Design Days Dubai: Brodie Neill’s UAE debut combines digital fluidity and manufacturing

Design Days - CID  taken on the 13th of March 2017 at the Dubai Design District, United Arab Emirates, (Photo by Sharon Haridas /ITP Images)

Australian-born designer Brodie Neill showcased limited edition works as well as production pieces at the Britain Takes Shape exhibition during Design Days Dubai.

His most well-known E-turn limited edition piece was shown at the fair in a new mirror polished stainless steel version to mark the 10 year anniversary of the collectible sculpture. The original production version is in fiberglass.

E-turn by Brodie Neill. Photo by Sharon Haridas /ITP Images

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“The mirror polished finish makes the fluid shape even more dynamic,” explains Neill. “It marks the 10 year anniversary of the piece which was launched in 2007 in Milan. This was the piece that really put me on the map when it came out.

“At the time it was also a big moment in design and what was possible: the idea of digital fluidity but also digital manufacturing. E-turn really fuses those two together.”

Photo by Sharon Haridas /ITP Images

He describes the design as “almost like a three dimensional sketch or a scribble”.

The other limited edition piece that was on show was Remix, which was created in 2008. With this piece Neill looked at reclaimed materials and how they can be elevated to become a limited edition design object.

Alpha chair tucked back the back. Photo by Sharon Haridas /ITP Images

“The idea came from working on other projects where there was a lot of waste material, it seemed completely pointless seeing all these materials with so much potential that was going to waste, just lying outside construction sites,” Neill said.

“I thought if we could sandwich that all together it could then shaped by a pre-programmed robot and if you program it in a way that homogenises all these materials into one, then it can carve any material you put in front of it. Therefore we were able to mix these materials in this way. We have 44 layers including about 20 materials such as pine ply, blue acrylic, Corian, birch ply and some fairly exotic block boards.

Photo by Sharon Haridas /ITP Images

“The process of shaping it all out then reveals all the contour lines of how the material actually is the substance. This is the first piece we did with looking at recycled materials.”

Neill added that he is interested in looking further into environmental issues and how design can address them.

“We are starting to look at using design to address some of the environmental concerns- we are custodians of this planet and these are issues we need to address. As designers we are makers and how we do things and the wastage we can prevent and the more of it that we can utilise, the better. I think if there is innovation and technology in that, it makes the outcome all the more interesting.”

Britain Takes Shape also showcased Neill’s Made in Ratio collection of self-produced, well-considered designs that have the same spirit of innovation as the limited edition pieces.

“There is a similarity in process between the limited edition pieces and Made in Ratio as well as the theme of biomorphic forms,” he said.

Made in Ratio looks at contemporary forms in more traditional materials so it more accessible to cater to commercial projects such as hospitality in retail.

For the upcoming Milan fair, Neill will be exhibiting the stackable Alpha chair with a leather seat for added comfort and as a response to more hospitality inquiries. He added that there has been some interest in his pieces in the region as well.

“We have had some interest in the Alpha chair for some retail opportunities in Qatar. We are interested to see how that evolves and how the work is perceived. We are very interested in tapping into this region and not only through the collectible pieces but also through retail and projects like Made in Ratio as well as special commissions or events,” he said.

Neill has also started looking into creating larger installations. He is currently working on three three large scale projects: two in London and one in Australia, adding that it is something he wants get further involved in.

 

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