Instyle: Sarah Gibson, DesignByThem

DesignByThem is a young and vibrant design studio based in Sydney, and ‘them’ is Australian duo Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson. Together they create designs that are clean, experimental and combine a sense of fun with clear-cut function – their corrugated steel fruit bowl (below) a case in point.

fruitbowlCorro Bowl is made from corrugated steel, a material synonymous with the rural Australian landscape and modern Australian architecture. The bowl transforms this iconic material, accentuating its inherent strength and fluidity. Corro bowl can be used as either a fruit bowl or table centre piece. The corrugations form ideal troughs for nesting fruit.

All of their products reflect their understanding of ecodesign (which they also teach at university), as well as their commitment to local manufacturing, producing all of their products in Australia. As Sarah explains “We are passionate about Australian design and manufacturing. We believe in fostering strong collaborations within like minded people in the design, manufacturing and retail sectors.”


Butter stool is created from 100% post consumer recycled content, derived almost entirely from recycled milk containers. It is made from a single piece of material which when folded together can be hand assembled. The stool is stackable, comes in a large variety of colours and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Exhibiting at Life Instyle in Sydney 2011 for the first time, buyers will be treated to a wide range of mainly interior products, including accessories, homewares, furniture and lighting.  Packed with innovative design, green cred and industrial strength design savvy, DesignbyThem is not to be missed.


Treeling is an earring tree inspired by the Japanese bonsai. Treeling accommodates for both pendant and stud style earrings, allowing the user to display their jewelry beautifully and easily

Read on for a bit more of the DesignbyThem story…

LIS: How did you end up where you are today?
Sarah: Nick and I started DesignByThem in 2006 after graduating from Industrial Design at the University of Technology Sydney. We observed that many designers were chasing big design brands overseas and we wanted to create a platform in Australia where like minded designers could come together and produce work in a professional and commercially focused environment.


Inspired by the Australian suburban landscape, TomTom reflects the desire of homeowners to differentiate and customize their home on the streetscape. Made from powder-coated Zincalume, the TomTom is highly rust-resistant and uses Nylon pivots for smooth opening.

LIS: What’s the best thing about what you do?
Sarah: It would probably be all of the great people we have met. We particularly like meeting our manufactures, who in many ways are distant from the design scene but who are vital for us to create innovative and quality pieces. We’ve also met some great designers, retailers and people from design magazines that are just as passionate about design as we are.


Posy Vase plays with the tradition of giving flowers. The vase replaces the flower wrapping allowing for the flowers to be displayed as presented. The vase rests facing the user whilst neatly framing the flowers.

Right now I’m:

Eating… All things green, spring is the perfect season for this! I also enjoy amazing Greek feasts at my partner Nick’s parent’s house – just amazing!
Drinking… Good coffee in our studio, and great vodka lime cocktails on the weekends and loving Pinot Grigio with food.
Reading… The Brain that Changes Itself – an amazing book about Neuro plasticity. Read it, it’s incredible!
Hearing… Very mixed… Fleetwood Mac, Calvin Harris, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and J.J. Cale
Planning… A big innovation and planning board in our studio, very exiting! We’ve got a million different ideas, so we’re looking forward to having a single area to display them all. In terms of up coming products, we have some great new collaborations with other Australian designers on the way, including a candle block designed by some young architects from Sydney – Stewart Hollenstein. Our most recent collaboration was the TomTom Letterbox – see attached – designed in collaboration with Tommy Cehak.
Buying… Not much really, other than herbs for my balcony. We’re crazy busy at the moment in the lead up to Christmas, but if I had time, I’d probably be buying some bike accessories. But really, I should be buying Christmas presents, if only I was that organised!
Enjoying… The spring whether and daylight saving. Great evenings out eating great food with good friends.


Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis

For more information visit:

Be first to comment