James Hargraves trained in Mechanical Engineering, but after graduating, gravitated towards Multi-Media & Graphic Design.

Later his work extended beyond 2 dimensions with exhibition design. In 2009, he designed his first piece of furniture as an exercise to advance his burgeoning computer modelling skills. After receiving a couple of awards, he was encouraged to pursue product design.

His work explores structural optimisation and the formal potential offered by the coupling of 3D modelling with digital fabrication techniques, married with hands on craft practices. 

I was lucky enough to catch James via email whilst he was out of the country. James is a highly conceptual designer, his designs are meticulously hand crafted (typically hand assembled laser cut pieces) and very well thought out. You can view the WEFT designs at www.tongueandgroove.com.au.

1. What was the inspiration behind the WEFT 056 concept?
“This project was unusual, because I developed the technique without having a form in mind. And that came about by playing with paper & scissors.”

2. Is the pen mightier than the computer?
“No, computer modeling is a profound advance on drawing for both visualization & documentation of design. But that is not to say that it has made sketching redundant. Both pen & computer are just tools for externalizing design which is essentially a mental activity.”

3. Does working in Melbourne influence/ enhance your work?
“I find walking and looking a great source of inspiration; and Melbourne is a great city for a wanderer. So I would agree that being based in Melbourne enhances my practice but my Influences are from all over.”

4. Who is someone that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
“No-one I can think of, offhand. It is not something I have given much thought, but I am open to invitations.”

5. What experiences/ projects are you looking forward to? 
“I’m in New York, this moment as I right this, and despite feeling at home in Melbourne, there is nothing better than getting far away…So in answer to your question I would say: future travels.”

For further information visit jameshargraves.com
Article by Georgina Lewis