Sharing another article published in the first issue of Seima Flow magazine before the second issue comes out.
Furniture designer Andrew Eden is taking his elegant, minimalist furniture to Milan, and it’s all thanks to Instagram.
Furniture designer Andrew Eden likes flying by the seat of his pants. It’s only a week or so until he has to have six products ready for shipping to a design exhibition in Milan – his first international event – and he’s still tweaking and refining them.
“Five of the pieces, they’re almost done. I’ve made tweaks here and there, just streamlining the fabrication process and tightening up the aesthetics.”
It’s a table that has taken up most of his time. “In design, the prototype is king. Once you’ve got the prototype, you know where you stand. In this instance, I started out further away from a resolved idea than I thought.”
Luckily, it’s the sort of challenge Andrew thrives on. “I have to have an element of that or I get bored,” he says calmly over coffee. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a designer who’s completely happy with a design they’ve done and I certainly fall into that category.”
Din Design-In is part of Milan Design Week and showcases emerging furniture designers from around the world. The last event drew crowds of around 120,000. Andrew’s invite came after the organisers discovered his Instagram account (@designbyag).
Andrew first realised his love of furniture design while studying industrial design and his class went to a talk by a group of designers from IKEA. After graduating, he set about gaining the skills he needed, taking a job with a national manufacturer of commercial furniture and going on to study furniture making at the Jam Factory to get hands-on skills, where he was plucked for a job with famed Australian furniture designer Khai Liew.
“It was fascinating to see how he worked because he’s a world-renowned designer. More often than not, the design would duck and weave throughout the process; it was nice to see that fluidity to the design process.”
Fluidity is core to his process. “You can draw the prettiest picture but to actually create it and see it in real life, there’s a big process that you have to go through with all sorts of complications,” he says.
“You have to be really flexible in responding to the material and process but also really firm with the initial idea, otherwise it gets lost.”
In 2017, Andrew took the plunge into working for himself, developing his range of furniture for both the residential and architectural markets, doing private commissions and teaming up with other creatives for interior fit outs.
His work is elegant in its simplicity, inspired by Japanese, Scandinavian and Danish design. Wood and metal are his materials of choice, and he combines old-fashioned techniques with new-school methods.
“I like minimal stuff and by that I mean, minimal based on functionality, where nothing in an object is there for no reason – there’s no additional material, no additional elements that aren’t performing a task.”
As with any business, even the most promising projects can fall away at the last minute. His solution? “Make sure you have another five opportunities on the go, so if that one opportunity drops, it doesn’t matter.”
For now, his focus is on Milan. A week after our first catch up, the table has come together and is ready to go. Whatever happens from here, he’ll keep going.
“I drive an absolute bomb but I’ve spent thousands of dollars on developing products. That’s where all my money goes. Sometimes you get nothing out of it, sometimes you learn something and other times you sell some products.”