Oku Space is a Melbourne-based furniture brand established by a trio of designers and makers with a desire to produce high-end sustainable furniture for residential and commercial markets. In February 2020, Oku Space founders Nick Rennie, Brett Julian and Dustin Fritsche decided to combine their expertise to develop a range of furniture. They had been sharing workshop space for a number of years, were good friends and knew the strengths of each other’s work – Brett and Dustin’s extensive experience with furniture manufacturing and Nick’s expertise in developing award-winning product designs.
Oku Space’s first collection is made up of 11 pieces, a range offering storage, seating, dining and office furniture. The timber-focused collection is a demonstration of the founders’ precise design combined with expert craftsmanship. The flagship product is the OS1, a dining chair that can be stacked four high and is available in a range of solid woods, with or without an upholstered seat. The trio’s goal in designing OS1 was to create a chair that’s beautiful as a stand-alone object, but that can also be stacked if needed.
I find chairs to be the most challenging design, as whilst most fundamental is the comfort, they need to be functional as well, and this is where I think the stackability is so important. Whilst 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 minimize the possible carbon footprint of the object in an area that is often overlooked with the shipping.
– Nick Rennie
Sustainability was considered at all stages of the design and manufacturing process. “Generally when machining and cutting raw lengths of timber to size to be used in manufacture, you are left with offcuts of various sizes,” explains Brett. “It was upon entering the workshop one day that we saw a number of thin four-meter lengths stacked against the wall in the corner, and ideas started to form as to think of the possibility of how we could use them.” The result is the Rakii bentwood coat stand.
Oku Space hopes this type of thinking is what resonates, the idea that products can created with a considered approach toward creating a beautiful, functional object, while using quality materials and responsible production methods.
To learn more about Oku Space’s first furniture collection, visit okuspace.com.
Photos: Victoria Zchommler
Art Direction: Natalie Turnbull