Designers

Useful Objects is proud to work with a number of Australia’s most exciting designer-makers, on an ongoing basis. 

Examples of their work can be viewed in our on-site showroom and online shop all year round, as well as being the focal point of the Useful Objects exhibition program. Full portfolios are available on request.

Elliot Bastianon

Elliot Bastianon describes his studio work as ‘a triangulation of commercial furniture, research-driven projects and sculpture’.

His starting point is often to work with the form of a ubiquitous everyday design typology, such as a chair, which he then tests and pushes into uncharted territories. In particular, Bastianon will work with a material palette or process seemingly at odds with the typology he is working into, bringing scientific and natural forces to bear on its manifestation.

Experimentation is at the heart of Bastianon’s process, with a view to create works that sit in an intersection between human-centric design and the natural systems of our planet.

Danielle brustman & Edward Linacre

Danielle Brustman and Edward Linacre have been collaborating on the creation of new bodies of work since 2021. In high demand as individual practitioners, their collaboration finds a common ground of play, realised as objects with theatricality, clean forms and nuanced spectrums of colour. Brustman’s interior and object design has been described as joyful in her bold use of block colour, leaning into unexpected and alluring combinations and contrasts; while Linacre is renowned for his otherworldly, luminous creations and the development of progressive biodegradable and recycled materials.

Their first collaboration explored the form, cultural connotations and movement of the meteorite, as an object giving up its celestial travel and undergoing a transformation of form and colour on its way to earth. The work was a finalist in the 2022 Australian Furniture Design Award and has become a departure point for the duo, exploring its permutations to shape different object typologies.

Trent Jansen

Dr Trent Jansen has developed a lyrical practice which seeks to tell stories of community, culture and Country through objects. The resulting collections comprise truly functional pieces, which are highly resolved in their finish and materials, selected for their conceptual resonance.

Regularly engaging with Indigenous collaborators, many of Jansen’s collections are the result of deeply embedded conversations, and are collaborative in their development and execution. This community-focused practice of research and exchange Jansen has dubbed ‘Design Anthropology’, marrying his work in PhD research with design discourse and making.

His singular output led to Jansen being named Vogue Living’s VL50 Mobilia 2024 Product Designer Of The Year.

Jay Jermyn

Jay Jermyn’s design works are underpinned by his bringing together of contrasting elements. Intended to explore his interest in the nexus between digital, human and natural phenomena, materially his pieces employ juxtaposition and tension as strategies for non-verbal storytelling and myth-making.

Of particular interest for Jermyn is the human drive to simultaneously destroy and reify that which we rely on. Increasingly, this drive manifests as ritualistic and quasi-spiritual in his pieces, whereby the industrial and electronic is situated as anamorphic or sigil-like.

The resulting lighting, sculptural pieces and mirrored works all contain exquisite details that hint at larger questions of value and subjective experience of the world around us.

Marlo lyda

Marlo Lyda creates striking works in acts of reconstitution, recontextualisation and reevaluation. Her approach means she often works with materials in their second iteration of objecthood, that have been fashioned into a previous form.

Lyda’s works resist categorisation as being solely about sustainability; rather her methodology creates new functional pieces with their own agency to tell stories, a process she describes simply as ‘searching for imaginative and intentional ways to work with materials that are already in existence’.

Immersed in an appreciation of object design from an early age, an interest in developing her conceptual approach drew her to Design Academy Eindhoven, from which she graduated in 2021. Lyda’s passion for the discipline is evident, through her celebration of other makers and their materials by curating thematic exhibitions, as well as within her own designs.

Joanne Odisho

Joanne Odisho challenges herself and the viewer with her judicious selection of materials from which to make her design objects. These primary materials appear to have a dual function in the work, being at once emblematic in the discourse of sustainability, while being crafted into objects they seemingly are not capable of forming, such is their fragility.

Odisho’s experimental approach has included developing ways to create signature pieces from eggshells or eucalypt bark, and led to her to being receiving an Australian Design Graduate of the Year award.

The delicate interplay within her pieces – between materials and messages, lasting form and ephemerality – poetically draws attention to an appreciation of life cycles, including those of objects and materials.

MARCUS PIPER

Marcus Piper describes himself as a digital craftsperson, which avoids having to list the various aspects of his cultural output and engagement, including as a graphic designer, industrial designer, artist, musician, photographer, typographer, printmaker and publisher.

Together with his statement ‘Creating different. Always.’, his creative range gives some indication of the way Piper endlessly weaves form together across disciplines to make statements and provocations.

Piper’s approach to making imbues materials normally associated with solidity with an ethereal quality, resulting in an ever shifting experience of his objects, which often feature graphic, non-figurative elements.

Dean Toepfer

Dean Toepfer’s approach to design is characterised by the detail and functionality of his lighting, furniture, and objects, which he retains whilst exploring the interplay of material, form and colour. It is rooted in self-directed experimentation of production methods within an interdisciplinary studio.

Toepfer’s commitment to the design community, and interest in creative collaboration, led him to co-found Mixed Goods Studios. The complex is a vast multidisciplinary shared studio and fabrication space in Kilkenny, Adelaide, on Kaurna Country, from where he works.

Infusing life into the inanimate, Toepfer designs with an open-ended approach to making, marrying functionality with aesthetic allure. Through an explorative process, he pushes the limits of processes and tools to realise pieces that appear effortless and fully formed.