When it comes to design, perfection is not necessarily a key factor of success. Sometimes it’s the imperfections and the unexpected twists that make design most interesting. At least this is the case when it comes to Brendan Timmins work. Timmins' furniture often recognizable by its bursts of bright paint against modern design always seem to fascinate, reason enough for us to sit down and talk about his work and inspirations.
Brendan, can you tell me a bit about your background and when did you start to express yourself through art?
I went to Pratt Institute for industrial design. In hindsight, I didn’t necessarily enjoy the rigidity of the major, but it was an excellent forum to experiment in 3d objects and process tests. For me, it was sculpture with the constraint of at least some functionality. There were so many talented people around me; we all improved day to day through observation of each other’s success and failure. I graduated without a honed direction, but with a few interesting shapes and material developments. For a few years, I worked sporadically on objects, all the while focusing on absorbing as much history and theory as possible.
Could you explain to us the thought behind the collection “Scarp Work”?
After graduation, I made a few time consuming and painstaking pieces that turned out well but had lost their fun by the time they were finished. Scarp came about after asking myself what I truly enjoyed about the process. It started out as a manufacturing exercise. I was curious about making a multifunctional furniture piece in an hour with just a chop saw, a drill, and a grinder. These initial exercises were the basis of Scarp; figuring out the minimal process to make a structural piece of furniture. To me, the pure functionality and quick repeatability were what made them intriguing. What made them beautiful was the primal “beat the clock” refinement of them. Mistakes became ornamental; refinement processes were condensed to only the necessary to avoid injury or structural issues.
What is the most important element in design to you?
I don’t think there is one; it just depends on what the intentions are. I guess I’d say Scarp is partial to functional elements over aesthetic elements, but those functional choices are inherently aesthetic choices.
What are your main inspirations?
I can take inspiration from a lot of places; it truly depends on what I’m working on.
If you were to give advice to aspiring designers, what would it be?
Find the parts that you actually enjoy within your design process and focus on those. As a designer, you’re making things for others, but they usually won’t be meaningful unless you enjoy it.
Future plans?
I’m working on a few collaborative projects right now that will hopefully be out soon.
Other than that, anyone want me to design a Scarp restaurant or retail space?