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Who we are

About us

The original idea for Rustik is deeply rooted within our connection to the Australian environment; the desire to work with timber in a way that is both responsible and sustainable, creating a stunning fixture within the landscape that lasts for generations.
In 2017, we were invited to collaborate on an innovative park design where bushland had been reclaimed for new housing. In keeping with the development’s environmental awareness and sustainability ethos, the landscape architect and developer for this project wanted to create a connection with the environment and give families a stunning nature-inspired recreational space.

Throughout the industry, timber play equipment was either homogenised through timber milling processes or prepared with copper chrome arsenate, exposing children to harmful chemicals. Neither option would create the structural presence within the landscape we were seeking; nor was it sustainable or environmentally responsible.

To build up a future, you have to know the past.

Otto Frank
So we looked to the past and the built environment; infrastructure that had withstood decades of use, seasonal change and movement. Bridges. Housing. Wharves. Railways. The common element from both a structural and longevity standpoint? Australian Ironbark timber. Used in Australia for generations, Australian Ironbark and Hardwood Timbers are incredibly durable, have structural authority and create a connection between past and future. For more than 100 years, bridge and home builders have been stripping Ironbark of its sapwood and using deep in-ground footings to give their structures the strength to withstand floods, drought, seasonal soil movement and pest ingress.

Building on the organic look and feel of the structural timber pieces, we wanted to create a play experience that sits quietly within the broader landscape while attracting children to engage with each piece and explore the total environment. Net systems were created and introduced to give children a physical challenge without impacting on the visual lightness of play journey. For some pieces, architecturally inspired steel arches were introduced, adding sculptural appeal and a further tactile experience. Australian Hardwood Timbers were resourced from sustainable forestry sources, with a single species origin for continuity.

The space was designed around the play elements, with the organic pathways transitioning children and families from one area of activity to another. Shade was introduced through landscape; mature and fast-growing species strategically positioned to created the most shade throughout the hottest months, and extensive plantings and garden beds introduced to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Seating, shelters and amenities were introduced to encourage families to stay, connect and play all day, with just a short walk home. The development has since achieved the UDIA 6 leaf EnviroDevelopment Accreditation, further cementing their commitment to environmental sustainability and building exceptional communities.

Landscape Architects from across Australia saw the potential of these systems within their own projects, and products were developed organically and delivered with resounding applause. From the initial project and product design came a collection of play pieces that have evolved over the last 7 years to become Rustik; elements deeply rooted in nature and conveying clarity and honesty in design.

Integrating Rustik systems within a recreational space blurs the lines between what is “play” and what is “landscape”. An immersive place where all are welcome, where the environment is honoured and communities are connected.