Sydney based Object and Furniture designer Rachel Vosila is one to watch. After following her One a Week project in which she designed a whopping 52 chairs in a year, we had to have a chat. Rachel challenges the norms of traditional object design, developing uber creative and aesthetic pieces that are not only functional but works of art. Here, we learn about her personal and professional history and design philosophy.
AG: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
RV: I am Sydney born and bred and went to school in the Inner West. I really didn’t have much direction when I finished school and to the surprise of my friends (and parents) ended up in a Fine Arts course at UNSW. This degree provided me with the ever sought after ‘eureka’ moment (though I didn’t realise it at the time). I began applying myself, learning quickly and passionately about art, design and the creative process.
Looking for a little more ‘practicality’ I transferred to the Bachelor of Design course, where after a series of great tutors and subjects I found myself obsessed with objects and furniture. These interests guided my jobs over the years, working for Kartell and IKEA until I set up my own design studio and found myself back tutoring in the course I have to thank for my career!
Where do you currently work, what is your space like?
I actually just left my little shared studio in Marrickville, so am in between spaces at the moment. Though in saying that, tutoring at uni offers a really great environment for open discussion about all things design – I am always learning and discovering new practitioners and processes from the students.
What do you think is unique about your work?
Where I think I have differentiated myself is the concept, process and methodology I often implement in my work. In the case for my One A Week Project, many people subscribed to my weekly process that developed over the year, taking interest in the ever-evolving notion of the chair.
What is the One a Week Project?
With the One a Week Project, I tasked myself with designing and making one chair a week across 2015 – so 52 chairs in total.
Starting out, I began the project as a way to serve my compulsion to make. Though it quickly turned into an exploration in the vernacular of chair design. We naturally attach aesthetics, materials and form to specific locations, time periods and people – and initially I found it hard not to look for these references in my own work. By generating 52 different chairs in a year, I really had to push the envelope in terms of what a chair can be, and the possibilities became endless. In the end, I was trying to communicate that a chair doesn’t need to be made of timber and have four legs to still be called a chair.
What are you looking to work on in the future?
Moving into the future, I want to get back into conceptually driven design. On the flip side of the One A Week Project, I want to spend months researching and developing a story which I can tell through a family of furniture.
Photography courtesy of Rachel Vosila
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