As we mature there are more and more things to celebrate and we begin to understand what's truly important to us. After more than 40 years in the business, it’s clear our clients always come first, and we remain dedicated to our carefully selected collection of brands. Here we share some of the highlights of the four decade adventure that is dedece.
Founding the Danish Design Centre
Our parents, Dolf and Niza Engelen established the Danish Lighting and Furniture showroom in 1978 representing Fritz Hansen, Louis Poulsen and Vola. A few years later they rechristened the company the Danish Design Centre and added several other Scandinavian brands to the lineup. The headquarters was in North Sydney, then the epicentre of the architecture industry with the Architecture Institute of Australia located nearby. Then, in quick succession they opened Danish Design Centres in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Fashion & Fax Machines
In the exuberant 1980s, the colour and ground-breaking shapes of the Memphis movement took the world by storm, and we began to import more Italian brands, beginning with lighting giant Artemide. In 1985 we changed the company name to dedece to reflect this evolution to a broader design language. In 1988 we were thrilled to introduce the work of Ettore Sottsass and Mario Botta to Australia, around the same time we developed the prototype of Marc Newson’s now iconic Embryo chair.
Less is More
In the austere 1990s we relocated to Redfern, in the first showroom designed by Tina Engelen in collaboration with Burley Katon Halliday. Mid-decade we were honoured to work with architects Leigh Prentice and David Aubrey, first on the refurbishment of the Bennelong restaurant at the Sydney Opera House, then on the fit out of Catalina restaurant in Rose Bay. In ’97 we moved into our current headquarters in Darlinghurst, designed by Tina Engelen as part of Engelen Moore and began importing many of the brands we represent to this day.
The New Millenium
At the dawn of an era, mixed with fears of a Y2K meltdown and hope of a bright new future, we launched our first website and a simultaneous print campaign celebrating our new design partners. We introduced Dutch brand Moooi with its creative director Marcel Wanders; staged a Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibition with Nadja Swarovski; put on a Tom Dixon show with the London designer in attendance; and introduced brands Muuto, Artecnica, Authentic, and Gaia&Gino to an Australian audience.
Breaking New Ground
We kicked off a new decade with our first Facebook page and blog, and a new brand: Paola Lenti. And we began a series of architecture talks focusing on the ground-breaking work of Glenn Murcutt, Kerry Hill, Alex Popov, Sue Carr and George Freedman. We moored the Paola Lenti ‘Island’ collection in Farm Cove and hosted a dinner with Anna Lenti; another with Tom Dixon; and then a Minotti lunch with their designer Rodolfo Dordoni – a joint celebration of the Italian family brand’s 70th anniversary, and the 40th of de de ce, another proud family business. The decade closed out with our delivery of Knoll Studio ‘Executive’ chairs – designed by Eero Saarinen – to the Sydney Opera House. A timely reminder that it was Saarinen who rescued Jørn Utzon’s now iconic design from the reject pile in the first place.
You are Here
We have welcomed in the new decade by signing a wonderful brand: Magis which, like us, believes in “design without boundaries”. We are always looking forward and making new connections. We love to explore and we hope that you have fun exploring with us!