Cost-Effective Yet Oh-So-Cool
Dowel Jones are fostering a culture of creativity and collaboration Australia-wide. Rebecca Gross chats to the Melbourne-based dynamic duo, Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch, to get their insights.
Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch established Dowel Jones in 2013 having studied industrial design at RMIT and collaborated together on the Mr Dowel Jones lamps, from which their studio obviously takes its name. “After the successful project we decided to form a brand that represented our collaborative outcomes,” Dale explains. And this culture of collaboration has not only continued, but has permeated the brand, as Dale and Adam work with local suppliers, manufacturers, artists and photographers to produce and represent their products.
“Dowel Jones output is entirely influenced by the two of us. Although we take on different roles within the brand, we still work collectively on all ranges,” says Dale. He and Adam also design outside of Dowel Jones, producing entirely different work under other brand names.
Much of Dowel Jones furniture, lighting and accessories has a strong emphasis on line and materials. And although Adam and Dale say they didn’t set out to create products with a cohesive look it has somewhat emerged due to their desire to develop cost-effective products with local manufacturers and available materials. Thus, they characterise their work as “brightly coloured tubular furniture.” This is particularly evident in the Thimble and 1/5 Thimble stools and tables released in 2017 (originally designed in 2012), which was supported by a campaign in collaboration with New York-based 3D artist Tom Hancocks.
The King Dome lighting range, developed in partnership with Luxmy Furniture, also has a strong focus on line and silhouette, as does the Hurdle range, which was
Dowel Jones’ first furniture release. The timber and tubular metal chairs and stools are a collection that continues to expand over time with a new bench and chair, and a high stool designed for Broadsheet Restaurant – Dowel Jones’ first commercial project. “We designed the Hurdle High stool with the help of Alex Lake of Therefore Studio to suit the restaurant and it is now one of our most popular products,” Dale explains.
Adam and Dale have also produced a cost-effective and colourful range of tubular bent-metal chairs exclusively for Grill’d Burgers Restaurants. And in 2017, they will be presenting at the Milan Furniture Fair with Local Design and undertaking a collaboration with Spanish 3D-artist Fantasaraxia on the campaign images. “We like to think our overall vision of Dowel Jones changes each year as we react to our environment and circumstances,” the designers explain.
Words by Rebecca Gross