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The Clever Design Store

At home with Nathan Goldsworthy

30/03/14 5:43 PM

You need dreams, but they aren’t enough - in this business you can’t just be a designer, you have to be a business person, a marketer, and a sales person.







I feel a little nervous entering the Goldsworthy’s home, which doubles as Nathans creative hub and studio.  I have great respect for Nathan's work so I’m on my best behaviour.  We are greeted by Nathan, his partner in life and business, Liz, and Liz’s mother, Bev, who has always been involved with design.  They have huge smiles and… bubbles, and the best chicken sandwiches ever.  Nerves gone!




Liz tells us about the stories behind some of the mementos and art around the home.  They are very stylish people.  I love the Gavin Hurley painting, Nathan’s own Monarch table and the George Nelson lights hanging over the kitchen bench! 







Outside is what Nathan has been working on for Ventura Lambrate.  He is going to the 2014 Milan exhibition with David Moreland and a group of mainly Australian designers. The exhibition is about not over designing furniture. I guess you could say stripping away form and function and celebrating the pieces existence only.  Nathan's design is truly stunning and the colour incredible but as the exhibition is in April, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Nathan was inspired by the documentary film My Architect: A Son's Journey, a 2003 film about the American architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974), by his son Nathaniel Kahn, detailing the architect's amazing career and his familial legacy after his death in 1974.



Nathan talks to us about his study of Industrial Design in Wellington. He wanted to design cars and attend the World College of Art, but like so many of us, he got side tracked.  The Tio chair, below, helped launch the Goldsworthy brand and that was 8 years ago.  Nathan tells us Tio is going to have a relaunch soon with a collaboration from Sixhands, the Australian textile company.






He hands around the solid brass screws used in The Adutant table and jokes about them being great paper weights.  They are that indeed but better in the self-assembled table Nathan was inspired to design when he was reading about Napoleon's campaign into Russia.  Napoleon’s Army had to be able to move at a moment’s notice but desired solid, good looking and practical furniture.   The solid brass screws anchor the tabletop to the turned oak legs through a tapered hole.





The Kimono stool was awarded silver at the Designers Institute Best Awards 2013.  It’s going on my birthday wish list as these are just the best outdoor stool, and they stack away when you are not using them.  



All Nathan's pieces are beautiful and so clever but there are too many to show here.  Nathan admits he is a total perfectionist and given time he says he’d like to “do it all again, but better”.  He says “you need dreams, but they aren’t enough - in this business you can’t just be a designer, you have to be a business person, a marketer, and a sales person”.  He adds “managing your expectations is the hardest thing as sometimes the creative designer has to give in, just a little, to the practical customer”.  This is where Liz is an important part of the team.

Thanks Nathan for giving us your time and we hope Milan is as wowed by your designs as New Zealand is. Don’t forget to look for Nathans designs on theclever. 



Carol Riley, Interior Designer, Auckland.


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