“My work is about finding a sense of place within the urban landscape it is the wonderment of the natural world that inspires my creativity.”
Stuart is an explorer fascinated by the wild and the unknown. While as a young child he sought to create order out of chaos, playing with Lego to create and study structure, today he welcomes and embraces the elements of nature that defy human control. He uses his instinctual ability to solve problems to infuse his work with a ‘soul’ - a story that creates a connection with the user to something beyond the familiar. Stuart believes this is particularly important in a world cocooned by technological advancement that has lost its connection and wonder of nature.
Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Stuart undertook studies that would provide him with the skills to design and make furniture. During this time, he also partook in more earthy pursuits through cooking, traveling and sailing. Interestingly, it was his competing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race that brought him to Tasmania and the wilderness he admires.
In 2004 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in furniture design at the University of Tasmania before heading to Bangladesh to do volunteer aid work. He returned to Perth and continued producing pieces with a focus on lighting that drew inspiration from plant seeds among other things.
In 2007 he moved back to Tasmania and established his studio, Touching Space, to create objects such as his cabinets that inspire a sense of wilderness and wonderment. Although the pieces are made for the modern world, Stuart is mindful that the process of design and manufacture is firmly rooted in sustainable practices from start to finish.
His public furniture commissions include the State Library of Tasmania, Baker D. Chirico in St Kilda, Forestry Eco Centre and Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.
Stuart has featured in numerous exhibitions including the Milan Furniture Fair, Launch Pad as well as seven times in Workshopped. His awards include the Clarence Prize for Excellence in Furniture Design and Tasmanian Design Award in 2009. He is the vice chair of Designed Objects Tasmania.
“I make work for production with a focus on sustainability. I currently have a range of lighting that is distributed nationally. I also make one off pieces for exhibition. My work is about finding a sense of place within the urban landscape. I like to combine new technologies with old traditions. The opportunities that new technologies hold for sustainable design and innovation are exciting. Yet it is the wonderment of the natural world that inspires my creativity. For me it’s about reminding people to think about their environment, their place, the space they live in, and about finding peace.”
DESIGN ISLAND PRODUCT SELECTION
'GEORGE' FLOOR LAMP
MATERIALS: Tas oak, powder coated steel and aluminium, fabric
DIMENSIONS (mm): 2000 x 900 x 400
'GEORGETTE' TABLE LAMP
MATERIALS: Tas oak, powder coated steel and Linen shade
DIMENSIONS (mm): 550 x 330 x 330
PO Box 253