Born and raised in Essex, England, Dean Norton originally studied graphic design before continuing his journey as an interior designer, graduating in 2008 with a bachelor of arts degree (Hons) in Retail Interior Design from The University of Arts London. Based in Melbourne who develops products that consider form, function, refined detailing, and harmony in materials. He draws inspiration from a number of contemporary Influences, striving to create enduring pieces that connect on an emotional level. He merges a balance between art and design, whilst maintaining a minimalist design aesthetic. Dean launched his own design practice in 2017 with an ethos to create authentic locally made pieces. This week, The Artling spoke to Dean to learn more about his creative process behind his designs and his inspirations.
When developing a new concept, I start with a few design objectives like what do I want to achieve aesthetically? or how do I want people to interact with my work? And what materials do I want to focus on using?
I tend to daydream a lot on ideas and record them by making small sketches and notes so I don’t forget. I take pictures on my phone of things that spark my interest, just day-to-day stuff around the city like material combinations, retail window displays, architectural details, and forms. All of these touchpoints help develop my thinking, it’s a very fluid process for me and all about reaching that spark of excitement in the opportunity to create something I feel passionate about.
I don't spend too much time sketching out lots of ideas on a piece, I usually have a clear idea of what I want to do by the time I start building in 3D (using a mix of CAD and model making) so by this point, it's more about the finer details, problem-solving, practicalities, and the manufacturing process. I do a lot of research on materials and fabrication. I love spending time visiting factories around Melbourne and meeting makers who are passionate about their craft; it’s all about collaborating for me and building relationships.
Contemporary art museums, film, travel, friendships, music, documentaries, fashion, and art.
Minimal, crafted, formed
Yayoi Kusama, Ann Veronica Janssens, Dan Flavin, Frida Kahlo, Magritte, James Turrell
I’d say my iPhone is the most important tool, especially in the early stages, I use it to make quick sketches of my ideas, write notes, record passing thoughts, take images of things that inspire me. I also do a lot of my business development on my phone like emails, and calls to my makers + suppliers, not to mention my playlists!
Also, my MacBook is quite an important tool as I use it to develop my work in 3D, using a mix of CAD, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
To believe in yourself and your ideas, trust your instincts and be unapologetic in your vision. Work hard and keep going.
Maintain your clarity of thought by not looking at what others are doing around you, blinkers on, and go for it.
I love spending time in galleries on my own. A perfect day for me would be to visit gallery after gallery here in Melbourne or a city I’m visiting at the time. Travelling is a main source of inspiration for me also.
Click here to view all of Dean Norton's works.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
Back to Top