About So Watt

Founded in 2015, So Watt has developed a boutique manufacturing and design studio focused on changing the conversation around the accessibility of sustainable, Australian made furniture and joinery. 

 

Jonathan and Sophie Biet, founders of So Watt noticed a growing appetite for locally made, customisable, and environmentally conscious furniture in Australia yet a lack of opportunities for homeowners and businesses to engage in conscious purchasing. This inspired So Watt to challenge the ordinary and create a company predicated on honesty and education of long-lasting design and material choices, which flows from their manufacturing process all the way to the Marrickville workshop's open-door policy.

 

So Watt bridges the gap between designer and furniture maker. By bringing all necessary expertise under one roof, clients are empowered to take part in the design of tailor-made solutions that withstand the test of time and support local industry.

Material Philosophy

So Watt aspires to identify new materials that offer improved opportunities for our environment and test them until their capacity and potential are fully realised. Inspired by other design greats like Marcel Breuer, who recognised the potential of tubular steel, originally used in bike manufacturing, and created the iconic Wassily chair, So Watt looks to identify sustainable yet affordable materials and explores them without being restricted with any end goals on form. Instead, our designers are challenged to maximize the visual and functional potential of holistic materials, ensuring their characteristics are the focus and that their nuances are celebrated in the final form.

Design Philosophy

The design philosophy of So Watt is centred on a pragmatic desire for simplicity of form and clarity of function. We believe that furniture does not need to be elaborately embellished to be celebrated. Instead, we design with honest materials and subject them to an appropriate, yet refined manufacturing processes paired with a focus on minimising waste for the best outcome. So Watt understands that everything is subject to its context, and our context is Australia. For this reason, we design with local artisans, local materials and for a local audience. We encourage and guide our clients to select concepts that bring them joy without the cloud of trends or overseas influences. We hope in time that by celebrating our national creative personality, Australian design can transcend its origin and speak to a wider global audience.

Manufacturing Philosophy

Everything at So Watt is manufactured in our Marrickville workshop, ensuring our designers are totally immersed in the creation process. This approach fosters stringent prototyping and testing opportunities for our design team, resulting in rigorously tested pieces and finishes. Because So Watt is focused on the manufacture of their own designs, there is the privilege of a close designer-maker relationship which is centred around collaboration between our workshop team and the designer to create outcomes that are also efficient and enjoyable to make and as much a contribution of the maker as the designer. While it may be cheaper and easier to look to offshore manufacturers for our purchasing options, it's important to look for transparency in the conception of goods. What better way to know our workers and environment are being supported than by looking to buy furniture made by your neighbours and not the nameless, no matter where we are on the planet.

Our Team

Jonathan Biet

Director • Lead Designer

Owner and lead designer of So Watt, Jono is the mastermind behind the efficient and effective micro-manufacturing undertaken at the So Watt workshop in ways that are unique to our materials and project goals.  Jono’s degree in Industrial Design from UNSW fostered a keen interest in machinery and detailed parts design, that is evident throughout our collections. Jono will unpack a detail down to its core and scrutinise every element until it is being done as perfectly and efficiently as possible. 

Sophie Biet

Co-Owner • Designer

Sophie loves a brainstorming session. From problem-solving and unpacking unique project requirements to suggesting exciting and unusual materials and manufacturing techniques, Sophie helps establish the basis for your project and outlines the requirements for the workshop team. With a degree in Industrial Design from RMIT and a background in commercial project management, Sophie approaches all projects with creativity and a strict plan to ensure budget and deadline are always met. 

Hamish Anderson

Lead Machinest

Hamish brings his knowledge as a Product Designer and skills in computer aided design to every project that comes through our workshop. Taking all new projects from the point of client order through to the successful machining of all the necessary components on our CNC machine, Hamish is the eyes over the intricate elements that allow the workshop team to bring the finished work together and is always ready to jump in and help at any other step along the way. 

Harry Williams

Designer • Project Manager

If you visit us, you will have the pleasure of chatting with Harry, who brings his knowledge of timber furniture design paired with his experience in visual communications design to deliver the answer to all your questions in the form of passionate discussion and beautifully presented brochures to help guide you through the process of your unique project. Harry is a true believer in Australian Made and can recite statistics around all our locally sourced materials if you ever need further detail.

Kirk Sowter

Furniture Maker

Kirk is our go-to guy for all hands on all assembly and install work for every project and brings energy and a good chuckle to the rest of the team. You will often catch Kirk focussing on tight tolerance calculations with a furrowed brow and a notebook to ensure every join and screw is in exactly the right place for a perfect finished piece. Measure three times cut once of course!

Sam Kirby

Workshop Assistant

One of our longest standing team members, Sam is our workshop all-rounder with the skills to jump in anywhere that's needed across the process. Sam is our QC officer and is the last frontier before we release a project to its future home, making sure it's carefully packaged and booked with the best shipping agent for the location. You can sometimes catch Sam zipping around Sydney in the So Watt truck, give him a wave next time! 

Ray Hudson

Furniture Finisher

Ray is our professional furniture finisher with decades of experience in the spray booth. Meticulous and focused, it's a pleasure to observe the techniques Ray has mastered with the spray gun and learn new tricks in the best methods for working with our specialty furniture finishes. Always eager to try new things, Ray will often jump on the sanders to ensure every panel is up to scratch before it comes to the booth for its first coat. 

Pepper

So Watt Ambassador

Easily everyone's favourite team member, Pepper is our morale officer and highly effective doorbell. Occasionally she will take time out from her nap schedule to help us announce a new product launch or model in our product photoshoots, but most of the time she's happy to have an end-of-day ball toss down the length of the workshop to wrap up another busy day of making for the team.  

Our Partners

Some of the great teams we've already worked with.

Our Team

Sophie Bain

Sophie loves a brainstorming session. From problem-solving and unpacking unique client project requirements to suggesting exciting and unusual materials and manufacturing techniques, Sophie helps establish the basis for your project and outlines the requirements for the workshop team. During the course of your project or custom build, you can always reach out to Sophie for updates or thought bubbles.

With a degree in Industrial Design and a background in commercial project management, Sophie approaches all projects with creativity and a strict plan to ensure budget and deadline are always met.

Jonathan Biet

Jonathan is known as the MacGyver of all trades. If there is a need for a special piece of hardware or unusual manufacture method, Jono will find it. Always able to think outside the box to make sure a project is being done the best possible way, Jono will unpack a project to its core and scrutinise every element until it is being done as perfectly and efficiently as possible.

Jonathan’s degree in Industrial Design led him down the manufacturing trail and he brings clients plenty of hands-on experience in all forms of making.

“So Watt studio was on the ball from the start, helping me with my market stall fitout. Everyone who passed my stall loved the final product. I would not hesitate to work with them again. ”

— Priya Kaul, Badaam

“There isn’t anything these guys can’t manage, build, install, produce or make happen - all the way with a smile on their face - big ups to Sophie & Jono.”

— Anne-Maree Sargeant, Founder, Authentic Design Alliance

“Sophie, Jonathan and the So Watt team are, in every way, delightful. Do not be misled by the simplicity of this statement: on the basis of an ambitious project with clearly defined commercial parameters, we were in every way delighted by the way in which the industrial design exercise was conceptualised, planned, managed, executed and supported.”

— Joel Kaufman, Director Bloomingdales

“We were blown away the ease in which we could collaborate with Sophie and the So Watt production team. Dynamic, precise, reliable and clearly love what they do. This is a team that is outcomes and solution focused”

— Matt Gollan, Director, Reactivate Consulting