Since turning his hand to industrial design in 2007, Ross Gardam has never looked back.
February 21st, 2012
It was an inherent passion for industrial design that saw Ross Gardam switch from a career as an interior designer to a furniture and lighting designer. Inspired by manufacturing processes and the way materiality affects how people interact with objects, Gardam began designing for the commercial market in 2007, exploring new applications for a range of materials.
“An industrial design degree solidified my passion,” Gardam says. “Working on new designs still gives me a buzz. The creative process does become a little all-encompassing at the early stages of a new design, and passion can get blurred with obsession.”
The obsession paid off, with Gardam’s products receiving industry acclaim. Flat Jack, a storage unit created from a single sheet of CNC cut x-board, was produced in limited number and sold between 2008 and 2010. Ply High, a table constructed from just 2 sheets of ply, won best sustainable product in the IDEA award in 2010.
Both products also gained Gardam a Launch Pad finalist spot, as did Packaged Glow in 2009, a foam light that went on to be produced in a limited edition and was consequently sold out.
Since then, the momentum has kept on rolling. “My career progression has been planned to a degree; I always have goals and aspirations and when I reach them they seem to get rapidly replaced with new ones,” Gardam says.
Last year saw Gardam launch the Half Full Collection, an FSC certified range of timber benches, tables and stools with a playful appearance and cheeky optimism, sold in Australia through Stylecraft.
He also launched Touch, a lighting range made of spun aluminium and hand blown glass, which saw him explore new processes and work with an artisan glass-blower.
Gardam is now working on new products set to be released at Melbourne’s Saturday in Design in August.
A staunch supporter of the local design industry, he acknowledges the importance of initiatives that bring designers exposure to the right audiences, showcasing the immense talent we have in Australia.
“I am a big believer in supporting local design,” he says. “If an Australian product can compete on form, function and price with an imported product, then spec it. It is likely to come with a number of other advantages, such as shorter lead-times, local sustainable certification, local product stewardship, and not to mention supporting the Australian manufacturing industry.”
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Practical, stylish, and transitioning easily between spaces, Australian furniture design is imbued with healthy doses of all the things that make our nation distinct: playfulness, a hardworking attitude, a diverse range of international influences, and a comfortable humility.