Tivaivai hand embroidery
Weaving, Ghana
Stool top design for carving, refugee

We, Will and Kareen Durbin, are life partners & Companion’s co-founders, working in collaboration (primarily) with migrants and former refugees now living in New Zealand.

Companion celebrates diversity in a context of politicised debate around refugee quotas & the economic impact of migrants. Meaningful employment is a crucial component for integration & contribution. Likewise, creating is a catalyst for connection. So, skills carried on migration dictate our practice. Contemporary design outcomes are explored via collisions of traditions; resulting cohesive forms bringing attention to the beauty in heterogeneous societies. Much made is 100% unique –– with marks of artisan’s hands & minds.

Slow Design principles are adhered to, designing for environmental & social sustainability.  

Wood carving, refugee
Hand embroidery of vintage silk scarves, refugee

Support as we support migrants and former refugees by purchasing a lovingly made piece. Alternatively: