process in action
The glassblowing(PHOTOGRAPHY: ROHAN VENN)
Tell us about your creative journey so far I started off studying product design at TAFE and was really into the graffiti scene but eventually went to study industrial design in Canada, where I was born. My first job was at Lightform [augmented reality specialists] and I worked my way up from the warehouse. I learnt a lot there, especially how the poetic and scientific sides of lighting influence one another. But ultimately, I knew I wanted to live by the beach, so I moved back to Sydney and knocked on the door of Euroluce Lighting. Over the years I also worked for Firefly PointOfView and Electrolight before officially launching my own business, ADesignStudio, in 2016.
Where did the name ADesignStudio come from? I found the casual nature of ‘a’ design studio quite appealing, as there were so many design studios popping up. ADesignStudio became a logical extension to Alex Fitzpatrick Design as I wanted to build a brand and studio, rather than myself.
How would you describe your work? My work is about light, but also about engineering and systems. I design everything from the LED outwards, so I have full control. It’s always about how the light works with materials and then how it will affect the environment. I like to experiment, but love working with glass. It’s mesmerising and the possibilities are endless.
Where do you find inspiration? From my surroundings. My first fitting, Light Garden, was inspired by the bougainvillea of Surry Hills, especially how the light hits when they trail. Greenway was a simple silhouette influenced by the modular, stack-like constructions of the lighthouses in Watsons Bay. I’m also drawn to biomimicry and how we can emulate nature’s processes.
Career highlights? This year has been really amazing. Along with other talented Australians, I worked with design platform Local Design, collaborating on an installation within [Hong Kong] department store Lane Crawford during Art Basel. It was really successful for me commercially. Then there was Milan Furniture Fair in April, followed by DENFAIR in Melbourne.
What is your design process, from concept to finished piece? I always sketch during the research phase. I try to add a narrative to the science; it’s not just decorative. Then I use cardboard for scale models and investigate with actual materials, maybe using 3D printing to make sure everything works together. I’m always playing with LEDs and have a team to help me with prototyping. I have a regular glass schedule so we make pieces every two weeks.
What’s on the horizon for you right now? Some hotel and hospitality work and maybe a visit to Dubai. I really just want to buckle down and maybe work with some fellow designers. I’m also going to start investigating more materials.
For more information, visit adesignstudio.com.au
Alex sketches his designs and then experiments with materials
consists of five handblown glass shapes inspired by nautical forms, with a custom crackle finish. The Crackle Vases
His Greenway Crackle collection
blend strength with fragility, while Alex’s geometric Light Garden panels
and Crackle Wall Light
were inspired by the angular petals of a grove of bougainvillea and can be configured in multiple ways. New additions to ADesignStudio’s Greenway Crackle collection, the Crackle Lamp