KOPA was founded in 2016 by Jason Lu & Joseph Rowe, Architect & Designer. Passionate about both design & technology, unhappy with the costs and flexibility current products provide in terms of design and functionality. They set out to create a brand that encompasses detailed design thought and pragmatic application. Their mission till this day is to break the barrier between design and technology in the digital age. They went on an ambitious journey attempting to create an original Australian Design to rival any modern European design house. Coming from both a design and design management background, they didn't shy away from experimenting. A strong willingness to learn and improve the current status quo consumers have with products it ultimately lead them to create KOPA establishing itself as a design brand for the digital age.
So how are they different? Firstly they studied the success of Scandinavian or northern European design. How it lead to a worldwide acceptance of being leaders in contemporary design. Understanding that there was an urge during the post war era to rebuild. Practicality was valued over decoration. This allowed designers to think in pragmatic ideas rather than the traditional mentality of ornamentation which helped fuel the Modernist movement. Not known to be leaders of the art or design world, they saw an opportunity to establish themselves by providing practical design solutions to a world in need. Companies like Ingvar Kamprad's IKEA saw opportunities in keeping it simple, to the point he put furniture in boxes. A revolutionary concept at the time which lead to a movement that fueled a minimalist aesthetic.
Jason & Joseph believes that the digital age is already here, and as technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, in ten years’ time you may be speaking to your coffee table to order your morning latte from your favourite café. How we interact with products to how we purchase products is changing and this feeds into the narrative of design. Starting off with their pilot product the KUBE, they focused on the idea that there’s no reason products shouldn’t be flexible or accessible. Noting that, currently design concepts circumnavigating sustainability / affordability and functionality are what more just marketing opportunities. They believe that these are not just elements of design focus, rather that good design encompasses all of the above.
As they launch the current line of products, they are already working on how to promote Australian design. As they observed that the second half of the 20th century coined the modern era was dominated by Scandinavian design, with the right mindset and support there’s every opportunity that in the 21st century Australian design can lead the way in the digital era.