IWD2020 Series: Anne-Claire Petre, Anaca Studio

IWD2020 Series: Anne-Claire Petre, Anaca Studio

Speaking with designer Anne-Claire Petre of Anaca Studio as part of our 2020 International Women’s Day conversation series.

About Anne-Claire Petre

Anne-Claire Petre has a wealth of experience within the design industry, across both design and architecture firms, and now leads her own furniture design practice as the owner of Anaca Studio. After studying industrial design across France and Scotland, Petre is now based in Melbourne, where her work prioritises a deep understanding of good design, materials and processes. A testament to these principles is Petre’s popular Sedis seating collection, launched in mid-2019 to much acclaim within the design industry. An extension to the Sedis collection, including outdoor elements, will be launched during Melbourne Design Week.

What was your career background before furniture design?

Design and furniture have always been a part of my career and my passion. I originally studied Industrial design in France and later graduated in Arts in Design and Applied Arts (Furniture) in Scotland. Post studies, I was designing and making furniture at the Jamfactory in Adelaide where I completed my associateship. After this I relocated to Melbourne working in a number of high profile furniture businesses in design and sales. My goal was then to obtain additional insight into different facets of the industry where I moved into studio management roles at architecture and interior design practices.

What was the inspiration behind your Sedis seating collection?

The Sedis Range was inspired by the Art Deco period. I aimed to create a classic design that would elevate any space without being overly dominant and a range that would suit both residential and commercial applications. When I design a product, versatility is always an important part of the brief.

Do you have any advice for the next wave of female aspiring designers?

It can be challenging as a woman in industrial design and furniture. There has been an increasing number of female graduates over the last decade or so which is amazing, however this is still not reflected in the workplace in my experience. The gender diversity is still out of balance which makes it difficult as a woman to enter the industry and succeed. Many women do not make the transition into the industry or quickly move into other creative pursuits.

I would like to see more scope, opportunity and support for females in the design industry. My advice to women is to be resilient as you enter the sector. There are support networks for females in design, so I would encourage anyone to seek advice from these circles. Believe in yourself, take your opportunities and always surround yourself with positive business influences. I was recently involved in the Melbourne Fringe Festival as a mentor for up-and-coming women in furniture design and I am passionate about supporting women to continue their journey in the industry.

View the Sedis collection, designed by Anne-Claire Petre.

New elements of the Sedis collection will be launched at Melbourne Design Week, from 12-20th March 2020.