& Elliot Gorham
“Our driving philosophy is to create exclusive products that are beautiful, simple and durable.”
Louise and Elliot Gorham are a husband and wife team, heading up their design studio “Apparentt" in Melbourne, Australia. Comedy and drama are not things that come to mind when one thinks of a designer, but things are a little different for this team. Elliot studied at the Australian National University's “School of Art”, so consequently has a formal background in design – Interestingly, Louise came from a dramatic arts background, still occasionally performing and writing in-between designing and running Apparentt. Louise has always had a keen interest in design and interiors, and so naturally, she transitioned to design working alongside Elliot to grow their studio to what it is today. Their mission and design philosophy: “Is to create exclusive products that are beautiful, simple and durable.” – This ‘beautiful, simple and durable’ philosophy is evident in their design process and is demonstrated in their product design as we'll see below.
Furniture and lighting
“Traditional Japanese joinery clearly demonstrates a ‘makers hand’ and consequently, uncompromising quality.”
“We hope to instill these qualities in our own designs”
The intricacies of Japanese wood joinery has inspired the direction of Louise and Elliot's product designs. Not only is Japanese joinery technically intricate, but it embodies attention-to-detail and finesse. Louise and Elliot have demonstrated these qualities across their entire product range, for example, the Idle bench is a simple bench seat, but upon closer inspection, it utilises traditional joinery in a form that takes on a timeless but contemporary look.
The Idle Bench Seat shows off its complex joinery in a beautiful, minimalistic design.
Love for design came from a young age for Elliot, “My mother maintained a number of magazine subscriptions to a few of the better interior design magazines, so I was always flipping through and looking at the current and changing trends". Elliot also explains his knack for being a creator of physical objects, “Growing up on a farm, meant I was always required to be hands-on, which formed my affinity for assembling and creating grew from this."
Louise and Elliot both share a love for classic designers such as Eames, Wegner and Thonet. The timeless nature of their product resonates with Louise and Elliot's philosophy of creating simple and durable furniture, Elliot states, “Their products have simply proven themselves over decades of use".
Ray Eames (1912 – 1988) and Charles Eames (1907 – 1978) - Like Louise and Elliot, are also a husband and wife team, who made significant contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture.
Hans Jørgensen Wegner, (1914 – 2007) was a Danish furniture designer, with a passion for designing chairs – amassing a portfolio of over 500 chairs.
Michael Thonet (1796 – 1871) was a German-Austrian cabinet maker, known for the invention of bentwood furniture.
Both Louise and Elliot admire their fellow Australian designers at “DesignByThem", who are known for their tastefully fun homewares and furniture. Elliot is particularly interested in conceptual design and has a particular fondness for companies like Droog and Moooi, who are pushing the boundaries of art and product design with their quirky pieces.
Formed in 2007, "DesignByThem" is an Australian design brand, which describes themselves as "Bauhaus meets fun - you know, Bauhaus but if the weather was better.".
Moooi is a Dutch furniture, interior, and lighting modern design company, founded in 2001 by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers. Known for its whimsical design, Moooi's mission statement is “to make the environment more beautiful, inspiring, and exciting.”
Droog is a Dutch conceptual design company situated in Amsterdam, founded in 1993 by product designer Gijs Bakker.
Louise and Elliot work as a team to come up with each one of their products. Elliot sketches up a design, reviewed together with Louise, a prototype is created and finally, they test their prototype. Elliot and Louise are perfectionists, admitting they can go through at least nine prototypes of a product before they're happy to release it into the wild. When it comes to testing their latest creations, Louise says the couple love to get friends over for dinner to help with testing, “You need to see how people with different body shapes and heights use a product". Louise say's one of the hardest products to get right are chairs, “It's important to sit down and have a meal with the product, to see how it feels over time; rather than sitting down for 30 seconds and hopping out.". They say that their design learning process is organic and experimental, “Our education is based on trial and error and discussions with peers during trade shows and design-related events", adding that the internet is also a saviour for useful educational material, “Google also comes in handy, quite a bit".
The Idle Bench is an American oak bench with a simple timeless design. Despite it's light and airy appearance, The Idle is strong and sturdy. Idling and relaxing is exactly what this bench is made for, always ready – to do nothing.
Follow the link to learn more and buy Idle BenchRead Idle Bench's story
Pablo Side Table
The Pablo Side Table is a collection of faceted planes, complex angles and a delicate and crisply tapered edge. Each vantage offers a new delighting perspective of thick and thin, flat and angled form.
Product story coming soon.Contact us for more information
Photography: Michael Gordon Hill
Receive design stories by email.