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5 Minutes With… Chris Hardy

Australia’s Chris Hardy has been announced as an exhibitor at Milan’s Ventura Lambrate as part of the annual Salone in April, we took 5 Minutes of Chris’s time to find out what makes him tick

5 Minutes With… Chris Hardy

Your top 3 influences.

  • Modernism
  • Material and process-led design
  • Accessible design


The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer.

I remember talking about wanting to be an architect when I was in year 6.  This evolved over the years into studying industrial design, which I absolutely fell in love with on day one of uni.


Favourite local landmark/building.

Australia has a range of architects and architecture to admire, Glenn Murcutt for one.  However, my favourite Australian building was designed by a Dane, the Sydney Opera House.  I still find myself fascinated by its detailing every time I pass it on a ferry about to dock at Circular Quay. Jørn Utzon did Australia a great service when he gave Australia one of its best known architectural icons.


Favourite material.

None really – whatever is most appropriate for a project.  I’ve been working a great deal lately with marine ply because of the technical affordances it offers as well as being a beautiful material in its own right.  I’ve also been working with slip casting ceramic.  I love this age old process and the inherent precious nature that ceramic affords.


Favourite international landmark/building.

The work of Frank Gehry holds a particular fascination for me.  If I had to choose one of his buildings, it would have to be the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.  The unorthodox use of material, the technical sophistication, the structure and its spacial development are brought together beautifully.


Biggest career moment.

It’s about to happen!

My works have (just last week) been selected for showcasing in Milan at Ventura Lambrate at the Salone Del Mobile in April.  My exhibition will revolve around the idea of designing and manufacturing in Australia.  I’m thrilled to be taking my contribution to Australian design overseas.


Dream project to work on (real or imaginary).

I’m already doing it.  I love being able to do what I do …more of the same please.


Dream person to collaborate with.

I respect the work of British designers Barber Osgerby a great deal.  Their sophisticated, minimalist aesthetic and attitude toward material use is to be very much admired.  It would be a dream to work with those guys.


Favourite decade of design.

1955 to ‘65.  New materials and processes that had been developed during WW2 were finding new commercial possibilities.  So many exciting and paradigm shifting products like the Eames moulded timber chairs were being developed during this time as a direct result of research that been undertaken during the war.


Favourite chair.

It’s a toss-up between Poul Kjaerhom’s PK22 and the Eames Lounge Chair Wood.  Both are beautifully unconventional chairs.


#1 concern for the design industry in the coming decade.

I think in an Australian context maintaining support for local manufacture is important for all sorts of reasons, not just commercial ones.


Which items in the workplace can you not live without?

Any scrap of paper and a Bic Orange Fine ballpoint pen (70¢).


The most unusual/interesting thing about the way you work.

I think the most interesting thing that I do is getting my hands dirty.  Whenever I decide to use a process or material that I haven’t worked with before, I’ll be the person that makes the initial prototypes so that I can better understand the limitations and possibilities of the process.  I really enjoy finding out materials and processes first hand.


Chris Hardy

Ventura Lambrate



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