• James Treble

Australian Design: Velce Movement Design

To celebrate, encourage and support creative Australians, each month I am interviewing an emerging up and coming Australian designer and maker, and this month it is Velce Movement Design.

When I saw Velce's products on show in 2017 at both Denfair and Decor+Design Melbourne, I was intrigued by their functional ideas which were paired with beautiful looks and impeccable finishes. I wasn't surprised at all to learn that this talented team already had a few notable awards under their belt. Not last, talking to Anna and Ricardo I was impressed by their warmth and joyful attitude.

Anna and Ricardo of Velce Movment Design

How did VELCE start?

Our design journey histories were both quite different, but we realised soon after we met that we serendipitously had a verysimilar concept around what we now call Velce which is all about movement-centric design.

Anna says that while she has always been interested in the aesthetic aspect of design what really sparked her interest was the design of the natural world and how this interplays with human-made design. She says she became particularly interested in the role fashion played on, and too often inhibited, the human body, and it was from there that the concept became more workable to her and something that she then conceived applying to many areas of design, including industrial. Anna’s interest in the human body is evident. as, alongside Alongside Velce, she teaches yoga asana and barre. Before Velce, Ricardo had been working for 20 years in the advertising industry as an art director. Now his interests are especially around architecture, art and industrial design. He says that his passion for physical movement was established in his love of cycling and swimming in his youth but it was after discovering running and later triathlon in his 30s that he become more aware about the importance of movement on the body. As he became more connected with his body he became frustrated by the way garments inhibit the body, and consequently how much of the human-made world inhibits the body. From these shared experiences Velce’s concept was born.

How would you describe your Business?

Velce supports the belief that we were born to move and that physical activity improves wellbeing. Our mission is to celebrate, inspire and encourage more everyday physical movement through pieces and experiences

Anna and Ricardo say that they especially appreciate design that combines minimalism with attention to detail. They support the idea that things should be created to last – in style and in construction. They hope to support a culture that realises the importance of liking and surrounding oneself with things that are meaningful and in this way escaping fast-fashion culture.

Where do you find the inspiration for your products? Velce’s biggest source of inspiration has been the human body, and we greatly appreciate those people who have shared their knowledge of the body with us. We believe the human body is the most amazing piece of design and that it deserves respect and admiration. And so the mission is to create pieces (and experiences) that celebrate the human body.

Velce Active Stool

Tell us more about your latest design, The Active Stool:

It is a piece transpiring after two years of researching sitting and seating, and why ergonomic seating, despite the growing realisation that traditional seating can have negative effects on our health, is scarcely being adopted, even less so beyond the office environment.

Their research shows that a significant barrier to the wider adoption of ergonomic furniture to date, are perceptions of it being 'office-like', bulky and not aesthetically pleasing. Their intention was to create a stool that would improve wellbeing, while complementing everyday living spaces. The Velce Active Stool, with its curved base, encourages healthy posture and gentle movement. Its concept is inspired by the way children innately rock onto the two front legs of their chairs, instinctively trying to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and find ways to move. The stool’s ergonomic concept is similar to that of a Swiss Ball allowing movement side-to-side, forward and back, diagonally and even twisting while seated. Velce’s Active Stool was launched at Denfair in Melbourne last June 2017 as part of the Front Centre exhibit, representing New South Wales design.

Innovative Design with Velce Movement Design

Are there must-have elements in Velce's designs?

Each piece must have an equal dose of beauty and functionality, must have a positive effect on the user’s wellbeing and last but not least, must have exquisitely finished, even on generally unseen parts.

I asked Anna and Ricardo if they have a favourite material and they told me about how they love materials, their textures, colours and the possibilities in how to combine them, and so for them choosing a favourite is quite tricky. But one thing that guides them in choosing their preferred materials is sustainability. Their desire is to work with sustainable materials because they believe it’s the right thing to do for our community and our planet.

All images courtesy of VELCE MOVEMENT DESIGN

I really am in awe with Velce Movement Design, and I'm glad to see to see that vital ingredients such as Beauty, Quality and Sustainability are there to support these emerging designers' place in the already star studded Australian Designers market.

Some relevant achievements:

Exhibitions – Workshopped 2017; Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design 2017; Fringe 2017; VIVID Decor + Design 2017; Workshopped 2016; VIVID Decor + Design 2016; The Rookies 2016; Furnitex Australian Furniture Association 2016; China International Furniture Expo 2016

Awards – Furnitex Australian Furniture Association, Craftsm