Alice Blackwood sat down with 2012 Launch Pad Award, Andrew Grigor, to discuss what it is that drives him to create
September 5th, 2012
Tell us about your practice.
For me this is really the beginning of my personal work being commercialised. I consider myself to be a versatile designer and rather than specializing in one particular area I like to create unique and distinctive design solutions for everyday life. Recently I have been working on range of lighting and furniture concepts but throughout my career I have designed everything from a toaster to a trike.
Bam Bam Trike
How did you first discover your passion for design? Where do you find inspiration?
My passion for design started at an early age. I was lucky enough to always have a workshop at home. My father was a woodwork teacher and we were always encouraged to create. In fact some of my early creations were pretty funny. I find inspiration comes from insights discovered in all areas of day-to-day life: my family, friends and colleagues. The discovery of a new process or material or even something as basic as cooking dinner.
Thinking on your career progression, what direction has your career as a designer taken? Was this all planned or serendipitous?
I would definitely say there is an element of serendipity. My career to date has largely revolved around designing appliances. Straight out of design school I secured a position designing for Fisher & Paykel. With the lure of overseas travel I found myself in Dublin working for LG. Upon returning to the antipodes I have been designing small appliances firstly for Sunbeam and now the Breville Group.
Glide – Launch Pad 2012 Ultimate Launch Pack Winner
Tell us a little about your winning Launch Pad prototype, and what you believe led to its success at Launch Pad this year.
Glide is one of those projects that just seemed to work right from outset. The initial sketch was not labored over and the prototype is almost exactly the same as the first thumbnail sketch. Originally inspired from a set of 1970s fly ducks that hung in my father’s workshop, the aim was to create a light that exemplified simplicity but also retained a dynamic aesthetic
The success of Glide, in retrospect, is probably due to the flexibility and scalability of the design. There is potential for other formats such as floor and table lamps, both of which I am enthusiastically pursuing at the moment. During the development I was focused on designing a product that could feasibly be manufactured locally, so the selection of materials and processes would definitely have played a part.
What do you hope to achieve with the ’Ultimate Launch Package’ award?
I hope to learn as much as possible about the realities of retailing and manufacturing in Australia. I am excited about the evolution of Glide as a product and hopefully a range. The aim is to bring a quality product to the market as soon as possible and use this as a platform for developing further sketchbook concepts into reality.
Tell us about what you’re currently working on, or have recently completed.
In addition to the range of complimentary products based on the Glide concept, I’m planning to launch a new website in the coming weeks and I’m also working towards a new product launch for the Workshopped exhibition in Sydney in late October.
I have also revisited the design of my children’s tricycle and am looking for the right manufacturing partner to bring this into reality.
Quarter Past Pendant
In terms of supporting emerging design in Australia, what do you think is missing from the industry?
There are positive signs for emerging design in Australia as these exhibitions and competitions grow in recognition and financial reward. I believe there could be more industry specific design briefs like those of the Reece design competition, which could be rewarding for both the manufacturing community and the designer.
Funding seems to be an individual designer’s major hurdle.
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