Product Designer Matt Shaw 15 Oct

This week we’re looking at another one of our talented staff members, Product Designer Matt Shaw.  Since leaving University Matt has been a part of the Spring Bank Mill Collective, a group of emerging artists and designers who are holding their next exhibition as part of the Free For Arts FestivalProper Normal, Pal is being held at 4 Piccadilly Place with the Preview night being on the 19th October and the opening on Saturday 20th – Friday 26th October, 2 – 7pm.

Nostalgic Times (above) designed for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, 2010

The PRESS stool (above) was designed and produced with the notion that a product could be constructed with “no nails, no screws, no glue”.

TABLE 325 (above and below) This product grew out of extensive structural exploration and experiments. All components were manufactured and fabricated by various companies in and around Manchester: Lazarian, City Glass, Chorlton Glass, J.E. Gordons, Håfele and APC Powder Coating.

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer + what was the first thing you ever designed?

No. I wanted to be a cooker. My primary school teacher then corrected me, stating that I meant a cook or chef and not an oven.

In all honesty my first steps towards design started when I was around 10 years old. I used to help my gran do her gardening and then draw out the garden in plan view and decide where all the plants and bushes would go. I enjoyed both the physical work and the creativity, and for many years seriously considered Landscape Design.

Why have you chosen the materials that you use in your designs? 

I think each product I design suggests different materials to me, and in turn the manufacturing processes. Lots of things come in to consideration, such as whether the product has any tradition or etiquette, who the end user will be and whether it will be mass produced, batch produced or bespoke. Influential factors like this help define the character of a product.

What is the best time of day for your creativity?

I’ve never really thought about it like that. I’ve been told that I’m one of those annoying morning people, but I think creativity, for me, comes in bursts, ‘Light bulb moments’ if you like, and then grab a pen and paper to scribble down my thoughts.

Have you done any interesting collaborations + who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I’ve been working in a group of emerging artists and designers from Manchester for the past year called ‘The Spring Bank Mill Collective’. Our work is a mix of disciplines ranging from illustration, product design and photography through to large scale installations and more conceptual pieces. It’s great to be surrounded by a group of creatives, bouncing ideas off each other and utilizing our skills and knowledge for each others benefit.
As for the future, I would have to say Benjamin Huburt. He burst on to the scene a few years ago and has been producing some really well considered products for clients such as De La Espada, Cappellini, De Vorm, the list goes on.
What is your creative process from start to finish? + which part of the process would you say you enjoy more?
Prototyping the product is always a good time in my design process, as you finally get to create a tangible object which has previously only been 2D on paper or trapped on a computer.
Orange features a lot in your work, why this colour so much?
Ahh, orange. The God of colours. Orange is everything you want a colour to be. It has attitude, it’s has industrial qualities, it’s a warm, inviting colour, it’s unisex, I could go on all day. Lets say that there was a row of chairs running through the colours of the rainbow, all as brilliantly colourful and as bright as the next, but for me, the orange one would stand out. I would probably go as far as saying the orange one is more comfortable to sit on, knowing full well that they are all the same and as comfortable as each other. I sound a little orange mad but I don’t discriminate other colours, they’re all good.

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