Featured within the new and exciting Maker's Dozen dining precinct is Koskela’s latest range of furniture: the Alice Series.
Koskela has partnered with the Centre for Appropriate Technologies (CAT) to manufacture the Alice Series. The first project using this range is the Maker's Dozen food court, which is within the Kengo Kuma designed Market Hall building at Darling Square, Sydney.
CAT is an Aboriginal-owned and controlled business based in Alice Springs, which works to develop the skills and experiences of people living in regional and remote areas. Through their understanding of remote people and place, CAT also creates economic opportunities across the Alice region, enabling greater self-reliance for people living in the Red Centre.
Through our relationship with Lendlease, the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) worked with Koskela to prototype and manufacture a range of furniture for Lendlease’s Darling Square redevelopment. CAT is an Aboriginal owned and controlled company, with a metal fabrication workshop in Alice Springs that employs local Aboriginal tradesmen. Our workshop fabricates a lot of different products, and we are currently investing in our capability to manufacture furniture. We were proud to work with Koskela to produce the furniture range as we gained skills and experience, especially in using our CNC bender machinery to bend the steel frames. Working with Koskela is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase what we can do and to provide local Aboriginal people with trades skills and employment opportunities.
—Lucy Ayre, Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Appropriate Technology
During the creation of the Alice Series, a few members of the Design team travelled to the Red Centre to visit CAT’s Enterprise Workshop. Here they were able to work together and overcome a few issues with the workshops new machinery. Opportunities like this – to connect on country, lay the foundations for long-term business partnerships and further facilitate meaningful exchanges of information between people from different parts of the country.
In all the work we do, connections with our manufacturers are key, this project, working with The Centre for Appropriate Technology an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and run for profit manufacturing facility in Alice Springs, these relationships are particularly special to us. So often when creating furniture in large volumes, when looking at a beautifully finished product, it's easy to forget that each and every piece passes through many highly skilled hands during the process of production. We wanted to explore ways for the personality of the maker to be expressed in the final product. Common practice when welding metal parts together is to grind back and polish the welds so they're not seen, with this seating range we decided to leave the welds exposed and on show, a mark of the maker who created the piece, the craftsperson's signature.
—Todd Sidery, Industrial Designer, Koskela
Koskela is deeply committed to social impact and the Alice Series is a reflection of that. The Market Hall project range has enabled an up-skilling of the workforce and the investment in new bending machinery for CAT. From the launch of the Makers Dozen precinct CAT has already manufactured 372 products including:
- 195 chairs
- 72 stools
- 105 tables
Koskela were the perfect partner for The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) bringing deep design skills and knowledge of the interiors business to help scale CAT’s operations sustainability. Koskela’s commitment to great design being used to affect social change accords strongly with Lendlease’s commitments in its Elevate RAP.
— Seamus McCartney, Urban Regeneration, Lendlease