Melbourne industrial designer Campbell Boyer grew up on a farm in south west Victoria. After spending his high school years drawing, building and fixing things on his parents’ farm, it was a natural progression to go on to study Industrial Design.
Having now launched his own furniture brand ‘Object Utility’, Campbell’s aesthetic is driven by a rigorous approach to functionality and the user experience. His instinct when designing is to ‘reduce’ rather than to embellish. Producing furniture and products in small batches using simple panel materials allows him to balance functionality and aesthetics, whilst also keeping his prices accessible.
‘It’s definitely not anti-style, but my aesthetic comes naturally from reducing something to its simplest and most practical form’ the designer explains. This minimalist approach is influenced by Japanese, Scandinavian and pragmatic mechanical design (he’s a big fan of Japanese brand MUJI!).
With its simple, sleek aesthetic, Campbell’s debut furniture range is endlessly versatile. ‘It suits a lot of spaces – the pieces almost disappear once people start to live their lives around them’ Campbell says. That said, the range does feel particularly well suited to apartment living – nothing takes up too much space or demands too much attention. ‘They celebrate utility by doing their job without fuss’.
When considering the future of his fledgling business, Campbell is ambitious yet pragmatic. ‘I’d like Object Utility to grow and evolve without compromising its principles – functionality, reduction, environmental and social responsibility’ he says. ‘Moving the workshop to Melbourne would mean more efficient production (though I’d miss being on the farm…) and having a small showroom down the track will be great’.
Object Utility furniture and accessories are available online – everything in the range comes flat-packed. Selected pieces are also available through Workshopped in Sydney, and Luke furniture in Prahran, Melbourne.