What happens when two Argentinians and two Australians cross paths in New York City? While this question could easily form the beginning of a riddle that’s rattled-off time and time again, the ‘punchline’ to this tale lands far from flat. For the chance meeting of the founders from RIES (a furniture company based in Buenos Aires) and their Melburnian counterparts at Dowel Jones has resulted in widespread ovation for each brand. Here’s how.
In 2018, Marcos Altgelt and Tasio Picollo from RIES were in New York for Design Week when they first met Dowel Jones co-founders Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch. The four designers kept in touch afterwards – as is often promised when new acquaintances are made abroad. But following some steady to-and-fro, the group decided it would be an interesting proposition to create a collection of furniture together. Especially since a passion for local production lies at the heart of each brand, and that both companies are headquartered in the southern hemisphere.
Volta furniture collection by Dowel Jones and RIES
Fast forward three years and the ultimate union of the two design houses, titled Volta, has come to fruition. “The beginning point for the Volta collection came from a RIES project titled Diez Sillas [translating to ‘Ten Chairs’], whereby RIES designed and made ten chairs from waste materials in their workshop over two days,” the Dowel Jones team explain.
Using the ‘6th Chair’ from the Diez Sillas project as the genesis of the collaboration, the two brands went on to co-create the Volta collection. They arrived at a range that revolves around a tubular frame – a hallmark of Dowel Jones – complemented by the detailing and form for which RIES is renowned. It’s a “balanced representation of the two [brands],” the designers insist, achieved over a period of about 18 months.
While encore releases from the duo are already in the pipeline, the debut Volta range consists of a dining chair, bar chair, bar stool, low stool and coffee table, available in black and brass frames with several timber-finish alternatives. The upholstered pieces can be customised with hundreds of textile options, including Kvadrat’s luxurious Melange Nap, and as always Dowel Jones’ dazzling selection of colours.
While encore releases from the duo are already in the pipeline, the debut Volta range consists of a dining chair, bar chair, bar stool, low stool and coffee table.