal of the product and its function are both as important as each other.

We are finding this in workspace also. There is more emphasis on creating spaces that compel a sense of home.  More attention being placed on breakout spaces, informal meeting areas and using finishes that exude the same sense of comfort that your home would. 

We are seeing a push to utilising luxurious finishes, such as marbles, solid timbers, and buttery leathers to soften a space for the employees to enjoy.  

SBW
sbwaustralia.com.au

Photography
Nicole England

SBW Type Furniture collection
S ottoman, S plinth, B2 planter by Studio Ciao.

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