Formally founded in 2014, Daast is a Sydney-based design studio specializing in furniture, object, and lighting designs. Partners Andrew Southwood-Jones (born in Canberra, Australia in 1990) and Alexander Kashin (born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in 1986) met in 2010 while studying architecture at the University of Technology in Sydney. The pair launched Kink Studio, a predecessor to Daast that specialized in fabrication and model making, in 2011 while they were still students. Both earned their Bachelor’s degrees in 2012.
The studio’s designs are driven by conceptual and material explorations, rather than a particular aesthetic quality—and are executed following rigorous experimentation and prototyping processes. To date, they’ve repeatedly worked with brass and timber, noting they are drawn to the materials’ “beautiful aging qualities.” Daast’s work also consistently incorporates well-engineered, innovative details. Standout projects thus far include: Aligned Lamp (2013), which features a 360-degree rotation; the Shrink Collection (2014), a furniture set that uses sheaths of rubberized plastic tubing over aluminum frames for remarkable strength in a visually light form; and Spyder Lights (2013), a set of flexible lamps made with milled aluminum and magnets that call to mind their namesake crawling up a wall.
Daast has earned several honors in its short lifespan. In 2013, the studio won SOYA, an emerging designer award created by Qantas, in the Craft & Object category, which was judged by designer Marc Newson. That same year, they also won the Peoples Choice Award for their Aligned Table Light from Workshopped 13 (Australia). In 2014, they were shortlisted for International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in both the Emerging Designer and Object Furniture & Lighting categories (the latter for their Gradient Lamp). In 2015, they were honored with the Temple and Webster Emerging Designer Award. In 2015, Daast moved from its former Surry Hills location in Sydney to a much larger, permanent space in Marrickville, Sydney.