Studio Henry Wilson
I am a designer living and working in Sydney. I studied at the Australian National University School of Art in Canberra, graduating with first class honours in visual arts, specialising in woodwork. During my time at ANU I went on exchange to Rhode Island School of Design. I then moved to Europe to do my Masters at the Design Academy Eindhoven before returning to Sydney to set up my own studio in 2012.
I design furniture, lighting, accessories and components, working together with a range of suppliers and manufacturers. In particular, I have built a close relationship with a local foundry for cast elements in bronze and aluminium. I sell my work directly and in a number of design showrooms around the world. In addition, I have designed the interior for two Aesop stores in Sydney.
My work combines a rational, democratic utility with an element of sculptural expression. There is a clear form and function in my products, but it’s important they also have feeling. I am interested in the awkward beauty that comes from something made by hand. I like to explore how imperfection can be introduced into an industrial process, to make something at scale that retains a sense of individual charm.
During my time in Europe I was fascinated by the flea markets in the Netherlands and Germany. Discovering well-made things from the past was like tracing ancestors of contemporary design. I talk about the anthropology of design, recognising that it has a linear narrative and that ideas today are developments of those that have come before. I understand design to be an evolutionary process of refining, learning and improving. Well-made things last. I believe this is one of the simpler forms of sustainability that we can hope to achieve as designers today.