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‘We wanted to imbue all our products with rich personalities,’ Dowel Jones on championing creativity

With just one week to go, Dowel Jones’ Design From Home competition seeks to ignite collaboration and artistry across Australia’s design community.

In every movie that explores young adult life and unforgettable college experiences, there is no doubt that the line ‘the friendships you make at university will last a lifetime,’ has been dropped in there once or twice.

For Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch, they’ve taken this and one step further to create the illustrious Australian furniture brand, Dowel Jones.

Going back to the roots of this partnership, Dowel Jones informally began back in their days studying Industrial Design together at RMIT University. The first project they collaborated on was the renowned Mr. Dowel Jones Lamp – the project that single-handedly defines ‘Anything But Ordinary.’

This flat-pack lamp demonstrated a simplicity in componentry that the industry reveled in; giving Dale and Adam the immediate success to use the numerous competitions’ prize money to form Dowel Jones as a company.

“We’d never intended to create a company together, but as neared closer to the end of our degrees we quickly realised there weren’t many jobs in the industry for what we wanted to do,” Dale expresses. “So we decided to found a company ourselves.”

At the start of their careers, Dale and Adam wanted to champion collaborative, cost-effective and locally made products as the heart and soul of Dowel Jones. In 2012, two years before Dowel Jones was established, the talented duo knew that there was an opportunity for furniture and lighting designers to bring a fresh, new perspective to the industry.

“One key element to what we’d always discussed from those founding years was to imbue all our products and projects with rich personalities,” says Dale. “We felt that this would help form greater attachments to the pieces and hopefully they would never be thrown away.”

And from that, Dowel Jones stepped onto the scene as the new and intuitive creative powerhouse.

Outside of being a furniture and lighting manufacturer, Dale and Adam have spent the company’s lifetime supporting the Australian design community through inspiring, human-centric initiatives. Each of their products and projects are presented with an installation or in collaboration with another group to extend the story outside another sole furniture or lighting piece.

Dale expresses, “We hope that Dowel Jones isn’t just a company that is viewed as selling products but also a group willing to support others.”

In response to the current and unprecedented situations, Dowel Jones wanted to pave the way in supporting the extensive design community through the Design From Home Competition. With most of the world spending so much time at home, Dale and Adam saw an opportunity to promote creativity, stimulate your artistic soul, and to become inspired once again.  

Open to all Australian residents, the entries to Design From Home can be furniture, lighting or accessories; this is the ultimate invitation to get innovative and start thinking outside of the box; the only rule is that the entries must focus and celebrate local manufacturing in Australia. The winner will have the incredible opportunity of having their product put into production, as well as a cash prize.

Whether you’re a student, architect, ceramist, jeweller, stylist, an everyday design enthusiast – Dowel Jones believes that anyone can create something extraordinary.

In the past six years, Dowel Jones has evolved into the remarkable studio that it is today through championing creative collaboration. The power of Dale’s knowledge in the digital and strategic avenues paired with Adam’s strengths in manufacturing have kept them grounded and focused in trusting in one another’s talents to shine. On a daily basis, they’ve develop together and constantly use the brand’s motto, ‘Anything but Ordinary’ as a way to think and work by.

“We believe that ‘ordinary’ means a continuation of the current systems and processes that exist,” Dale explains. “To be ‘Anything but Ordinary’ means that we are reacting and hopefully progress our industry, even in the smallest ways.”

Going beyond the surface of design, this collaborative partnership ensure that their products communicate something that goes beyond an aesthetic experience. Dowel Jones products and initiatives all have an honest, artful soul imbued in every one of them, aiming to create a deeper impact that design is meant for.

And as we continue to deal with the ongoing crisis, Dowel Jones believe that collaboration, creativity and the incredible support from and for the design community can shine greater than the dark days we’ve experienced this year.

The competition is in its last week of entries. For more details on the Design From Home Competition by Dowel Jones, head to their website.

Key Dates:
11th May 2020: Entries Close
5th June 2020: Winner Announced
Photography by Cricket Studio. 


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