The Creative Minds Behind LAB DE STU

October 11, 2013
The Creative Minds Behind LAB DE STU

By April Moore

October 2013

LAB DE STU is a Melbourne based independent design collective run by 3 creative minds, Andre Hnatojko, Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch. While studying together at RMIT university, they realised they had the capacity to make a much greater impact on the design world with the aid of each other. LAB DE STU gives them a creative forum they can work from, bouncing ideas off each other, collaborating and resolving concepts together. Interestingly enough, they all work separately and utilize technology for communication but they have big plans for creating their own studio space together in the near future, to strengthen their bonds with not only each other, but with other designers in the industry.

Even the name has an engaging story, the original name was Laboratory Design Studio (their initial design work had a huge science influence) this was shortened to LAB DE STU, three simple syllables that were easy to pronounce and brand – and were also easy on Andre’s stutter at the time!

The Polly Popper Pendant Light

Many innovative and eye pleasing designs have come out of this inventive design house and recently one really made its mark on the Melbourne design scene. The Polly Popper pendant light took out the award for the Best Lighting Design at Melbourne Fringe Furniture. A fantastic achievement as this award is sponsored and recognized by the commercial lighting industry. Created from a 50/50 split between existing products Polly (Dale) and Popper (Andre), this piece is as cutting edge as it is colourful!

“Polly is a range of home wares developed as an extension to an exhibition and materials exploration, and Popper is a pendent light commercially sold throughout Australia. The material of Polly Popper itself is the same as what’s used in the Polly home wares; a biodegradable non-toxic plastic that has a low melt point allowing it to be produced within the kitchen. Both Popper and Polly were released in 2012 and as the manufacture of the Polly home wares relies on a mould for production, the Popper form lended itself perfectly to the manufacturing technique. The focus and product intent was to create a new aesthetic, reliant on both form and material developed by both Andre and myself “ – Dale

Polly Popper 03
Polly Popper 01
Polly Popper 02

Designing for the Future

What really makes the Polly pop is its environmental benefits. The material used for the Polly Popper is 100% bio degradable and non-toxic. The process of manufacturing the shape is so easy that it can be made at home in your very own kitchen, introducing a new concept of manufacturing : self-manufacturing, a sustainable way of thinking that cuts down the pollution created from factories and product transportation and plants the seed of creating sustainable design in your very own home.

What’s next for LAB DE STU?

With the hopeful launch of their own studio space, the possibilities for this creative trio are endless. The challenge of producing a large scale Polly Popper design is currently under way and will be featured in an extremely important, upcoming design exhibition, as well as individual and exciting projects for each of them individually. When asked what they would be doing if they weren't designers, the boys answered “We like the idea of being on the Olympic team for shot putt - something completed non-design related. Either way, we think we made the right career choice.”


Adam Lynch, Dale Hardiman and Andre Hnatojko - Creative minds behind LAB DE STU