They say a picture can paint a thousand words. Looking at the profile picture for Australian design duo Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch of Dowel Jones provides insight into the fun, creative, uncomplicated, and sometimes left-of-center products this pair produces. And anyone who channels the “Devo” and goose with a golden egg look (okay, it’s a duck) is well worth delving into further! This is not an ordinary run-of-the-mill design duo. What sets them apart is how they nail simple and minimalist pared-back style while capturing the “Je ne sais quoi” design aesthetic.
The Dowel Jones studio is just three years young, but its designs have drawn numerous accolades over the past six years. They began picking up design awards as students, and in 2011 they won the VIVID Design Awards for their Mr. Dowel Lamp. We interviewed them three years ago when they were involved in the design collective LAB DE STU. Since then, they have been collaborating with acclaimed architects and interior designers, with their lighting, furniture designs, and objects appearing around Australia in both residential and commercial spaces. Well overdue for a chat, we touched base with Dale Hardiman for an update on their work and achievements.
+ Three years have passed since we last featured your work. What have been the highlights over the last three years? We’ve been lucky over the past three years that we have been involved in many exhibitions and collaborations. Highlights always include the potential to present work overseas. In the past three years, we’ve been involved in shows in Milan, London, and Singapore, and we’re both about to head to Tokyo and London this month.
+ How have you seen the Australian design industry evolve over the past few years? How is the design arena changing? It’s difficult to say as we have only begun being involved with the Australian design industry over the past few years. From our perspective, we have seen those specifying our product change, with interior designers, architects, and specifiers proud to include Australian-made and designed products.
+ How have your design practices evolved over the past few years? When we first set up Dowel Jones, we set ourselves some guidelines to work by, and since our founding, we have stayed strong. We are forever evolving and interested in working with those in fields different from ours and learning from designers in other disciplines. Our business is forever changing. As we studied industrial design and furniture design, our core focus has always been the design and construction of furniture, lighting, and objects. As we develop our brand further, we are forever learning how to work better.
+ What do you feel is your best design achievement so far? Earlier this year, we were flown to Singapore to represent Australia at Maison & Objet. Still, one of our happiest design achievements would be our inclusion in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now design wall curated by Simone LeAmon in 2013-2014. We were represented alongside icons such as the Sherrin football, the KeepCup, and Knog’s bike lights.
+ What would be your dream commission? Dream commissions are challenging, as Dowel Jones was set up to work with local manufacturers to produce furniture, lighting, and objects. If we were to dream, it would be having the free reign to work with a local manufacturer exploring new processes or technologies. We are predominantly sourcing manufacturers for our work, so it’d be interesting to be given a list of manufacturers Australia-wide to have the potential to work outside our current manufacturing capabilities.