Clean lines, sturdy construction and upcycled materials – Trestle Union founders Nikolai Sorensen and Mike Grobelny (who also describe themselves as designer makers and workshop sweepers) have embraced minimalism in all they do, inspired by a trip to Mexico.
As they tell it, they spent time simply watching local merchants transporting their entire stalls – trinkets and all – to their market site a few kilometres away, spend the day selling wares and repeat the process in reverse at night.
Back in Auckland, they set out to create trestle tables that were equally easy to set up, both physically and visually lightweight.
“We know a lot of kiwis who appreciate well designed furniture but couldn’t find anything suitable to fit their budget, so our philosophy developed as we began to meet a need by producing furniture which was accessible to as many people as possible,” Sorensen says.
“Trestles have been around for a while and we’re not the only ones making them, but using smart manufacturing we are able to meet our customers’ needs without compromising quality and price.”
Their trestles are free of the bulk that usually comes with office furniture and can be popped up or folded away instantly. Old doors are used for some tabletops – upcycling in action.
The majority of Trestle Union’s customers are everyday kiwis using the tables for their home offices and study desks, he says, but they’ve also done a few fit-outs for small startups through to larger offices.
Sorensen says taking a product to market is a valuable learning opportunity for creatives to apply their design process to the full lifecycle of a product and business.
“Even if it’s a product as simple as trestles it’s still a mix of inspiration with a lot of perspiration.”
The pair are working through some new design ideas for 2014 with a slightly different take on the trestle theme, but still keeping to the same philosophy.