Yellowtrace // Q&A with Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs.


Coco Reynolds is a young Sydney-based designer who studied Industrial Design at Istituto Europeo Di Design in Milan, and graduated from the University of Canberra in 2007. After establishing Marz Designs in 2010, Coco has gone on to focus on product, lighting and furniture design. She is currently learning the craftsmanship of woodwork at the STURT school of wood. Her goal is to promote craft practice in collaboration with industry.

Featured Project // Bright Beads – light handcrafted from FSC certified timbers that can be customised to meet specific requirements, at any length and in any configuration to suit.

Why It Rocks // Bright Beads were specifically developed to demonstrate the relationship between designer and manufacturer.

Below is a little Q&A with the designer. (By the way, her lights are currently available through MCM House and The Design Hunter.)


Yellowtrace // Bright Beads by Marz Designs.

Yellowtrace // Making of Bright Beads by Marz Designs.

Yellowtrace // Making of Bright Beads by Marz Designs.


+ Tell us a little bit about Bright Beads. How did the design come about? What was your inspiration – i.e was it a result of a specific brief, a particular concept etc?

The Bright Beads are lighting project, developed in conjunction with How We Create, to demonstrate the relationship between designer and manufacturer for Saturday in Design last year. The pendant lights were made on the day, using a lathe, so everyone could witness first hand the process in which they’re made.


Yellowtrace // Bright Beads by Marz Designs. Left - Africa. Right - Alice.


There are six standard configurations available, “Abacus”, “Africa”, “Aleenta”, “Alice”, “Art” and “Aztek”, however pendants can also be custom made to meet specific requirements, at any length and with any timber shape configuration to suit.


Yellowtrace // Bright Beads by Marz Designs. Left - Art. Right - Abacus.


+ What is your favorites thing about Bright Beads?

The timber shapes have been beautifully handcrafted from FSC certified timbers (American Oak, American Walnut, Smoked Ash, American Ash and Rock Maple) which smell and are beautiful to the touch. Plus they are manufactured locally by the wonderful Australian manufacturer Evostyle and it’s been great being able to work with a local turner.


Yellowtrace // Bright Beads by Marz Designs. Left - Aleenta. Right - Aztek.


+ Did you learn anything during the design/ production of the lights? Would you have done anything differently?

Finding the right people with whom to work with can be really difficult and in the past I’ve spent hours trawling through internet sites trying to find the right person for the job. Unfortunately manufacturers usually disengage when they hear the words “one-off prototype” or “small production run”, so as a young designer it’s even more difficult because one often lacks the capital, resources and courage to leap into full scale production. I was really lucky to find Evostyle for this project. They were recommended to me by a fellow designer and How We Create were able to help me make the connection.

Young designers should utilise the expertise that manufacturers and artisans have to offer because they thoroughly understand the process and possible limitations of materials and manufacturing methods that a book or manual can never really give you. However there are a few local manufacturing facilities that aren’t averse to producing one-offs and once you find someone you enjoy working with the rest is easy.


Yellowtrace // Bright Beads by Marz Designs.


+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts about these lights that you could share with us?

I loved making jewelry as a child, threading glass beads onto string to make necklaces and other embellishments. In the same way the lathed timber beads are designed to be assembled over the humble cord and light bulb as a decoration or accessory and for me they evoke a nostalgic playfulness.


Yellowtrace // Making of Bright Beads by Marz Designs.


+ Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Nothing is a waste of time. Its amazing how many times in the past I’ve felt like I’ve spent a lot of energy or time on, something that hasn’t eventuated, only to find that down the track in some round about way it has actually paid off. Life works in mysterious ways.

+ If you were not a designer, what would you be?

A back up dancer. Mm-hmm.

+ Nothing inspires me like…

Creativity and innovative minds.

+ I am really good at…


+ Most people don’t know that I…

I’m a farm girl at heart.

Yellowtrace // Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs.

[Images courtesy of Coco Reynolds.]

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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