Notes from the field: KE-ZU'S Tasmanian adventure to AFRDI and Dark MOFO

Our team at KE-ZU is an exceptional bunch and when they continually excel we make sure they know their hard work is appreciated.

To thank our KE-ZU sales team for their recent efforts we hatched a surprise. In the midst of June, we whisked them away on a team-building trip to Tasmania for an educational visit to our product testing labs at AFRDI and a couple of spectacularly entertaining evenings enjoying Dark MOFO.

KE-ZU owners Mark Swanton and Caron Grunschlag hosted the team of eight sales staff on the two-night adventure, which began with a pre-dawn flight to Launceston. First stop on the itinerary was the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI) at the University of Tasmania.

AFRDI is an independent not-for-profit technical organisation that provides standards, testing, product certification and research for buyers and sellers of furniture. AFRDI determines the stability, strength, durability and sustainability of all types of furniture, including seating, tables and workstations. Of particular relevance for KE-ZU, is their testing of our range of furniture for healthcare environments: bariatric chairs, antibacterial chairs, and seating for elderly people. AFRDI tests many of KE-ZU’s commercial products and while we know what this important accreditation signifies, it’s another matter to see what the tests actually entail.

We witnessed the rigorous testing our furniture is exposed to, including the extreme weights and static loads that chairs are put under. The experience provided the team with a practical and visual reference of the accredited standards and a greater understanding of the tests, including static loads. We left AFRDI with more knowledge of the testing processes and requirements to assist our clients to make the right choice when specifying furniture.

Our trip wasn’t all work and following the educational portion of our adventure we chartered a bus to Hobart where we stayed Friday and Saturday night. Both nights, we took to the streets to check out the city and immerse ourselves in Dark MOFO.

Now in its fifth year, Dark MOFO is an annual arts and culture festival that celebrates the darkness of the southern winter solstice. This year’s highlights included the now-famous nude solstice swim, performances by Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, future-soul sonic seer Nai Palm and controversial art performances at Dark Park.

While the team skipped out on the freezing-cold swim, they did soak up the roaring-hot atmosphere and the open fires ablaze in the streets. Chris Levine’s light installation iy_project mounted on three pylons was an unmissable centerpiece with red laser lights projecting to an ambient soundtrack, and in Dark Park we saw the demon-like Balinese-inspired sculpture Ogoh-ogoh. We all agreed that the event was probably the best and most bizarre event any of us had ever been to.

A visit to MONA is a must in Hobart, and lunched at Source Restaurant, where we enjoyed local seasonal produce (and got to see our Andreu World’s Carlotta chairs in action). The museum café also has a great selection of food – but it’s best to be there around noon to beat the queues.

On Saturday night we indulged in Argentinian cuisine and mojitos at About Frank, and to finish our trip we had the best breakfast in town at Born in Brunswick, which also does local, seasonal and sustainable produce. Our team flew home Sunday afternoon, tired, satisfied, and excited to hit the ground running with lots of new knowledge to pass on to clients.

KEZU would like to thank Bob Panitzki, Ian Burton, Paul Semmens, Colin Witt and Peter Wilson at AFRDI for so generously welcoming the team and explaining and demonstrating their testing procedures.

Dark MOFO will be held again in June 2018.

 

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