Canny collaborations: Outofstock

When you fit out your home with stylish pieces from international brands such as Ligne Roset, Bolia, Environment, Saaz and The Rugmaker, chances are that Singaporeans Wendy Chua and Gabriel Tan had a hand in designing it.

Together with Argentinian Gustavo Maggio and Spaniard Sebastian Alberdi, the quartet who make up well-known design firm Outofstock has put its designer touches on pieces such as Ligne Roset's Vanity Shelf and Black Forest table.

The designers have also received accolades for their work, including the Maison & Objet Rising Asian Talents Awards 2015, Consurso de Diseno Interior Buenos Aires 2013, the President's Design Award in 2010 and Elle Decoration Spain's Young Talent of the Year 2009.

Their latest collaboration saw them head out to the beaches of Barcelona, all in the name of work. Outofstock created Animo, a sand play set made of bamboo fibre, a highly renewable natural source, which is an alternative to 100 per cent petroleum-based sand play toys. This set of toys was designed for French brand Biobu by Ekobo.

Ms Chua explains that the collaboration came about when Ekobo's founders - married couple Bruno and Boo Louis - came to Singapore to visit an exhibition that Outofstock was also a part of.

"We met and shared the same philosophy for ecological products and materials and started talking from there," says Ms Chua. At that time, Ekobo was creating tableware using bamboo composite that is safe for kids. "We came up with ideas for a sand play set to further diversify the product range for Ekobo."

Founded in 2003, Ekobo is a pioneer manufacturing firm in ecodesign. Designed for play time on the beach or in the garden, Animo also act as moulds that borrow their forms from ocean creatures, to stimulate children's imagination about a world of life under the sea, explains Ms Chua. The whole production process took more than a year to complete.

The set of four toys include Ray, a shovel shaped like a sting ray; Moby, a scooper which kids can also use to create whale forms in the sand; Turtle, a sifter so named because of its shape; and Peli, which is a water jug shaped like a pelican. The prototypes were tested for the right ergonomics, weight and interactive play with children.

Up next for the group, is a new furniture range for Bolia, which will include a dining table, coffee table and lamp, to be launched in August, as well as a new collection of rugs for The Rugmaker to be launched next year.


This article was first published on June 13, 2015.
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