DesignByThem presents DL, a new furniture collaboration between industrial designers/DBT founders Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis and Australian fashion designer Dion Lee.
Three years in the making, the project began as a casual conversation during a trip to Milan. Making its international debut, the new DL Lounge Chair and DL Bench was launched at Milan Design Week 2019 at DesignByThem’s solo show in the Isola Design District, celebrating 12 years of producing Australian Design.
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Above L to R: Designers Nicholas Karlovasitis, Dion Lee & Sarah Gibson.
The DL Collection is the first interdisciplinary collaboration for DesignByThem, merging fashion and industrial design principles. The DL Lounge Chair and Bench couple the iconic sculptural tailoring recognised in Dion Lee garments with the timeless structural details of GibsonKarlo designs.
“The design originally started with a concept Dion and I discussed during a visit to Milan. The concept has undergone quite a lot of development with six rounds of prototyping and material experiments. It was important to us that the product demonstrated the experimental aspects of Dion’s work together with our experience in furniture detailing, manufacturing and commitment to creating a timeless design. Our goal was to maintain an openness to the design, whilst keeping the design dynamic, robust and comfortable.” - Sarah Gibson
“I have always loved the slung leather designs of the Bauhaus era and designing with saddle leather has always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I love how the leather is a warm, soft yet structural element of the design. It's a unique quality of this material. We wanted to reference Dion's woven and structured design elements, combining these with traditional furniture making methods to create a visual lightness and interactivity." - Nicholas Karlovasitis
“In a similar way to fashion, furniture takes something functional and purposeful and explores innovation and technique to create something inspiring. I believe Sarah, Nick and I share a technical approach to design and a desire to create. With any collaboration, it becomes a dialogue between two very different perspectives and technical skill sets. In this instance, it was taking the technique of slashing and weaving, seen in some of our most recognizable products and translating that into commercialisation." - Dion Lee
The challenge was to translate the movement of wearable materials into a static functional object. Referencing the iconic Bauhaus slung leather furniture typology, the DL Lounge Chair and Bench combine organic materials and angular silhouettes with the use of Italian saddle leather tensioned over a steel frame. Taking inspiration from Dion Lee’s signature weaving techniques, the durable saddle leather is woven throughout the metal frame to construct a fluid yet geometric form.
The DL Collection is available in a range of saddle leather colours with a powder coated or polished chrome frame.
The DL Range debuted at DesignByThem's solo exhibition for Milan Design Week 2019 in the secluded courtyard of Viafarini Gallery in the Isola Design District (image above).
SHOP DL Collection
Meet the Designers
Established in 2007, DesignByThem was founded by industrial/furniture designers Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis, also known as GibsonKarlo. GibsonKarlo design products that strike a balance between personality, functionality and timelessness. Their designs are often recognised by their simple yet bold forms, innovative uses of manufacturing and use of sustainable materials. Sarah and Nick always aim to create a minimal aesthetic without forgoing the products original intent.
Dion Lee is a designer brand hailing from Sydney, Australia, established in 2009 by its eponymous Creative Director. Renowned for experimental construction combined with traditional tailoring, the brand has pioneered a modern identity for Australian fashion. The Dion Lee aesthetic is technical with an intelligent sensuality. Each collection marries innovative construction, with a consciousness of the female form. Architectural silhouettes are dissected to enhance movement and the flow of air and light.
Product/Campaign Photography: Pete Daly
Photography of the designers: Fiona Susanto