SBW Australia <em>Halo chair</em> designed 2017; American oak. Courtesy of SBW Australia<br/>
© SBW Australia. Photo: Rob Earp

SBW Australia

SBW Australia
(est. 2011, Melbourne)

Founded by industrial designer Lisa Vincitorio and visual artist Laelie Berzon, SBW (Something Beginning With) Australia designs locally manufactured furniture for the commercial, hospitality and residential sectors.

On display at Melbourne Now is SBW’s Halo chair, designed in 2017, whose distinctive ‘arc’ backrest has made it a recognisable feature in cafes and restaurants around Melbourne. Halo chair is representative of Melbourne–designed and manufactured furniture, which is coveted by specifiers and interior designers for its simplicity, quality of make and sustainability credentials. Produced on demand and in serial production, the Halo chair is the product of a distinctively Melbourne design culture – where independent designers and brands develop sleek products in dialogue with local skills and manufacturing capacity. It is also demonstrative of how product design can be embedded with a sense of its locality.

After receiving a Bachelor of Industrial Design from RMIT University (2003), Vincitorio became the youngest ever Australian designer to develop products with Italian company Alessi. Berzon has a background in interior design and fine arts, and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Management/Marketing) from Monash University (2004). The Halo chair was recently featured in Jane Hall’s book Woman Made (2021), a celebration of female product designers from the early twentieth century to the present day.