Profile: Ross Gardam
A passion for simplicity in material and process has helped Ross Gardam develop beautiful, charming lighting and furniture. Ben Morgan speaks with him ahead of the launch of the first products under his eponymous brand.
Ross Gardam knew from an early age that he would become a designer: “My father is an engineer and ran a manufacturing company when I was growing up, so there were always projects to tinker with. I had access to a woodwork and metal work workshop [and] from the age of about 12 I started to make furniture,” he reminisces.
After studying Industrial Design at Monash University, then working for design firms in Melbourne and the UK and developing a number of designs, Gardam established his Melbourne-based Industrial and Interior Design company, Spaceleft, in 2007 and has since received much acclaim for his simple, charming products.
The Ply High table
“Design is really intertwined with my everyday. The lines get blurred between work and play a little, but I think this is also part of living in a design-conscious city,” Ross says.
Spaceleft have worked on interiors for a number of food retail spaces as well as retail fit-outs for adventure and sporting accessory company Helly Hansen. While Ross has had success with designs such as the ‘Packaged Glow’ light, and is soon to launch a new range at Saturday in Design in Sydney.
The Packaged Glow light
“The most exciting project this year has been the development of a new solid timber range called ‘Half Full’,” he explains. “It’s undergone over a year of design and manufacturing development and the final products maintain that perfect balance between a new aesthetic and commercial appeal.” (No pics to show just yet!)
Ross has also been working on the new ‘Touch’ light – a multifunctional lighting product, which adapts to a variety of uses and situations. “Collaborating with glass blowing artisan, Miles Johnston, throughout the project was a really rewarding process,” Ross says. “The outcome is a light offering diverse flexibility in both function and materiality.
The Touch Pendant
The Perch Stool
“My aim when starting any project is to create a simply beautiful design solution,” he says. “Simplicity is often the most challenging part of the process, be it an interior project or developing a new furniture range.”
For Ross it is the desire to work with, and understand, just one material or manufacturing process with each product, which in defines the outcome. “To a certain extent [it] can often be more about the journey than the final design.”
“When I design products I am always looking for that defining element or twist that gives the product a point of difference or its personality.”
Photography by Studio 11