His work plays with forms and materiality, exaggerating and inflating traditional design proportions in a way both playful and grotesque. You don’t need a design background to experience Hancocks’s work, it is captivating and provocative. He cites Comme des Garçon’s designer, Rei Kawakubo, as an influence, and discusses similarities between furniture and fashion design – both mediums have a similar relationship to the human body and material concerns.
As we have learned from other digital designers like Yimeng Yu, grounding a digital design practice in physical material knowledge is often essential to producing good work. Making the jump to digital can also then free one from the restraints of physical work, sparking creative exploration. Hancocks tells of his approach to this physical/digital chasm, which accepts serendipitous translation errors as sites of learning and play. What is most important for him is how his objects feel in our mental representation, the rest he figures out later.
While he has primarily worked with individual clients, he now hopes to explore more accessible modes of designing. He discusses his consideration of furniture design as medium people spend a lot of time considering yet is subjected to a special set of production requirements and cultural traditions that make it hard to access. In a candid interview, Tom Hancocks discusses his approach to design, his references and working with different modalities.