Making Connections

We’re making Caribbean connections!

In July 2016, in an effort to expand their regional reach, members of the Suriname Furniture Group (SFG) met with the By Making team here in Port of Spain. After their visit, we kept in touch about the fabrication of a wooden component of one of our upcoming products. Then, at the end of last year, SFG extended a very generous invitation (fully funded by CBI) to us to attend their Amazonian Furniture & Timber Trade Fair in Paramaribo. We accepted, thrilled to be doing our part to help build relationships within the region.

The Suriname Furniture Group consists of seven companies working in tropical hardwood. The fair starts today, and By Making’s founder and creative director, Marlon Darbeau, is in attendance to check out an exhibition of SFG’s work at the Torarica Hotel, and to visit a number of factories to talk about our products and possibilities. By Making’s look towards Suriname as a viable option for manufacturing components of our products is part of our larger quest to scale our operations and markets. We're also aiming to help diversify our local and regional industries while boosting manufacturing of Caribbean designed and manufactured objects. 

Join us on our trip over on Instagram.

Get High

Photography and gifs: Damian Libert

Photography and gifs: Damian Libert

We’ve given one of our best known and loved pieces a boost! Say hello to the new Peera-H Stool.

In 2009, By Making launched Peera, a reinterpretation of a small, typically homemade wooden bench used locally for cooking or other utilitarian acts. Designer Marlon Darbeau originally updated this object by expanding materials to include metal and, since its launch, Peera has been displayed in exhibitions and fairs around the world, from Granderson Lab in Trinidad to the Museum of Art and Design (NY) and, most recently, at Milan’s Design Week.

While great in many applications (think gardening bench or step stool), Peera fell a little, umm, short in others. So, we decided to take it higher. Over the past year and a half, we’ve been working on developing, prototyping, testing and adjusting H-shaped wooden legs onto which we can easily slot our distinctive, powder-coated metal Peera. The end product is our new bar-height Peera-H Stools, which continue By Making’s narrative of duality by presenting both a mix of materials, as well as one object that can be used in different ways. Take your metal Peera off the legs and use it elsewhere for functions close to the ground, and then perch on the wooden stool once you’re done. Or, simply keep the two components together and sit up in style.

Available on order. Email hello@bymaking.com for more info.

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Making a Scene

After seeing an article on By Making in MACO Sourcebook, architect Brian Lewis contacted us about creating custom outdoor seating for the front garden of his private residence, then under renovation. We met with Brian, listened to his needs, visited the space and came up with the design of our newest bespoke seating, Scene, which consists of two identical mixed-material chairs that angle gently towards each other, and are joined by a wooden table to form a single unit. The lines and form of Scene have their origin in the traditional Trinidadian benches that can be found in public squares throughout the country. Instead of concrete, however, Scene uses a familiar By Making combination of materials – powder-coated metal and wood – which were employed for their combined elegance, as well as their sturdiness and longevity in outdoor settings.

According to Brian: Garden benches are not merely for sitting – when they are in a front garden their prominence speaks about the owner’s relationship with the community. The twin bench-chairs joined by a teak table are constructed of just two materials: painted steel and teak. Yet in its simplicity the unit is not merely comfortable to sit on but adopts a contemporary sculptural dimension in a communal-private space.

In speaking about the process of creating this bespoke piece, By Making designer, Marlon Darbeau, notes: The idea behind Scene was to create a sense of comfort normally provided by living room seating. Its design was very much informed by Outin – another garden unit that uses the same materials and making processes. What sets them apart is the referencing of traditional Morris chairs and Savannah benches, while at the same time extending By Making's work on the idea of outside/inside.

View more photos of Scene here.

Meet My Project: Verb

Photo: Damian Libert

Photo: Damian Libert

Ciao from Italy! By Making is in Milan at Meet My Project (MMP), a progressive object/ furniture design fair that is taking place as part of the city’s prestigious Design Week. Earlier this week we reintroduced our Peera project, one of two we’re showing at MMP. Today, here’s a look at our second project, Verb.

Verb
Verb is a multifunctional object that can be easily manipulated in form, from stable, balanced objects like a table, bench, sculpture, or bookcase, to dynamic forms that perambulate, rock or spin. Verb was born out of chance, when a 2” paper model designer Marlon Darbeau had on his desk fell off and rolled, reminding him of childhood objects like jacks and other toys – rudimentary yet dynamic forms that you have to build or configure (check out Verb’s many functions here and watch it on the move here). Verb was first shown in 2009 in New Orleans – that version was made out of plywood and teak. The version of Verb that will be shown at MMP has been upgraded with a more detailed and refined stained mahogany wooden core, and powder-coated orange and green aluminium blades for a visually sophisticated take on this playful object.

