Franco Crea | A Collaborative Commission
It wasn’t long after furniture designer Franco Crea opened his showroom in Melbourne that he received a phone call from Prabir Majumdar. The owner of Armadale’s Wine 1160 had been scouring online for leather selections for banquettes in his newly opened bar, when he came across Crea’s Mila chair.
An initial enquiry for two items soon grew to include four more chairs, multiple small tables, three occasional tables and a custom communal table. “Prabir decided to continue Mila’s design language through Wine 1160 because it matched the venue’s clean sophisticated offering,” says Crea. Interior finishes and details were already in place and so the designer, who also operates a showroom in Adelaide, had a strong foundation upon which to work.
Developing the custom pieces for Wine 1160 required especially close collaboration between designer and client and a respectful friendship ensued. Majumbar was open to ideas and responsive to Crea’s suggestions and advice, having never commissioned a furniture designer before. And Crea treated this commercial commission in the same way he approaches all commissions, including residential ones. “I always try to make the process less intimidating by listening to my clients and really getting to know them,” he explains. “It’s about understanding what they want and delivering an outcome that works for them.”
Crea was meticulous in selecting appropriate materials and finishes for this brief. Longevity is a priority for the designer and he wants his furniture pieces to last and be enjoyed for a very long time. No decision is made without the client’s approval and should there be any disagreement, it’s nutted out until a happy mutual resolution is achieved.
A measure of the success of Wine 1160’s furniture commission is that Majumbar and Crea still stay in touch following the project’s completion. The client has even decided to expand upon the original commission and work together again with the designer to produce additional custom pieces.
It’s telling that Majumbar describes the whole experience as “seamless and intuitive”, with Crea delivering over and above expectations.
View Franco Crea's full profile on Well Made.
Images: Franco Crea, Wine 1160 commission, 2017. Photographer Elizabeth Schiavello.