The Culture of Craftsmanship
It’s comforting to know that amid the uncertainty of a global pandemic that is crashing hard into the Australian economy, positive shifts in behaviour are emerging that could have some real lasting impact for our livelihoods and wellbeing.
With restrictions around movement and activities like socialising and travel forcing people to spend their time differently, people are also choosing to reassess their values, the way they live, what they prioritise, and how they consume.
A wide variety of recent data is highlighting more people are choosing to support smaller bespoke retailers over mass market suppliers since the COVID-19 crisis started in 2020.
Data is revealing a strong trend in consumers recognising that smaller businesses:
Offer higher levels of customer service
Quicker turnaround times
Respond quicker in a crisis
Provide a level of quality and customisation not available with mass-produced goods
In an interview with Handkrafted, an online curated space that connects customers with independent furniture makers, Managing Director of EC Sustainable Kevin Morgan recognises the poor quality of mass-market furniture as a major contributor to a culture of disposability we are seeing across Australia and the world. With mass-produced products engineered to achieve cheap price points, they’re often made from materials that can’t be re-sanded, retreated or reused – resulting in a lack of longevity and ultimately ending up on the side of the road.
With consumer trends showing a tendency toward smaller suppliers, coupled with a growing conscience toward quality and longevity – a resurgence in artisan design and craftmanship appears to be not only a way of buying but also a way of living.
Since first opening our doors in 2014, Work Club has held the ethos that the environments we immerse ourselves in need to nourish, inspire and energise. Quality, longevity and a connection to nature underpins our core philosophy of design.
With over 20 years’ experience and a passion for creating greater connected human ecosystems, Founder of Work Club, Soren Trampedach, acknowledges that it is his passion for quality craftsmanship, unique design and artisan products that tell a story, have all inspired the curation of the environments we offer our members.
From the hand-made furniture of Danish design house Frederica, to the craftmanship of re-purposed 100 year old ferry wharfs from Thors Design, we have always proudly supported leading global and local artisans to furnish our spaces.
Knowing that a space is about all the senses, our bespoke offering includes our own unique scent from Air Aroma complimented by nourishing teas from organic Australian tea suppliers Love Tea and the locally-foraged foods from Ziggy’s Wildfoods.
“It’s not just a space but a community and place for people to belong.” – Soren Trampedach, Founder of Work Club
It appears that furniture and design trends for 2021 are reflecting our collective yearning for the simple and the natural world right now. “The growing focus in design on products made from wood, wool, stone and ceramics is not just to do with a revival of interest in craft; in a world increasingly dominated by synthetic materials and virtual reality, natural materials add a human dimension to our environment that may have beneficial effects on our health and happiness.” Writes Jennifer Ebert of ‘Homes & Gardens’.
Materials such as wood, glass, stone, and metal are more popular than plastics and synthetic fabrics. Unpainted wood furnishings, stone textures, plants, wicker furniture, and ceramic pieces in homes and work spaces are more and more prominent. Throughout Work Club’s spaces the wood, leather and concrete we use are all untreated, so they develop a patina over time – they wear and mature naturally, so they have a story to tell.
Recently Vogue reported the importance of comfort, wellness and longevity as a priority for how we are living, working and shopping in 2021. “The trend is to embrace what lasts, what’s well made, and what makes you smile.”
Right across the Work Club spaces comfort and craftsmanship are so deeply ingrained in our offering. It brings us great joy to know that what we have been working on for the past decade, is delivering what our members need most right now, in their work and in their lives – a haven for collaboration, ideas, opportunities and opinions.
Article written and published for Work Club Global - October 2021