Utilitarianism, the beauty of imperfection, and the exploration of simple, organic forms created from tactile materials.
Australian designer Henry Wilson is one of the most inspiring creatives of his generation, with his work defined by utilitarianism as well as individuality. After studying at the Australian National University’s School of Art in Canberra, Henry Wilson traveled through Japan and Europe. A visit to the Salone del Mobile in Milan instantly re-ignited his passion for design and led him to complete a master’s degree at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In 2012, the designer established his own design practice, Studio Henry Wilson. The Sydney-based firm completes award-winning work, from architectural hardware to sculptural lighting, furniture, and home accessories. Past projects also include the Laneway Glass House, which Brad Swartz Architects designed in collaboration with Henry Wilson, and the innovative A-Joint system.
Defined by their utilitarianism and focus on form and function, the studio’s projects also explore the sometimes awkward beauty of imperfection and the use of incredibly tactile materials and finishes. Honesty and durability also play a crucial role in the designer‘s work. “Well-made things last. I believe longevity is one of the simpler forms of sustainability that we can hope to achieve as contemporary designers,” says Henry Wilson.
Starting with photos, notes and drawings from his travels, the designer creates sketches and concepts that then evolve into finished products, often transforming into something entirely different from the initial idea. Inspired by the beauty of Australian landscapes and character of handmade objects, the designer uses materials like metal, glass, wood and stone to create pieces that have the quality of artisan-made products. In order to maintain the authenticity and sense of individual charm of the designs, Studio Henry Wilson collaborates with European stonemasons and local foundry metalworkers based in Australia to ensure the quality and finish of each stone and metal product.
The Studio Henry Wilson collection.
The studio’s lighting collection comprises sconce lights and table lamps that look like mini sculptures carefully hewn from stone or cast in metal. While featuring simple forms and organic shapes, the designs add bold geometries to interiors – whether residential or hospitality settings. At the same time, the minimalist spot light and mood lighting highlights the character and slight variations of materials such as brass, bronze, stainless steel, black travertine stone, and Calacatta marble. As their surface develops a patina, the objects transform into heirloom-like items that show the passage of time and the unique marks of years of use. The collection comprises a block sconce and surface wall sconce as well as a conical wall light and a marble table light.
In the home accessories range, design lovers can discover everything from brutalist and fin bookends and candle holders to bowls, trays, oil and incense burners, coasters, and desk mats. The range includes products made for well-known brands, like the Aesop oil burner. Apart from bronze, brass and stone, some of these objects are also made from leather. Finally, the hardware series provides an elegant way to add the perfect finishing touch to interiors. In this collection, architects and interior designers can find a variety of handles and hooks as well as a bottle bracket for hair and body care products or a push plate inspired by the work of Le Corbusier. Photographs © Studio Henry Wilson.