AFDA Talks to Jon Goulder

Jon Goulder | Creative Director, JamFactory Furniture Studio and 2017 AFDA Judge

What does your role as Creative Director of JamFactory’s Furniture Studio entail?
I see myself as a conduit for my Associates, as well as for JamFactory. My role as this facilitator and mentor of sorts is to support the development of each Associate’s practice by creating opportunities for exhibition projects, providing connections for publication opportunities and offering market awareness. I also help to bring in commissions that create training opportunities and employment for the Associates in design development and fabrication. Alongside all of this I continue to actively run my practice from JamFactory’s Furniture studio as an example of how one might approach a modern day furniture design career.

Having worked with some of Australia’s most talented emerging designers as well as being an established designer and manufacturer in your own right, in your eyes what makes a designer stand out within such a competitive market?
I think it is one of 2 things, you are either completely original or you are incredibly consistent over a long period in the market place.

How important is the role of awards like AFDA in developing local Australian design talent?
AFDA is incredibly important in that it provides the design community with a reason to develop new work, it is a motivator. The winning piece will be judged on its originality which is incredibly important for Australian design and I hope this competition encourages designers to spend more time designing from a free and unconstrained place. We are often designing within manufacturing capabilities or within budget constraints, but if you are designing a piece to be collected by the Art Gallery of SA then it is different, it helps to build an identifiable Australian aesthetic and allows designers a degree of freedom. If you are lucky enough to be the winner, you will sit in a very enviable position in the Australian design landscape. This is a ticket for collection by a national gallery and highway straight into the development of a new commercial collection with Stylecraft, one of Australia’s largest and most respected distribution networks Stylcraft, and not to mention the 20K prize money and huge profile that comes from winning an award like this.

Off the back of Seaton’s winning prototype, what are you looking for in the winning design this year?
I want to be excited by what I see. I love looking at a design and thinking WOW this is really clever or poetic or inspiring. Seaton won last year because his work was not only original but the story behind it and the way he described it won us all over, such a beautiful concept.