Name: Simon Doyle
Occupation: Furniture designer and maker
"I like to keep things simple and try to let the furniture express the structure and material."
What’s your background?
I studied English and Philosophy and then worked as a carpenter before I decided to pursue furniture design.
I moved to Connemara for three years in 2010 to study at GMIT Letterfrack, after which I moved back to Dublin and worked for luthier Frank Tate, and then set up on my own in 2014.
What’s a typical work day like for you?
It varies depending on what stage of the project I am at, sometimes I have to really focus on the making side of things, and put in the hours in the workshop to get projects finished.
At other times, I am prototyping or working out ideas with mock-ups and computer work. Apart from that, I might be out meeting customers or suppliers, or pricing up jobs.
Tell us about a recent project/ favourite project you have worked on?
I am currently working on a picnic furniture project for the OPW in the Phoenix Park. It is a collaboration with fellow furniture designer Adrian Coen.
Phoenix Park Picnic Cluster, collaboration with Adrian Coen, nearly there now... pic.twitter.com/Yx8mtE77hd— Simon Doyle (@simondoyled) July 27, 2016
We have tried to reimagine the traditional picnic bench to create a more social and accessible area for picnickers to gather and interact, and also be more accessible for people with reduced mobility. It is due for completion the end of July.
What’s your design style?
I like to keep things simple and try to let the furniture express the structure and material.
What/Who inspires your work?
I think about the person who will own and interact with the object in both conscious and unconscious ways, and how that relationship is the most important thing.
What’s your most treasured possession?
A friend gave me a present of a clutch pencil and a special sharpener for sharpening the leads. I didn’t know they existed and it improved my life in very small ways, but very often. I wouldn’t like to be without it now.
Who would be your favourite designer, or style inspiration?
I like the work of designers Konstantin Grcic and Åke Axelsson, and architect Herman Hertzberger.
What would be a dream project for you to work on?
A dream project would be to get a commission to design a range of furniture for one of the top Italian or Scandinavian manufacturers. Another would be to design the furniture for a new library.
Have you any design tips for us?
Invest in objects that you will own for decades.
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