Gary has been exhibiting with Workshopped since 2002. One of Gary’s chair designs was picked up by Anibou as early as 1999 to much acclaim and after much hard word is now in production with Woodmark in Europe. He is interested in the form and structure of the design and in the end user of the product. His designs often incorporate the quirky (ref: lamp chair 2007) but very often have a softness about them.
Design is a word that is used very loosely nowadays. It should not simply refer to what you can see but extend to every part you don’t. So for me design is a very personal thought process. I like to think of it as a physical translation or composition of my experiences and influences past and present. Every new project is an opportunity to exercise a fresh understanding of a material or process and to communicate a new idea.
My designs reflect the qualities and benefits of the chosen material in an appealing and functional product. Where possible the construction or structure is not hidden but celebrated by placing it on show. It reflects the practice, thoughts and ideas of that point in time. For me something that, in hindsight, looks like an obvious solution is a good design.
Wood is a tactile material, which I find people have a natural response to as an interesting point of departure for my work. Designing and working with wood is a conduit to implement the way I think about solving a design problem. I think in quite a geometric but slightly organic fashion, so the solutions and shapes I conceive lend themselves well to being made from wood. When you work with a material often enough you develop an intuitive approach to using it which is quite satisfying.
With the work I have produced for Workshopped I thought that some of the methods of production I use could be applied to other products. So you could call it a mobile piece of furniture. I like this concept because I can take my ideas and transfer it to a new design, a new product and a new audience. Wood and carbon is a relatively new combination of materials. It allows you to strengthen the structure in areas where wood may not be entirely appropriate. The design aims to highlight the possibilities of a material which is a quality I try to imbue in all my work. A bicycle is an exciting and fascinating social object, which has a very specific function. I find working on all the detail in a bicycle both a challenge and stimulating experience, it is the sort of product you could go on forever improving and refining.