Designer Namon Gaston had his second dose of Design Guild Mark success earlier this year when his Oxbow Lounge Chair was awarded the Mark in the Furniture category.
A longstanding love affair with design is the basis for the pieces of furniture produced by Namon, who works out of a studio in Cousland, Midlothian. His aim is to create furniture with timeless appeal, design to him is as much about practicality as aesthetic ideals.
We recently sat down with Namon to find out about his career to date.
Who is your design hero?
It would have to be Borge Mogenson. In my opinion this Danish designer was at the forefront of practical design for the masses.
When did you first decide you were going to be a designer?
I’m not sure I ‘decided’ until quite late on, but I would say after studying furniture design at Edinburgh College of Art. I was always designing and making things as child and feel that it was probably my only route forward.
What was your first big break in the industry?
Working with my former furniture design tutor Derek Hodgson on a development project for Herman Miller.
What was the first product you ever designed?
The first production piece that I ever designed was the ‘i b pop’ chair with Blue Marmalade, a company that was formed with colleagues from art college. It was a single piece polypropylene chair.
What do you enjoy about being a designer?
I get excited about creating new and better objects – more comfortable chairs, more aesthetically pleasing pieces and using function as a base for designing great furniture.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job?
The constant stresses of being self-employed! Finding the time to make sure all the aspects of my small business are aligned and working efficiently is a struggle.
Which design are you most proud of?
The Oxbow Chair. I love the concept and the design – it has had a long development journey and I have learned a lot from it. Even now I still enjoy looking at it!
What is your creative process?
Usually it begins with a brief; a purpose for a piece of furniture. I sketch up roughly on paper, then turn to CAD to model, this is where I get a bit more involved with the design, considering all the production processes as well as the aesthetics and all the detailing.
What influences you?
Function and simplicity. I have always been inspired by the mid-century Scandinavian design ethos.
Is there a product you wish you’d designed?
The 40/4 Chair by David Rowland. It embodies so much of what I see as great design.
For more information about Namon Gaston, go to namongaston.com