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Entrepreneurial Spirit: Gary Galego

Indesignlive catches up with Launch Pad regular, designer and furniture maker Gary Galego.

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Gary Galego


March 12th, 2012

We first came across Gary Galego’s work when he entered his ’Shell’ chair into Launch Pad in 2006. Six years later, his products are stocked through Stylecraft, and can be found at WORKSHOPPED.



Gary, who has excelled at all things practical and hands-on from a young age, realised early on that he wanted to work predominantly with wood. “As a child I would build everything from model cars to Paddle-Pop stick [houses],” he says. “I guess, unknowingly, it started then.”

In developing his business and practice, he has acquired much of the equipment necessary to prototype and manufacture his own work – which places him at a certain advantage when it comes to product development and resolution. Key to his work ethos is “a desire to improve on, perfect and naturally evolve what you’ve previously done. I like to [be well] informed about a material by playing/working with it before applying it to a new design. This process conjures thought and provokes new ideas for me,” he says.


Of Gary’s recent work, his ’Ivy’ chair, designed for Galloway Design Collective in 2010, has just recently been re-launched by Stylecraft. “The chair now has a solid timber base amongst the steel 4-leg and sled base variants,” he says.



“I have also been working on a production version of the chair I showed at WORKSHOPPED last year called the ’Forte’ chair. It’s made from folded sheet steel with a solid timber frame. Under the powdercoat the steel is galvanised, so it can be used outdoors.” The ’Forte’ will be sold through Anibou once completed.



In considering the development of his practice in the early, formative years, Gary highlights the importance of engaging with industry – with internships offering a vital form of engagement, with a view to employment. “There has to be a training ground for young people [such as internships], not everyone has the determination to start their own business at an early age,” he says.

In a market where manufacturers have been hit particularly hard, Gary feels the emergence and survival of small entrepreneurial design and manufacturing business is paramount to the survival of the Australian design and manufacturing industry.


“Manufacturers find they are manufacturing for a local market that is not that large. We need to continue to slowly introduce [people] to good design and sell them the benefits of buying well-made (hopefully locally made) products that last.”

“If allowed to prosper, I think this new breed [of small design and manufacturing businesses] will be the ones employing the next generation of budding graduates, and young designers in the years to come.”

As one of these small, entrepreneurial design businesses, Gary has been busy moving his studio, and developing a collection of new pieces. These pieces will be launched through his own retail store which is set to be opened, well, “hopefully sometime later this year.”


Gary Galego

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