The Dog Room

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  • 2022

  • Service

Designed By:

  • Made by Pen
  • Michael Ong

Commissioned By:

Made by Pen

Designed In:

Australia

The Dog Room, a living space for man’s best friend, is created in a partnership between Pen & architect Michael Ong, and is manufactured domestically by social enterprise. Stripping back design principles, the Dog Room achieves symbiosis between functionality and design, allowing your pet’s domain to integrate seamlessly into your space.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Dog Kennels are generally utilitarian crates. There are no quality and stylish solutions available to people who prioritise design aesthetics. A dog kennel in Made By Pen’s ethos must be an innovative alternative to traditional dog houses. It must adhere to the principles of slow living, eschewing fast fashion and cheap manufacturing to create a living space for dogs that meets customers’ needs, indoors and out. Consideration must be given to the product’s ability to contribute to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the world. Pen values well-articulated products where quality, beauty, functionality, and approach are measured equally.

  • The Dog Room comprises of custom aluminium frame and a series of marine plywood panels, carefully detailed to create a distinctly clean appearance. The concept is inspired by a child’s drawing of a house. “By exploring this childlike idea we were able to create a design that pursues simplicity and minimalism” explains Ong. The kennel can be used indoors or out, its modular construction of plywood panels separate it from plastic and metal alternatives, and provide opportunity for replacement if damaged. Simplicity of design, coupled with a beautiful, understated finish make the Dog Room one of Pen’s most successful undertakings.

  • The Dog Room is a project that strives to exemplify the “good” in good design. A high-quality product that lasts a lifetime, fits any space, and can accommodate various breeds of dog through the three sizes offered. Importantly, it is built partnership with Help Manufacturing, a not-for-profit organisation that provides meaningful work for people with disability. This product directly and positively impacts lives of people, and the partnership in product design is pioneering in Australia. All materials are domestically sourced, with a goal to maximise quality and benefit the domestic economy while minimising the environmental impact of construction.

  • Commercial The product is sold flat-packed, making it viable for online sales, reducing shipping cost / environmental footprint. Accessible materials can be matched in custom manufacturing globally. Modular construction allows for replacement of damaged panels, providing increased product longevity. Innovation The deliberate choice of the separate aluminium frame allows for design modification. Pen has lengthened the design and also adapted the panels for side access for customers. A Dog Room crate design will launch in 2022. Environmental Material conscious, the frame is made from aluminium, an easily recyclable material and the marine timber panels have FSC certification. The kennel is locally made to reduce the environmental impact, and orders are sent using carbon neutral couriers. The design is a timeless piece intended to buy once, and buy well. Societal In partnering with Help Manufacturing, Pen is helping to create meaningful work for people with disability. Employees are able to develop new skills in a supported work environment. Pen and Help will release new products in 2022. Good Design, Redefined The Dog Room exemplifies Pen’s ethos of good: Good People, Good Design. Pen prides itself on making an impact not only by designing beautiful products, but through the method of making too.