A Brief interview with Dale Hardiman
Can you tell us about your latest body of work for ‘Designwork 02’?
I’ve produced a new collection of works titled Common Resources, which is made up of 3 chairs, 2 tables, a floor and desk lamp, 2 vases, 1 double seater chair, 2 wall panels and a chandelier.
The work is made up of entirely found objects, reassembled into new formations, and resurfaced in a rubber compound. It’s been a large part of my personal practice for the past year.
Was there a particular moment or story that inspired this body of work?
Common Resources was the title of my honours thesis in Industrial Design at RMIT (2013), which was a book that explored the possibility of home-based manufacturing (using the kitchen primarily as the place of production). In my personal work I’ve always been interested in exploring the potential of production outside of conventional manufacturing spaces, looking at utilising very rudimentary tools (for this show, only a hand-saw and drill were used to assemble works).
I’m interested in exploring the possibility of minimising freight completely, and having people make their own furniture, lighting and objects, a complete localisation to the place in which the object will reside.
How does this body of work compare to your Dowel Jones output?
The work I produce as myself is almost completely the opposite to Dowel Jones. The work we produce for Dowel Jones is very much designed, stream lined and manufactured in large quantities. The work I produce under my own name is all hand-made by myself, very rarely using any kind of technology.
Where have you created these works, and can you tell us a little about the materials and processes used?
Luckily working as Dowel Jones allows me the freedom to work on personal projects when needed, and we also have a large enough factory that I can occupy space for my own work!
The key to the Common Resources work is the resurfacing of the hybrid objects. Once assembled, each piece is almost entirely coated in a concrete compound, before being painted in a very specific rubber compound. Although the finished pieces look as they’ve just been painted with regular paint, each of the colours is made from rubber which allows for a flexibility in the surface and is what unifies the work into a collection.
What’s next for Dale Hardiman?
I’m generally known for being a co-director of Dowel Jones (along with Adam Lynch) which is what I do full-time, and at the moment we’re finalising a new cabinet (called Vanena Arca – latin for Poisonous Cabinet) to present in Milan during the Salone de Mobile (Milan Design Fair) in April with Local Design.
Straight after that, we’re launching a new collection of upholstered lounge chairs in New York in May during New York Design Week. Then, the next personal project I’m working on is a collaboration with Damien Wright!