Design & Decoration S01 ep6: David Grainger, Bang Design, [Sydney]
Interview with David Grainger
Good design fills the spirit. It is a way of having more than a 2 dimensional life, you have a multi dimensional life, there is meaning in everything. It is like music. Why listen to this particular song? Because it speaks to you.
Brian Marshall and myself in reality is BANG design.
Brian and I met at the end of high school, and for us it has always been what
we wanted to do and we started off developing our folio, our pedigree by
When you are going to try and demonstrate the difference that your ideas can
make to a particular product. Furniture has a got a lot of value in it and that
they could the signature of the way your ideas came out through furniture, so
that is why we choose furniture.
Really it was about the idea and if the idea was strong enough you would find a
way, you would find a design solution to make that idea a manufacturable
We like the opportunities that are in Australia where you have many influences
that you can draw on but you don't have the cultural, I dare say, historical
baggage of ah... that they might have in Italy or Denmark where for many
decades, for centuries this build up of cultural expectation about what design
and what good design is and isn't in the next five to ten years. I think most
furniture and a lot of product will be made in Asia primarily out of China. So
you will be...everyone designing will be if they are designing for mass
production, for the general market, then they will be dealing with the same
technology and it will be what is up here that will make the difference.
That is the challenge that we love, is finding that zone where you can speak to
people through the work.
KM It is poetic but not...
But not art. Yeah it is not, it doesn't cause an extreme reaction where it is a
love / hate. We are looking for ideas and designs where people are drawn into
them. They find an aspect about it that’s familiar. For the first five years of
BANG Design we developed our instincts, we developed our gut for what
would work and for what wouldn't work.
KM What is your main business?
It would be product and furniture design.
KM When you say product what sort of product are we talking about?
Tap wear, sinks and basins
KM Oh so you go into all that sort of stuff.
Design is a holistic thing, that a good idea can get onto the market, can reach
its audience through many different ways and there are many opportunities for
it to trip up, and for it to fail. That can be in its marketing, it can be in its
manufacture, it can be in its sales and it can be in its development as a design
solution. We like to deal with all those issues, at least indirectly we may work
with the marketing department of the client very closely and so they
understand where the design has come from, so when they go to market the
design the essence of the idea is telegraphed, it is communicated through the
KM And why do we need to have things around us that we have a resonance
When you think about it for a moment, it is a pretty straight forward value that
you get out of it, If you are going to live with something or work with something
it is going to be a better living environment or working environment or just a
better life if you surround yourself with things that you feel something for. It is
like going to your grandmother’s house and there was that big armchair that
somehow you found some sort of emotional attachment to....
KM So your saying it is the comfort?
It is not so much comfort; it is really building a connection with your
KM But why do we need that, that is what I am trying to ask?
I think because it fills the spirit. It is a way of having more than having more
than a 2 dimensional life, you have a multi dimensional life, there’s meaning in
everything. It is the same as music why listen to this particular song, because
it speaks to you.
KM How important is humour in design?
I think it is, for us it is important. Again it is one of those emotions, it is one of
those characters that to me it is like life, you know if you are at a gathering and
one of the most attractive or beautiful things is someone’s sense of humour.
You can have people that are beautiful because they are radiantly healthy,
there are people who are just charismatic because of their self belief, and there
are people who are charismatic just because of their charming sense of
humour. I think that applies to product as well, and you need to be aware of
that and the forms, and the connection of the study of different forms and how
people might remember that particular form. You play on it, you might have a
Mickey Mouse ear that is one of the aspects of the brief, is to find the
connection with people through that, then you’ve really got to tune into it, and
you might be doing sketches and doodling and something about that particular
sketch is charming and it might be because it is witty and therefore you have
to draw that and build on it into the design solution.
KM How far does witty go and humour go before it becomes kitch?
It is an undefinable line, I don't know where it is drawn. You really have to use
your own instincts.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: David Grainger, Bang Design, Sydney