24.05.20

At Home with Ben Whittaker from SideProject Projects

Now that we have a little more space between us and a lot more time on our hands, we figured it’s the perfect moment for everyone to get to know each other a little better.

This week we’re at home with… Ben Whittaker

Ben Whittaker, Creative Director at SideProject Projects and long-time Tait collaborator,

In 25 words or less, describe your relationship with Tait

As the creative director at Side Project Projects (we specify and source furniture, fixtures & equipment), I have developed a solid relationship with the team at Tait.

While the genetic makeup & aesthetic of our client’s homes vary dramatically, the range at Tait provides considerable diversity (design, fabrics & finishes), allowing each project to have significant points of difference; although the Trace sofa is both a client and personal favourite. Supporting local (particularly manufacturing) is extremely important to us. It also has its advantages, such as shorter lead times, and the ability to engage directly (and indirectly) with team members from sales, production and logistics.

Where are you locked down / holed up? Who with? 

I’m currently working from our apartment, with partner Ben Robertson (Tecture Architecture & Interior Design), managing the business from our office location (both in Collingwood).

I initially utilised our home in Daylesford as a refuge of sorts. Establishing a make-shift office space was a priority. While attempting to avoid an investment in temporary infrastructure, we took the opportunity to bring ‘A Life Outside’; indoors. The Good One Dining Table now the office desk, and bench seats used to scatter product catalogues and fabric samples.

How are you still creating while isolating?

Modern technology allows us to seek constant inspiration (Instagram, Google etc.), while our supply partners have increased engagement through regular email/ social media updates and in some instances, virtual showroom tours.

Are you leaning into cabin fever or ditching it for A Life Outside?

My role is predominantly autonomous; although isolation on this scale has me craving human interaction; family, friends, clients and suppliers…supermarket assistant!

What are you surprised that you don’t miss at all and why?

Road traffic, although not really a surprise.

What’s the best part of your day? 

Weather permitting, the opportunity to work on the balcony and/ or take a break on the rooftop.

What have you learnt from lockdown? 

Adapt. New methods of presenting a design vision/ concept to a client.

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