Five minutes with Josh Abel of Studio Abel

Josh Abel is an Industrial Designer, one half ofBrisbane multi-disciplinary design studio, The Artificial, and the latestAustralian designer to join the Catapult Design stable. With an in depth knowledge of many different types of manufacturing, and a keen interest in innovative design and production processes, we grabbed five minutes with Josh to talk about his design influences, approach, and common philosophy of StudioAbel clients.

 Q: Have you noticed a common link among clients of Studio Abel?

Most people most often comment on the small details in my designs that I try to incorporate into every piece. People appreciate the extra thought and attention that these details suggest has gone into the design, as well as the connection they give to the manufacturing process of the product. 

Q: Where do you go to seek inspiration for your designs?

I spend a lot of attention noticing the details that hold the built environment together and I do my best to store them somewhere in my brain in the hope they may be useful in future. I don't believe I'm exceptionally creative. I see a product of mine as a solution to a problem rather than the result of a burst of inspiration. My process generally involves setting myself constraints that I have to design around, because without these I'd be completely lost. These could be the use of certain materials or manufacturing processes, the incorporation of a particular aesthetic, an assembly technique, and many more.

Q: What designers do you admire?

Japanese design studio Nendo is ridiculously prolific across many different categories. Their products have a great sense of fun and it’s evident that the designers, lead by Oki Sato, are encouraged to push boundaries and explore.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a furniture and accessories designer?

Moving into this furniture and accessories design has been a natural progression from my work at The Artificial, rather than a deliberate move. The most appealing part of designing locally-made products ist he complete ownership and control I have over the end result, which is very different from many other types of industrial design where there are often many different collaborators and influences involved. Once I realised that I could have complete control over my design vision, it became obvious that I wanted to become a furniture and accessories designer and hence, Studio Abel was born.

Q: Where would you love to see your furniture and accessories?

My goal is to create unique, locally produced furniture that are as accessible as possible. I think my designs are quite modest. So if I see some of my designs where a cheap replica piece was previously,I’d be most happy.

Check out Studio Abel products available through Catapult Design.