We were referred to Ken and Julie from CaNibble. CaNibble is a hardware tool known as a ‘nibbler’. They had designed and manufactured this tool which had been selling in Australia and the U.K for some time. Ken and Julie wanted to re-brand it and market it into the United States.
We needed a strategy for the brand and the product that would position this tool as a high quality purchase in the American market. We needed to make it appeal to American consumers as well as create a presence for the product that was unique compared to it’s competitors.
Part of our methodology involves an initial brand workshop. It was at this workshop that we were amazed to hear that Ken had first designed this tool in the 1970’s and since then has not only been manufacturing it but also continually refining it and improving it. It was a tool that was created with great love and care and in some ways represented his life’s work.
A powerful image started to form, a man toiling away in his workshop for years, refining, re-designing and re-building this tool to be the best it possibly could be – a tool made by a true craftsman. It struck us that the picture emerging was similar to something that was a deep-seated part of America’s cultural history.
America is a country with a long and proud tradition of manufacturing high quality hand tools. Once upon a time, American-made was something that you could believe in and you could trust - you could buy an American tool, use it your entire life and then hand it down to your kids. This was a proud period of American history. Those days are nearly gone, but a nostalgia for this remains as a theme that run deep through the American psyche.
We wanted to situate the CaNibble tool in this cultural tradition. The tool, the way it was made, the knowledge behind it, the passion to refine it for over thirty years all of these things told us that this product truly was a part of that tradition, all we had to do was unlock the story.
When we set out to design our studio we approached it like any design project, we began by identifying the priorities and creating a strategic framework to guide the decision making.
The initial priority was to create something simple to build, something sustainable, creatively inspiring and something that was cost effective. Through research it became clear that achieving these things was not necessarily difficult.
Working with the landscape design team POMO were able to create a number of key design initiatives that would contribute to the locally inspired placemaking program and deliver on practical community needs.
POMO was engaged to design and construct a number of landscape elements. Each element was custom designed and born from the uniqueness of Palmwoods, they reference local history, using locally sourced materials and were being made collaboratively with local craftspeople and artisans.
Underlying this was a larger design and management process run by POMO involving construction design, design reporting, engineering certification, construction and project management and installation on-site. A true multidisciplinary and multi-skilled program with a wide range of stakeholders and projects participants.
The project won the Excellence Award at the 2018 Queensland AILA awards for Civic Design. It also won gold in the same category at the national awards.