Furniture brand District Eight merges contemporary design with the beauty of traditional handcrafted techniques
By houseandgarden.co.za | September 3, 2017 | Category Design
To delve into the sources of inspiration behind internationally lauded furniture brand District Eight is to gain a deeper appreciation of its innovative designs, artful use of unconventional materials and artisanal manufacturing processes.
That its founder, Australian native Darren Chew, began his career as a chef and then worked in the fashion industry before entering the furniture-design milieu gives further insight into the vision behind the brand. ‘I have always been involved in creative pursuits,’ notes Darren, who launched District Eight in 2010 after successfully opening his trendy L’Usine café and retail spaces in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, where he’s been living ever since. He named District Eight after the location of his first factory.
Darren’s inaugural, industrial-styled collection, L’Usine, debuted at the International Furniture Fair Singapore to high acclaim. ‘As a designer and maker of things, I always consider my surrounding environment as an unlimited source of inspiration,’ he explains. Darren is drawn especially to heritage buildings and other old structures with ‘a history worth preserving. ‘For me, the balance between new development and historical preservation is crucial in our products’ design and creation.’ Subsequent ranges have seen a continued use of industrial materials such as concrete, steel and solid wood, employing traditional craftsmanship in the making of furniture notable for its timeless quality.