Partnership & Integrity
Australians like to pride themselves with a “can-do, give it a go” collaborative attitude. As a nation, we are a collective group of people up for a challenge, striving to be at the forefront of any industry and the furniture industry is no exception. gohome, one of Australia’s very own local design and manufacturing business’, is focused at the top end of producing design-led, innovative, quality with world wide appeal. Established in 2001 by Simon Bando, gohome opened with pieces focused in the residential and commercial industry.
Like many brands, to keep things fresh, Simon often collaborates with different designers. Most recently, Simon and the team have collaborated with Joshua Abel on a couple of designs which were displayed at DENFAIR 2018 in Sydney. They initially met at DENFAIR in 2017, “… Josh was exhibiting some of his stools for the first time. We had a chat about his design process, language and where he sees this going. I touched base with Joshua and mentioned to him that we had two diverse project briefs that we thought he would be a good fit for.” Josh is the founder of jr.abel, a young Australian based industrial design studio with an aligned focus on local manufacturing. “I was really excited about the opportunity to work with Simon as I was a big fan of gohome’s existing ranges…” says Josh. As a designer, the opportunity to collaborate with a more established furniture company provided the chance for greater investment to be put into the development of the designs. Josh goes on to say, “… the production facilities available [were] a different level to what I would normally have access to, which gave me as the designer a greater scope for invention and new thinking. Often younger designers aren’t limited by creativity or ability but [rather] the costs involved in producing new products.” Simon was able to provide this access to assist the development of each product.
The brief for the design of the new Arc range and Stay Lounger had been written for some time, “… but hadn’t come across the right designer to understand our unique… requirements. Both briefs were totally different. Joshua really understood where we were headed with both…” elaborates Simon. He continues, “…we want[ed] to re-invent genres and with us pushing Joshua to think outside the square we got to where we wanted (in terms of design typology) with both ranges quite quickly.” Over the next 14 months, the gohome team worked with Josh to convey the language, ergonomics, functionality and detail they wanted from both designs. From Josh’s perspective, the collaboration process was a fast and easy journey, “The collaboration process itself involved Simon providing briefs of the type of product he wanted to produce over the following 12 months and from this I started developing the concepts. Within a few months gohome’s production team were prototyping and finalising the pieces.”
While the Arc range celebrates traditional methods of manufacturing, the Stay Lounger is focused on a more technical innovation. “… we wanted to design an iconic product with a totally new typology to get away from the standard box style loungers that are everywhere… By utilising moulded American oak plywood this helped us to achieve the flowing singular shape that incorporates both a seating/resting platform as well as side tables.” The lounger also showcases gohome’s material production repertoire with the incorporation of the slim line powder coated steel frame which suspends the lounging platform above the ground.
A collaborative approach is the new normal when it comes to design, innovation and fresh ideas. Josh agrees that it would be fantastic for more established business’ and larger manufacturer’s to connect with new designers on a more regular, even if spontaneous, basis and adds to that point, “DENFAIR is a great environment to facilitate those connections.”