The Woodcock Design Story

Husband and wife team Dave and Rachel Woodcock love using Plantation bamboo panels to make innovative furniture and homewares for their new business, Woodcock Design.

“The bamboo is perfect for our business as it fits so well with our sustainable and environmentally friendly core values, and the unique characteristics of the panels allow us to explore exciting new design pathways, says Rachel.”

Situated on a lifestyle block in North Loburn, in the North Canterbury foothills, all Woodcock Design EcoFurnz products are first envisioned using 3-dimensional design software. Then they are digitally dismantled and arranged for cutting.

“It’s been an exciting, nerve-racking journey so far and we know we’ve got a long, long way to go. But we have so many ideas yet to share and the inspiration just keeps coming”, said Rachel.

Starting a furniture design business has long been a dream of Dave’s, who has been a secondary teacher of Technology for over 24 years. 

“I have this constant hankering to design and make things, but was finding very little opportunity to be truly creative while teaching full time, said Dave.”

plantation bamboo and woodcock flora and fauna friezes

In 2019, Dave, supported by Rachel, took a break from teaching and started generating furniture designs. “We knew that any small business designing and manufacturing furniture would need to have that element of difference to compete with bigger businesses.

Very quickly we established that our point of difference would be entirely eco-friendly indoor furniture and homewares products, something of which we felt there was a significant shortage. 

Additionally, we wanted to incorporate another passion of ours, our native New Zealand flora and fauna, to celebrate the amazing environment in which we live.”

bamboo bird

So far, Woodcock Design’s products include furniture for children and adults, modular wall friezes of New Zealand landscapes with flora and fauna which mix and match to fill wide or narrow wall spaces, as well as a broad range of native birds and critters wall art.

bamboo chair

“One of our favourite pieces of children’s furniture is the Fantail Chair. Inspired by our cheeky little garden visitors, Dave envisaged a strong representation of key elements (of the bird) in the form of the chair. Developing it was a big learning curve as he juggled preserving the idea, the possible assembly opportunities and the strength of the structure. 

A crucial element of this process was our commitment to having no metal fixings or fittings, so that the furniture was entirely biodegradable at its end of use. Five iterations led to a successful piece which has met with much praise and appreciation. Now the question is, do we create an adult-sized version?”, said Rachel.

“We developed the wall art birds and critters as our kids loved having their favourite creatures on their bedroom walls. This expanded into our native flora and fauna friezes simply because we love our native environment so much and loved the idea of bringing these scenes into our home in a new and exciting way.”

“Dave gets carried away with creating both the friezes and the critters, so there are currently 12 frieze designs, 3 trees and over 30 critters that can mix and match together available on our website. We saw these items being popular with parents and children and perhaps in pre-schools and primary school classrooms, however, we discovered from conversations at the Home Show, people will find their own ways to use them!”

One interesting project they became involved with, was for Miriam McCaleb, a local parent from their childrens’ school who has undertaken a PhD research project through the University of Canterbury. She wanted to develop a mobile phone bed and loved the idea of producing them from sustainably sourced bamboo. 

“There is a large body of evidence highlighting the ways that people benefit from having breaks from their smartphones, and these ‘phone beds’ offer a visual reminder to ‘put your phone to bed’. 

They will be part of a larger trial aiming to support healthy smartphone habits within families, and results are expected toward the end of 2023.” The manufacture of 50 phone beds will be underway soon.

woodcock and plantation bamboo panels used for a kiwi bird christmas decoration

“It’s been an exciting, nerve-racking journey so far and we know we’ve got a long, long way to go. But we have so many ideas yet to share and the inspiration just keeps coming”, said Rachel.

Woodcock Design’s latest venture is producing eco-friendly Christmas decorations. Check out their website and leave them a comment – they would love to hear your feedback.

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