Tauranga Design Series: The Earnest Workshop

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Dawn McMath

The Tauranga Design Series is proving to be a highly anticipated event on the Tauranga studio social calendar. Going from strength to strength, the third exhibition welcomes Dan Gillingham, founder and designer of The Earnest Workshop (TEW). On this occasion, the 40+ guests that attended the event on Wednesday 26 August, got up-close, and maybe even a little bit personal, with TEW’s fine furniture. Later in the night a lively discussion followed Dan’s presentation, keeping the artist on his toes.

Debuting his entire domestic furniture collection at the Tauranga studio, Dan gave his guests a full overview of his journey as a designer, since setting up his Mount Maunganui-based Workshop in 2012. The exhibition challenged people to consider the ‘easy-come, easy-go’ nature of consumerism, asking its viewers to examine their own perceptions, regarding style and design. During his talk, Dan explored the company’s values, explaining: TEW is rooted in sustainable design with usability in mind. Their philosophy is “Good things last” and they recommend their customers understand the characteristics of a product, its lifespan; to consider buying less, but buying well.

Great designs should encourage preservation not consumption. Aesthetics is not just a superficial concern for sustainable designers, but an environmental imperative. Dan shows timeless pieces require a holistic approach. Products need to be both technically and aesthetically durable, to last generational use, whilst also considering the environmental impact throughout production.

Just as we consider the toxicity and life cycle of many of our building’s materials, TEW also designs and makes their products to ensure absolute minimal material wastage. Their first success seen with a free-standing coat rack constructed using only 100% natural wood materials; produced in partnership with Lyndsay Fake. To find out more about TEW, click here

Thanks again to the Tauranga Design Series' key sponsor Resene Construction Systems for enabling us to create and host these events in 2015. The final event for the year was an evening with Jamie Boynton.

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