FK talks to Roz from Melbourne based collective, FOLD Studio
Tell us about your collective and explain to our readers where the name comes from.
We are a small group of designers (and great friends) based in Melbourne, including Anton Van Maanen, Christopher Goff, Roslyn Campbell, Laura Drew, Patrick McEldowney and Emma McAlary. Our name FOLD STUDIO is an acronym from the words Furniture Object Lighting Design, and that basically describes what we do!
What are your backgrounds and how did you get started?
Our backgrounds involve previous studies and involvement in graphic design, architecture, music and fine art, and some more mundane and sinister previous jobs. Patrick, Laura and myself met a few years ago at the Fine Art School in Hobart, we all then moved to Melbourne to study the Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) at RMIT University, where we met Chris, Anton and Emma. Since then we have become great friends and it just made sense that the next step be to combine our talents and energy and work together.
Our debut was at Furnitex in July 2010 where we presented two pieces in conjunction with our RMIT studies. It was a brief from the Salvation Army to design affordable contemporary furniture for the Salvo’s crisis housing scheme. We had to design the pieces to be manufactured by Creative Opportunities- a Salvo’s run timber furniture manufacturing work-shop employing people with mental disabilities. Emma, Patrick and I developed a sofa bed- with timber mechanisms, and Chris, Laura and Anton designed a dining table. (We are pretty proud of this project!)
What do you love most about the mediums you work in?
The best thing about the materials we work in is that they are practically unlimited. We all have very different styles, philosophies and material preferences, but one thing we all love is the satisfaction of recycling what many others would consider rubbish and turning it into something functional and beautiful. E.g. My necklace range was initially developed from off-cuts of plywood, and the Salvo’s dining table was constructed using the packing material timber deliveries are made in).
Whats the best part of being part of a collective and what opportunities have come out of it?
The best thing would have to be the pooling of resources, ideas, talents and energy. We support and promote each other, which leads to more opportunities, just today we had a very cool project arise for all of us from someone seeing one of Anton’s pieces and getting in touch with him. If we were all trying to achieve what we are doing individually…it would be six times harder, and probably take six times longer!
Where are your favourite places to hang out in Melbourne?
We like eating, so we are often found making food and hanging out in someone’s garden or at one of the many great cafes and restaurants Melbourne has on hand. Melbourne also has a fantastic choice of bars, which we like to take advantage of. More often than not though we can be found sitting on a sunny patch of grass, playing frisbee, riding bikes, eating and planning our super dooper awesome fishing/camping trip that is going to happen one day soon!
How will your collaboration grow/change in the future?
We have two more years of Industrial Design study ahead of us, hopefully all together, there will be various short overseas stints, but we plan to focus on staying in Melbourne and developing the business into something big which will highlight what the Australian design scene has to offer. We want to work on an ever-evolving product range- collaboratively and individually, producing ourselves and working with local manufacturers.
We are interested in commissions for private and commercial situations, and would love to build up a good reputation amongst architects, interior designers, manufacturers and the general public as being a talented, enthusiastic and diligent group of young designers who deliver interesting, environmentally sustainable and elegant solutions.
I loved reading this interview. I’m Roslyn’s very proud Grandma, and I knew some of this already, but it was good to read about her friends and how they love to work together on projects and I really loved what they are doing for the Salvation Army etc. Keep up the good work Fold Studio!