Do You Share Our Passion?
We are passionate about bringing great design and sustainably made Tasmanian product to the world. Do we love the design process? Yes, but more than that. We do it because it creates and sustains valued jobs in Tasmania. Tasmania has a tradition of fine craftsmanship that is too easily devalued and lost under the pressure of mass-produced items from low-cost manufacturing countries. We focus on small numbers reflecting the uniqueness of an island state with beautiful timbers. Our resources and skills are worth sustaining and sharing. If that resonates for you, it would be great to serve you.
Witt Design Pty Ltd began in 1984 under the name Flexidesk. The inititiative came from Allan Witt who started designing and making furniture in order to employ young people during an economic recession. The business grew rapidly supplying height adjustable furniture for government contracts. But more needed to be done to express the vision of a successful business with strong social and environmental committments. Quoting Allan: “Increasingly, designers must make a significant and positive impact on our throw-away society. Ideally, each of us will have fewer material things – but each more beautiful, more enduring, more functional and more valued.” Consequently, Witt Design is focussed on product that embodies this vision and can be made available to people globally who demand that design and quality are coupled with long term sustainability.
Allan’s experience in design came from a family obsession with designing and building boats. Allan and wife Jackie have designed many very successful pieces of furniture. One is the awarded Stave Stool which was selected as a permanent item for the Tasmanian Wood Design Collection. In 2006, Allan won the Australian Wooden Boat Festival’s design competition for a recreational rowing boat in 2007. The demand for the Derwent Skiff increases each year. Plans, kits and completed boats are available from www.rowandsail.com.au
Allan and Jackie work closely with a number of Tasmanian furniture designers and particularly with Costello Design Studio. Principal designe, Dr. Peter Costello, gained international recognition with his Snap Chair and completed his doctoral work in furniture design in 2005. Both Peter and Allan have a keen interest in wood due to its natural beauty, warmth and light strength but also because its supply is managed sustainably in Tasmania – something that is very important to them both. Witt Design uses plywood extensively and uses solid timber sparingly. We take care to reduce wastage and maximise the impact of superb selected veneers. Also, plywood is strong and stable across a wide range of climates.
Witt Design has evolved over the years from having its own factory to now having a network of highly specialised suppliers that are supported by designers and Witt Design’s marketing.