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Designer to Watch: Andrew Simpson

indesignlive.com heard Andrew speak at Pecha Kucha, Sydney, this year and were so impressed with his work and passion for glass blowing, we tracked him down for a chat.

Designer to Watch: Andrew Simpson


April 15th, 2008

Vert Design is a small Sydney-based design company, founded in 2005 by Andrew Simpson. Glass blowing is their specialty. Andrew spoke with indesignlive.com recently about his business, his philosophy, and the craft of glassblowing.


"Vert Design started in 2005 whilst I had been working as a glass blower. The design company was born out of a frustration of the lack of innovation in Australian glass blowing.

Glass blowing is a craft and glass blowers are craftspeople, but in Australia glass blowing is promoted as art, and blowers as artists. The promotion of a craft as an art wedges the craftsmen into having to produce works that continue to fit into an aesthetic and conceptual body of work.

The result is that glass blowers define themselves by a technique; Nick Mount produces constructed forms; Brian Hirst makes vessels using gold leaf; Tom Rowney uses cane roll-ups, and Edols Elliot produce wheel-cut pieces. Their works are all defined by the way that they are made, not by how they appear to rest of the world. The result of this is that the body of work for a glass blower contains the same aesthetic, with only small variations.

My philosophy was, and is that the work should come first with the techniques being secondary to the end result, not the other way round.

At the time I started the business I had just finished a contract for a design consultancy and had picked up some freelance design work. I really wanted to produce some glass designs but need commissions to be able to outlay the initial production cost, so I approached some interior design studios. I expanded my philosophy, showed them some of my designs which then turned into various commissions to fit-out spaces such as offices and hotels with glass vases and objects.
Producing these works allowed me to develop a product range and manufacturing contacts.

Following on from this, I started to getting contacted by other designers interested in producing glass designs, and helped them through the process of making glass objects.

I then started to get contacted by manufactures who wanted me to design products for them, which in turn increased Vert Design’s reputation for designing simple products that worked well.

That is where we are as a business now and I continue to produce work for interior designers. We have a product range that is sold through our website as well as selected distributors and designer retail outlets. Vert design operates as a design consultancy helping manufactures and individuals design products, get them through the manufacturing process and into the market."

Andrew Simpson, Vert Design Sydney.

Images: Vert Design Objects


Andrew Simpson is an accomplished Industrial Designer and the driving creative force behind Vert Design. With an honors degree from the University of Technology with a sub-major in Object Design, Andrew’s concerns lie with abstracted forms and ambiguous references to nature.

Andrew’s object designs focus on aesthetics, function and seamless user interaction.

Vert Design takes an environmentally friendly approach to their design processes and seek to attain sustainability by producing products aimed to last over time in physical durability, function and novelty. Design processes such as using existing parts or components instead of creating new ones are adopted and recyclable materials like mild steel over stainless steel are used.



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