Meet Glen Baghurst, one of the designers featured in #TheConranShopEdit. Ahead of London Design Festival 2015, Glen talks to us about his greatest influences, splitting his time between Sweden and Australia and his lifelong admiration of David Attenborough.
How did you start out in design?
I took an object design course when I was at university in Sydney, this got me interested in the idea of design.
What has been the biggest influence on your work?
I grew up in Australia and now spend half of my year in Sweden. I am constantly comparing the differences in objects, systems, society; how things generally run. It has shaped the way I act and think, especially when comes to design.
I love secondhand shops or thrift shops, you do not shop on the latest trends but on quality. You have to understand the materials and history when looking for objects.
My largest influence has been my mentor Mats Theselius, one of Sweden's most established and influential designers. I have worked alongside him for over two years and he has been great source of inspiration to my work and process.
Your work has a distinctly Scandinavian design influence. What is it about this aesthetic that inspires you?
I am based in the south of Sweden in Malmo, it's twenty mintues over the Bridge to Copenhagen, you might have seen it on the TV series `The Bridge.' This is an interesting location to be based as you have both the Danish and Swedish design influences. I think both countries design differently. I have adopted mainly Swedish design attributes. I like this soft approach when treating the materials. They use a lot of natural finishes. Both countries use a lot of lighter colours in there interiors, some people joke this is for the dark winters.
When the Swedish talk about Danish design, they talk about the Danish Disease, that is to sit and sand the wood. I have caught this disease a little, but I try and only use it if the body is coming in contact with that area of wood. So it holds a purpose.
Do you have a design routine?
I always carry a sketchpad and a camera so if I come into contact with something interesting I can capture it. Often is not the whole object I'm interested in, it's a small detail or the idea of the use for that object. Like I mentioned, I find myself visiting a lot of second hand shops.
What does great design mean to you?
Firstly, it must be good. I think to satisfy Dieter Rams' '10 Good Design Principles' is a solid start. To be great, it must symbolise something of a given time, whether it's a movement, a new material innovation, a particular way of thinking. It must be embedded strongly in the past but still feel as contemporary as if it was created today.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think every time a new work is completed it's a highlight, it's really satisfying to put the finishing touches on something.
We’re so excited to showcase your 2015 Untitled Armchair in #TheConranShop Edit during London Design Festival. What have been your experiences of London?
I lived in London for two years, in the Hackney area. I really enjoyed London Fields on a weekend, The Flower markets and just going for a drink at the small pubs. It's a fun town.
What, if anything, do you collect?
I am constantly collecting, I don't have a specific theme but it is mainly Swedish-made objects from thrift shops. I collect everything from pots and pans to small quirky objects. When you put all the objects together there some common design languages I'm interested in, not so much one type of object. I would collect pianos, we have three in my apartment already but my wife has put her foot down.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A biologist. I love nature. I've clocked some serious miles with David Attenborough.
If money were no object, what would you buy from The Conran Shop?
The Grand Piano Sofa by Gubi Olsen.
Finally, a quickfire round - get to know Glen in 60 seconds...
Town or country? Both
Would you prefer a magazine subscription or a DVD box set? Magazine subscription
What’s your addiction? Watching films
What was your last dream about? No comment. It had an R rating.
Would you rather have the power to travel back in time or see the future? The future
Best invention of all time? The iPhone
Do you have a nickname? My friends growing up called me Baggy. Some still do
Who would play you in a film? Tim Minchin