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Spotlight: Dinosaur Designs

This iconic Aussie design brand is a favourite for chic homewares and accessories the world over. But, behind their bold, eye-catching designs there's also an eco-conscious story.

This quintessential Aussie brand is a design lover's favourite and regularly pops up in chic homes globally. Bridging art, design and fashion, Dinosaur Design pieces are great dinner table statements as much as they are sculptures, or wearable art in the case of their jewellery.

The business was originally founded by Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy and Liane Rossler in 1985, who were art students at the time, selling their handmade creations at Sydney’s markets. Thirty-six years later the brand is still helmed by husband and wife duo, Olsen— the daughter of one of Australia’s most iconic artists, John Olsen— and Ormandy. With collections that defy trends and remain collectable for decades to come, the brand these days is a household name both in Australia and worldwide, with stores in Sydney, Melbourne, New York and London.

Working predominantly in resin, the duo employ a vivid palette and organic forms to evoke the colours and natural wonders of the Australian landscape, flora and fauna, creating covetable homewares and accessories in a recognisable style that juxtaposes the synthetic and handmade.

Luna collection 2018 - Boulder Bangles

But, while their eye-catching colourful designs are instantly recognisable, perhaps less known is their commitment to sustainability. Dinosaur Design pieces are created from resin that is developed as a by-product of the oil industry. In its unprocessed state this raw material is a waste product, which can either be burnt, or if left to solidify—thereby rendering it unusable—ends up in landfill.

The team hand make each piece using low-energy methods, and combines any leftover resin to create other smaller, unique, multi-coloured objects and jewellery, specifically for their Extinct store. Any residual resin that falls to the bottom of the barrel is also collected, ensuring there is no waste when the container is broken down to be recycled.

The brand is also on a mission to ensure its products are made ethically and responsibly. Brass and silver jewellery is handmade by skilled crafts people in India and Indonesia, with the duo going to great lengths to make sure that their manufacturing partners share the same values of ethics. The factories with which the brand works meet a high standard and are free from child labour, and have achieved the highest official government rating for anti-corruption, including anti-environmental corruption. So, while experimentation and innovation are important to the brand, so is continuing to focus on minimising the impact of their production processes.

Check out some of Dinosaur Designs' gorgeous organic and sculptural homewares.


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