For some time now, our modern society has been dominated by a fast paced lifestyle, with products on the market now exacerbating this condition. There are, however, companies who are helping people to remember to embrace the calm in this chaotic climate. We spoke to Simon Bando, Managing and Creative Director of Gohome about business, design and slowing down.
Words: Amber Dahlhaus & Catherine Falalis.
Aesthetic meets innovation, longevity and affordability – that is the best way to describe Australian furnishing brand Gohome. Since 2001, the business has rapidly expanded, now operating within retail, residential and commercial arenas both in Australia and internationally.
“The name of the brand stemmed from the notion that we are increasingly living hectic, fast paced lives, both at work and at home,” says Simon.
“Our initial slogan was, ‘take time out, relax, gohome!’ It was a catchy name to get people to stop, relax and make one’s life a little bit calmer. We originally started designing homeware objects, so the brand name was a play on that too.”
Gohome cultivated the brand initially with homewares in mind, however adapted to the trend of morphing furniture designs for the home, into the workspace as well.
From its humble beginnings, Gohome had a strong focus on designing with innovation, longevity and affordability. These values formed the core of the brand’s identity which is carried through their designs to this day.
“We wanted to design products with their own aesthetic that had innovative production requirements, longevity, and affordable price points. We started designing objects for the home and then moved away from fashion orientated, short life homewares, to designing furniture that has longevity, is technically more complex and are more difficult to replicate,” says Simon. Having cemented themselves as a key player within the industry has seen many designers knocking on their door, wanting the brand to take on their finished designs.
“We don’t work that way,” says Simon, “rather we select designers so that they can break new ground with us, become part of the Gohome family and work to a strategic project brief.”
“In the initial stages, we look at the designer’s aesthetic to see if it fits in with our look, and we look at how commercial the designer’s thinking is. We want to see if they can understand the whole journey so that the designs have a successful outcome,” he says.In terms of seeking inspiration for their designs, Simon says that Gohome like to start by looking at gaps in the marketplace, where a difference can be made. Related to this is their environmental policy that ensures that their products are created in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
“We don’t want to design an average product, that only lasts for 12 months and then ends up as landfill,” he says.
“Our inspiration is timeless design – the designs that have withstood the test of time. Our influences definitely can be found from nature (such as the petal of a tulip for our Tulipa range), texture AND soft flowing curves.”
Simon struggles to choose a preferred part of the overall design process, although he admits to getting ‘a real buzz’ from seeing the first sample coming out of the mould, which proves that their design research and engineering works. Simon also gets validation from seeing the product’s function and aesthetic being used successfully in a number of environments and projects.
And the team have certainly worked on numerous projects, having fitted out many of the technology and banking offices who are at the forefront of workspace design. These include IBM, Google and Macquarie Bank. Gohome have also fit out many cafés including the iconic Bondi Icebergs. The team also prides itself on being able to work with some of Australia’s finest interior designers in the residential, hospitality and commercial sectors.
As for Simon’s favourite pieces, he says that it’s always the newest design addition to the Gohome family that ends up becoming the favourite. This is because the team have been engrossed in the latest project for a long time, and seeing it realised is so rewarding. This means that their upcoming ‘Stay’ wellness loungers designed and developed in collaboration with up and coming Queensland designer Josh Abel will be the new favourite of the bunch.
Speaking to furniture trends, Simon says that trends have changed to become “much more fluid in their approach, softer in their appearance and being able to cross-over into many environments.”
“The latest movement of creating a homely environment in the workspace is a major trend that we could see happening for quite some time. Wellness spaces to alleviate the stresses of a working day has been brewing, as the pace and demands of life quicken,” he says.
Perhaps, what sets Gohome apart from others in the market is their commitment to innovation.
“I think always trying to strive for innovation is key to all of our design’s success. When you look at our past designs and our upcoming new collections, we don’t just want to make another chair, table or lounger for the sake of it,” says Simon.
“They must break new ground and be visually remarkable.” – And that, they are!
You can catch Gohome at Denfair at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, June 20th – 22nd.