Autex collaborated with Rebecca Asquith and Tim Wigmore from Designtree to create acoustic furniture and lighting.
Original vision for the project
One of our designers at Designtree had used the Autex's Vertiface® material in a previous product, the Nectar Lampshade, with great success. We wanted to explore using other products in the Autex range so we developed a brief for a scalable modular lighting system utilizing the Cube panel. We wanted to combine a finely crafted timber structure with a contrasting recycled shade, as well as designing the shade to optimise the acoustic absorbency of the Cube™ panel.
Designtree began preliminary sketches for the work in 2012, releasing the first production prototypes for the Pendant at ICFF in New York in 2013. During the development of the design over the previous year, we had also explored ideas for a table and floor lamp using the same materials and similar detailing. The modular nature of the Frankie Pendant system and the material with its high recycled content combined with acoustic properties were two of the key things that interested people beyond the aesthetics of the products.
For Designtree's shade material we investigated other materials and other PET panel options, as initially Autex did not offer the exact solution we required. However we found Autex to be very accommodating and we were able to work with the company to achieve the exact properties that we desired from the PET panel. We were chuffed to reach this solution as we wanted to work with Autex for two key reasons: Firstly one of the key platforms of Designtree is using ‘Eco’ materials where possible. The Autex material fits this bill in three key ways: The high recycled content, Autex’s reclamation of production off cuts to recycle back into their material loop and being a company that manufactures locally.
Secondly the staff at Autex have been fantastic. Being able to get in-depth product information and support, fabrication advice and follow up service has proven to be invaluable and helped greatly with the success of the product development both for earlier designs and in particular for this product.
Now that the Frankie Collection is established in the market and has been utilized in some good sized projects, Designtree have found that customers are purchasing items from the range for three key reasons:
- The flexibility that Designtree's modular lighting system offers has proven to be its primary benefit. The range of cord colours and the possibility to customise the Cube panel lampshade colours are huge draw cards, but the ability to extend a single pendant lamp lengthwise to create a long chain of lamps – using the Frankie Pendant Extension and corner kits – is the biggest asset.
- The unusual look of the product. It is something new and unique looking, in no small part due to the tactile nature of the Cube material.
- Designtree have seen the acoustic quality of the Frankie Pendant become increasingly sought after, as more clients develop an appreciation of the importance of the acoustics of various spaces.