Material Matter

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
23rd of July 2013
Mirror by AUT student Antonio Wan.  Materials - Cypress macrocapra, 5mm glass mirror.
Tessellate Light by AUT student Kathryn Hayward. Material - Fijian kauri.
Harmony Mirror by AUT student Levi Crookes Heywood.  Materials - 5mm glass, NZ natural pine, spun copper, polymer cord.
After spending some time recently with Julia Atkinson, creator of the super popular New Zealand based blog Studio Home, we've had NZ on our radar. It was Julia who brought this fabulous project to our attention and we just HAD to share. Material Matter is an amazing collaboration between Auckland based father and daughter design duo Made by Douglas and Bec, and a bunch of second year product design students from AUT University. The resulting collection of prototypes are designed and handcrafted by the students on campus, with the professional guidance of Douglas and Bec. Most are not yet in production but BY GOLLY I'll be surprised if we don't see many of these pieces gracing Australian and Kiwi interiors very soon – what a beautiful line up! The brief set to the students for this collaboration was about creating 'artisanal products' – design that has a story, a carefully considered making process, and a sensitivity to materials. The students were asked to design either an object, a light or a piece of furniture using at least two honest / natural materials. AUT then approached Douglas and Bec to assist the students in working up their ideas, and protoyping the final design. 'We leapt at the chance to collaborate with AUT students, as I really really enjoy teaching and having interaction with students – I find it super rewarding' says Bec Snelling of this very special collaboration. 'Seeing so much original thought was inspiring. I spend a lot of time concerned about plagiarism, and that deflating feeling that everything has been done – it's really great to see these guys pushing boundaries and not being scared to do minimalist design. Cannot wait to see what they come up with in the future'. Bec attended weekly sessions with the student group, nurturing their ideas with lots of one on one time, and making lots of suggestions for refinement. 'They have fantastic facilities and technicians at the institution which facilitated the creation of the pieces – we are quite jealous!' says Bec. At this stage most of these pieces are just prototypes (very very good prototypes!), however Douglas and Bec are working with a handful that have a commercial viability and working with the designers to potentially put them into production. We'll keep you posted! There are a total of twenty works in this collaboration, and all of them are currently on display at Auckland's BLOC design store until 3rd August. Material Matter : Exhibiting Artisan Design Values BLOC design store 20 Normanby Rd, Mt Eden. Auckland, NZ Mon - Sat  9.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm. Show runs until 3rd August.
Lamp by James Cardow.  Materials - American ash, copper, Kevlar curly cord.
Tre 3 set of 3 jars by Joshua Lee.  Materials - glazed ceramic, American ash.

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