Q&A WITH MATTHEW WEATHERLY
Designer Matthew Weatherly talks about his life as a designer and father
Responsible for bringing designs like our Sequel Office Collection, Corridor Media Furniture and Semblance Modular System to life, Matthew Weatherly is one of the premier designers at BDI. Matthew pulls inspiration from nature and strives to create furniture collections that embrace innovative, sustainable design. In addition to winning a Pinnacle Awards in 2014 for his design of the Corridor media console, Weatherly was also awarded two additional Pinnacle Awards last month for his Corridor Bar and the Sequel Wall Mount Desk.
Since Matthew has worked with BDI for 11 years, we thought we’d take a few moments to ask him about his work with the company, and his life as a designer and family man.
Q. You studied Scandinavian design, architecture and woodworking at Denmark’s Design School and also hold a degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, how have you continued to learn and grow during your time at BDI?
A. During the new product development process, we are constantly faced with new challenges. This is a great way to keep the mind open to new possibilities and to think outside the box. Throughout the years with BDI, I have learned things that you would never learn from a design course.
Q. How did you get your start in the industry? Did you always know that you wanted to design furniture or did something inspire you to move into furniture design?
A. In high school I had an art teacher who persuaded me to attend an art college. At the time, I had no understanding of what Industrial Design was. Although I was naturally artistic, it wasn’t until a few years later that I learned about ID, and decided to break away from my small home-town and move to New York City for school. During my time at Pratt, I had a big interest in transportation and footwear design. But furniture design is where my career took me, and it is an area I’ve really enjoyed and have grown in.
Q. You love nature and gain a lot of inspiration from it, what aspect of your designs do you think this is most clearly translated through?
A. Sometimes this translates through the materials I get to use, such as sustainable woods, or even more literally through a design inspiration. For instance, I designed a coat tree called: “Thorn,” which took on the shape of a thorn branch.
Q. What does your design process look like? How do you decide how you want your pieces to look and function? Where do you start?
A. I always start by examining what challenge I am attempting to address. While design can just be beautiful, we are constantly challenging ourselves to create functional designs that address a certain need. I usually start out doodling loosely on paper, then I quickly move into computer modeling where I study form and proportions. Every now and then an idea will hit me randomly, and I just run with it!
Q. What achievements are you most proud of?
A. Being a father to my awesome son, Gavin. He’s my best creation.
Q. What do you see in your future at BDI or in the future of your designs?
A. While BDI is a strong resource for media furniture, I hope to see BDI continue growing in the office furniture category. I feel that whether in a corporate environment or in the ever-growing home office market, intelligently-designed office furniture can improve the way that people work day-to-day.
BDI couldn’t be happier to have such a talented designer and father working to make our pieces the best that they can be. From the aesthetic of his work to the sustainable consciousness he takes to align with our Green Initiative, Weatherly embodies all the BDI stands for. To find more projects by Matthew Weatherly visit BDI’s website or to connect with Matthew visit http://matthewweatherly.com/.