Design Creative Of The Week: Robert Grimshaw [Product/Industrial/Spatial]
The hottest new talent of the week brought to you by PSFK x Arts Thread. This week a young furniture designer who has created pieces inspired by the art of DIY and collaboration.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and inspirations:
I’m inspired by the DIY ethos, idiosyncratic manufacture and the idea that anyone can be a designer. My work attempts to treat design as a facilitative process in which the skill of industry and of craftspeople become the driving force behind a project. By pushing these manufacturers into the foreground I’m hoping to engage the user with the industries that surround them in everyday life.
Talk us through the pieces on your ARTS THREAD portfolio:
All three projects are the result of some form of collaboration. ‘Knit furniture’ came about through joining a knitting circle at the end of 2011, having no prior experience of knitting I was taught the basics from my fellow knitters, the project evolved as I used the weekly club as a place to discuss ideas, share knowledge and learn new skills. Working alongside the group we developed patterns for two pieces of furniture which I then knitted by hand for the final pieces.
‘Production Partnership’ was interested in how design could force together two disparate business that existed in close proximity to one another. In this case I worked with a sign maker and a seat weaver based six miles apart in east Kent. The project starts with the sign maker who uses his water-jet cutting machinery to cut two plywood chair frames, the frames then travel up the road to have their seats woven using traditional rush reed, completing the process. Similar to the ethos of a 19th century cottage industry, products are manufactured through a series of sub-contracted skills readily available in the area. This supports the local industry, whilst the short distances travelled between each production stage maintains a low carbon footprint.
‘Skep Manufacture’ was about re-purposing obselete craft skills in order to find new outlets for their production. For this project the medieval process of skep building became a method of producing lampshades. Using a mix of traditional and modern materials and processes to form the structures, the final products celebrate the craft of skep building, whilst providing a practical alternative for their manufacture.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently looking to expand the ‘Production Partnership’ project. This will involve creating a live database in which users can form their own partnerships between manufacturers. I’d love to see what people could come up with, from the commercially viable to the wildly ridiculous.
What work are you looking for?
I’m always on the look out for people to collaborate with. I’d love to run some projects with other designers interested in a similar field. I can be contacted through my website, from there you can find links to my email, twitter and blog.