ARTICLE Nicole James PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie
Tim Webber lives and breathes fresh New Zealand design, providing clean and simple pieces of furniture. As well as showcasing his creations in high-end furniture stores in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. he has built up an online store and created a stunning workspace and showroom that reflects the pure quality of his work.
Describe the design style of your work.
Clean, simple, quality.
What made you decided to pursue furniture design?
Through my entire university design degree I had always love building and designing furniture, so once I finished at the end of 2009 it just seemed to be a natural progression to begin designing my own range of furniture for both residential and commercial spaces.
Then learning how to make that into a feasible business has been a whole other learning experience.
What element of the workspace is important for you and your team?
The workshop and assembly area of the studio has always been so critical for having a designated space to assemble orders as well as prototyping new ideas.
However, the new showroom has been a great addition and is going to be ideal for being able to invite clients to view the whole range of product in one place.
What is your main inspiration and theme throughout your designs and work?
I find beauty and cleverness in the most simple objects, and that's what i like to try to achieve and display with my products too. I love products where the small details are well considered and refined and the smallest aspect become so integral to the overall aesthetic and design of the item. So trying to stay true to that notion I believe help define a theme throughout my work.
How do you approach a new project?
When designing a new product I always begin by sketching, then continually strip away anything unnecessary and simplify and refine further and further until all of the details, proportions and materials are just right.
This process is then usually followed by drawing on the computer for technical drawings to continue to refine the product. The prototyping stage follows, which is where things really begin to take shape and where we figure out the best way to manufacture the product and be able to effectively reproduce it.
How would you describe the atmosphere of your space and team?
Because the space myself and my team work in is a shared space with other artists and creatives it makes for a very inspiring atmosphere. Everyone is always working on new pieces and it's easy to feed off each other and stay in that creative head space.
Which is your favourite design?
That's like trying to pick your favourite child, but I'm really excited about the new modular sofa I've been working on and the prototype of it we have in the showroom.
With all the various modules we will have available it's going to make it a really versatile piece. Although, I'm also liking the look of my new Press Mirror in copper which has just been prototyped too!
Did you get to choose the layout of the space?
Yes, the space was designed collectively by my team and the other artists and designers sharing the space - we all had various parts to play in achieving the aesthetic it has today.
We wanted a space which would be inviting and contemporary, yet still work with the raw industrial nature of the building's construction.
I'm pleased with the decision to create a plywood wall along one side of the showroom as it gives warmth to the space and contrasts beautifully with the concrete floors and the plain white wall facing it.
It'll also look great with paintings hung on it for when we have gallery openings at the space too.
What was taken into consideration while designing the studio and workspace?
Prioritising our 'needs' and 'wants' was something we had to figure out early on, as well as considering our budget. We had to look at what was achievable in a short amount of time and from the resources that we could pull.
What was the previous layout and design before the renovation was done?
Originally the showroom area was being used as a studio space for artists before the renovation.
It wasn't an overly pretty sight to walk into as it was just used as working space and any spare area had filled itself with an accumulation of everyone's bits and pieces. When one of the artists moved out it prompted the opportunity to transform it into something more special.
Other than obviously looking a lot cleaner and tidier than the previous setup, the space is a lot more functional and useable for continuing to grow everyone's business who shares the studio.
We hope it's going to be a space we'll continue to develop and refine as time goes on.
For more information, visit the Tim Webber Design website.
All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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