 

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Meet My Project: Peera

Peera. Photo courtesy Damian Libert.

Peera. Photo courtesy Damian Libert.

It’s just a couple of days until the start of Meet My Project (MMP), a progressive object/furniture design fair that By Making has been invited to attend in Milan, Italy. We’ll be showing two projects there, both of which address the theme of this year’s MMP: We Are Social Animals. And, in that spirit of being social, we’d like to reintroduce these projects to you, starting with Peera.

Peera
Made out of cedar and aluminium, Peera is a reinterpretation of a small, traditional, usually homemade wooden bench used for cooking or other utilitarian acts. Peera designer Marlon Darbeau originally updated this object by expanding materials to include metal, and creating a simple-to-use multi-purpose system. You can sit on Peera, unpack it for two separate seats, stand on it to reach higher, or use it as a handy carrying case. Peera was first launched in 2009, with a lightly-stained cedar box and a brushed aluminium seat; the version that will be shown at MMP consists of a dark-stained cedar box, and the aluminium seat has been powder-coated with a fresh pop of yellow. Same functionality built in; we’re just looking a little brighter!

By Making More

Meet the new By Making team! From left: Marlon Darbeau (Founder and Creative Director), Melissa Darbeau (Director of Production), Melanie Archer (Managing Director), and Gareth Jenkins (Commercial Director). Photo taken by Nadia Huggins at Ramsa Sawmill Products Ltd, Arouca, Trinidad.

Meet the new By Making team! From left: Marlon Darbeau (Founder and Creative Director), Melissa Darbeau (Director of Production), Melanie Archer (Managing Director), and Gareth Jenkins (Commercial Director). Photo taken by Nadia Huggins at Ramsa Sawmill Products Ltd, Arouca, Trinidad.

Recently, we announced our preparations to attend the Meet My Project design fair in Milan, Italy, and began to reference our plans for expansion. We’d like to share more on the latter, as we’re pretty excited about our developments, and potential for growth.

By Making started in 2010 as the brainchild of Creative Director and Founder Marlon Darbeau and his wife Melissa Darbeau (of Lend & Borough), Director of Production. The practice has been built around reinterpreting the familiar to create objects that are beautiful, desirable, new and surprising – all centred around the idea of flexible, modern living.

In 2016, By Making expanded its horizons – both internally and externally. We have brought on board veteran design entrepreneur Gareth Jenkins, with whom Marlon is already a partner at Abovegroup, as a way of bolstering our commercial and export strategy (he is based in both Trinidad and London, UK). In addition, Melanie Archer, an experienced design manager and writer, heads up our team by directly managing the business. This injection of skill and experience signals our intent to enter a growth phase – bringing new objects to market, optimising our manufacturing process and capacity, and increasing our presence both locally and in the export market.

We’re going to Milan!

We are thrilled to announce that By Making has been invited to participate in Meet My Project (MMP), a progressive object/ furniture design fair that was founded to bring attention to a hand-selected group of talented designers from around the world. This professional event, which treats design as a way to share, meet and educate takes places 12-17 April as part of Milan’s prestigious Design Week. As MMP is dedicated to designers, buyers, distributors, press, galleries and manufacturers, we firmly believe that our participation there will give By Making and, by extension, Trinidadian object design a meaningful platform in the global product design market.

The theme of this year’s Meet My Project is We Are Social Animals. The two By Making projects MMP’s team selected to be shown at the fair operate nicely within this framework as objects that can be enjoyed with others:
Verb (powder coated aluminium and mahogany) is a multi-functional object that can be easily manipulated in form – from stable, balanced objects like a table, bench, sculpture, or bookcase, to dynamic forms that perambulate, rock or spin; while Peera (powder coated aluminium and cedar) is a reinterpretation of a small, traditional, usually homemade wooden bench, which the user can sit on, unpack for two separate seats, stand on to reach higher, or use as a handy carrying case.

By Making’s presence at MMP will help push emerging Trinidadian object design into local and international markets. We also have plans for expansion – we’re on a quest to scale our operations and markets, helping to diversify our local industries and boosting manufacturing and export of Caribbean designed and manufactured objects. MMP marks a major step in our journey, and we’re really looking forward to sharing this experience with you.

Is catacorner.

The bringing together of two objects made at different times with different objectives to make one object revealing new possibilities, not only in terms of the actual form but more importantly the development of seeing and thinking through making. Formalizing of haphazardness.

Image is a graphic based on a newly made object.