Méne designed by
The 2023 INDE.Awards jury remarked, “With a delicate and rounded form, Méne is a light that is not only beautiful but perfect in its rippled structure of mouth blown glass. A striking lighting addition to a home, it espouses the ideas of both the artisanal and the sophisticated.”
Méne appears to float in the air, much like a lunar apparition and it is delicate yet robust. Crafted with mouth blown glass the collection reveals a unique texture through the subtly illuminated shell.
The rippled effect of the form is a result of continuing experimentations with traditional optic glass blowing techniques and innovative engineering. This results in each light being individual and bespoke.
Méne utilises efficient LED technology, and a heat sink system and glass mounting system were developed to allow for replacement LEDs. All glass was blown at the Jam Factory in South Australia.
Tracking back over Ross Gardam’s career
In an excerpt from Paul McGillick’s
Then at high school Gardam did a subject called ‘technology’ which, he says, he enjoyed and “felt like a good fit”. So, it seemed logical to move on the industrial design programme at Monash University (Victoria) which he found “really interesting because it took you through art history and design and ran across quite technical aspects”. But however clear-eyed he may have been, he didn’t at that time envisage owning his own furniture and lighting business.
In fact, on graduation and for the next seven years he worked in two areas which he has largely left behind: interior retail design and environmental design (outdoor space, wayfinding and signage). This he did first with a couple of companies in Melbourne, then in London for two smaller, but similar companies.
“I had spent my adult life in Melbourne, so I wanted to experience being in a different city,” he explains. “I had travelled a lot by that stage. We had travelled to 20 or 30 cities by the time I went to London. It wasn’t a sense of wanting to travel, it was living in a different space.”
After two years in London he decided it was time to do his own thing, so he returned to Melbourne in 2007 and started his own practice which was initially a continuation of the environmental design consultancy, Spaceleft, which he had established in London but with a greater emphasis on product design.
The name came from the idea of looking at the space left around a problem or the space around an object which helps to define that object. Initially, for the first two or three years, he continued to do interior work, which he enjoyed, but also aimed to develop two or three products a year. These he explains were very much experimental pieces, “mainly around material use and single-process manufacturing”.
Out of this evolved the rigorous process he now follows under his Ross Gardam brand, beginning by looking at various aspects including how it is going to be used and how it works in space. “The work is definitely informed by material and process,” he explains. “And I have worked with a number of different processes that are quite old, like glass-blowing and ceramics, more traditional arts and craft.” This has led to an interest in blending traditional craft with contemporary manufacturing, “looking at ways I can bring that to a more contemporary space”.
In more recent years the studio has become interested in the user’s emotional connection to the product. This entails analysing how a product can engage with someone at an emotional level – “ideally to create a sense of surprise or wonder and hopefully bring a sense of joy”. Read the
Congratulations to Ross on his recent win at INDE.Awards!
Product – Haydn Cattach, portraits – Elizabeth Bull for INDESIGN Magazine
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