Abake is a graphic design collective based in London. The four members – Patrik Lacey, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Stahl and Maki Suzuki – have been together ten years. They’re from Wales, France and Sweden (Maki is of Japanese origin, but was raised in France). Abake is a Swedish word meaning “something in the way, something clumsy”. Abake are part of a tendency for young designers to work as part of collectives and groups rather than struggle (and pay rent) individually.  They came to Auckland and ran a workshop for 30 top design students from universities around the city, in conjuction with Semi-Permanent 06. A bunch of us from Elam participated for a fornight, and at the end produced an exhibition in response to the Britomart CBD environment as it was at the time. We responded to our environment by creating a distopian landscape aligning with the view on the window.

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