Multidisciplinary creative Daniel Mitchell has taken our waste and transformed it into shirts, incense holders, turntable cases and even furniture. He designs with a circular approach, this means creating products that have no beginning, no middle, and no end. Starting in 2020 this freshly born brand has collaborated with the likes of renowned DJ Peggy Gou and professional skateboarder turned multi-faceted creative Alex Olson. Daniel and his team are creating not just products but experiences, education and a dialogue. Opening a conversation to the complex problems we are facing around the globe.

Hello Daniel, thank you for taking the time for this. For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a Creative Director, Designer and Artist living in Bali Indonesia. I grew up in Newcastle, England and moved to London when I was 21 and shortly after co-founded and artistically directed store LN-CC. I was also running various record labels and club nights in London at that time. In 2014 I moved to Bali to focus my work around more sustainable and regenerative practices, which led me to join Potato Head as global Creative Director, where I worked until last year. In 2020 I founded a new creative platform and circular design studio ‘Space Available’, which is my current focus.


For people that may be unfamiliar with “Space Available” can you tell about how you came up with the name, what do you and your team do on a day to day and what is the vision/mission for the brand?

Space Available was born at the beginning of the first lock in 2020. Pandemics and moments of disruption can lead to change and interplanetary awakening. Big ideas can grow. I felt the pandemic offers us a space to reconnect, reimagine and redesign for a better future. The Space Available platform is very much a reflection of this philosophy to mark this moment in time and to hopefully build up a community that can lead to change. At the same time, the commercial world here in Bali stopped and there were huge empty billboards on every street which just said ‘SPACE AVAILABLE’. I felt this summed up this current moment on numerous levels. We have a big focus on circular design and ‘waste’ is a big part of what we use in our designs. We are in Indonesia which has a huge plastic waste crisis - so we do our best to clean up the 'waste' with an aim to change the perception of it, it's a very valuable material. We also work and offer alternatives from new bio materials.

Our mission is to make space for nature and offer alternative products and design that works in harmony with nature.


I feel the spirit of the late 60s is coming back and how it will lead to a very exciting period of creativity and hopefully leading to much needed changes in the cultural landscape as a whole.

How have some of your previous experiences (rebranding Oki-ni and creative directing the Bali beach resort Potato Head) helped you with your new venture in “Space Available”.

When we re-launched oki-ni in 2007 it was still relatively early in the online space, and we were very much one of the first that really brought a certain type of creative and editorial aspect into online retail. We also had an in-house creative team that rebranded the company but also ran the day to day creative. We brought this energy and team into LN-CC, which I co-founded in 2014 and again, we formed an in-house creative studio within the store. Once again, I built an in-house studio when I joined Potato Head, working on architecture, art, design, and visual communication. So naturally when I started Space Available, these mediums were brought into play and my experience and previous works have very much led me up to this point. Also I've worked with some amazing people over the years from architects, artists, designers, bio scientists and so on, many of whom are now an important aspect of our global community here at Space Available.


What challenges did you find while launching a brand during a global pandemic?

In general, the space brought on by the pandemic has allowed us time to pause and reflect and bring a deeper sense of gratitude to be alive, it gave us a moment to truly see what we need to do in life and what positive changes we can bring for ourselves, community and environment. In terms of designing products, there have been challenges with closures due to lock downs. That has been the biggest issue we faced - unexpected closures and sickness which has been the same for everyone I would imagine.


Where do you go when concepting for new projects? Do you go out in nature? Do you have certain references you find yourself going back to? Are there certain people in your life that influence or inspire you?

Generally ideas pop into my head and I just manifest and let concepts develop quite naturally over time. I’m in Bali and live very close to nature so I make space for myself by surfing daily, and taking walks and running up volcanoes and the lush jungles here in Bali. This act of nature is generally a good way of clearing the mind to thinking more clearly. Nature's principles of circularity and regeneration is something we heavily build our practice around. For us all answers can be found in nature.


Our mission is to make space for nature and offer alternative products and design that works in harmony with nature.

Was there a cornerstone moment that opened your eyes to the importance of sustainability, if so what was it?

The big wake up for me was in 2011, I would say working in fashion and learning of the destruction we were having on the planet. At that time I was looking for deeper meaning in my work and life, that led me to Bali where upon arrival I was in absolute shock at the plastic washing up on the beaches. That was a big moment for me. Also, recalling when I was 7 years old and how close I was to my grandmother and the vivid memories of her always picking up trash on the streets. I think subconsciously that had a huge effect on me and my work today.


WWhat role do you think younger generations play into helping promote change when it comes to global environmental impact? Did the youth cross your mind when concepting Space Available?

TThe youth of today are just much more switched on when it comes to environmental impact and taking a stand at climate change and mass consumerism. I feel the spirit of the late 60s is coming back and how it will lead to a very exciting period of creativity and hopefully leading to much needed changes in the cultural landscape as a whole. We do have a very young audience but I feel what we do very much transcends age.


You guys have partnered with Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) . Can you tell us a little about the organization and how this partnership came about?

We are in Indonesia and sadly deforestation is a huge issue here, subsequently it's destroying the wildlife and the ecosystem around it. It's something we care deeply about and we donate 20% of our profits from our collaborative products as well as planting 2 trees for each of our items sold. SOS are a great organization that not only are replanting trees but working with local communities on a social level and have some great initiatives to support the orangutans who are very sadly on the edge of extinction. Us humans share 97% of our DNA with orangutans and it's just heartbreaking to see what is happening to the wild world.


Pandemics and moments of disruption can lead to change and interplanetary awakening. Big ideas can grow. I felt the pandemic offers us a space to reconnect, reimagine and redesign for a better future.

Lastly, is there anything you tease with upcoming projects or collaborations? Are there any products that you haven’t worked on but you would like to enter with your circular design philosophy?

Our next case study is based heavily around Fungi and a state of oneness in design - more info on that to come!


You can find Space Available in-store and online now at Roden Gray..