Australian designer Simone LeAmon completed a Fine Arts ¬†Degree prior to embarking on Industrial Design studies, her practise spanning both disciplines. Now launching two collaborations with lighting manufacturer Rakumba - RICOTTA unveling in Sydney this weekend at¬†Saturday in Design;¬†and the spectacular sculptural floor lamp¬†BALLERINA, showcased at PROTOTYPE, a survey of Australian design from prototype to production at¬†The Jam Factory, Adelaide. Rakumba has manufactured lights since the 1960′s, engaging Simone to rebirth traditional techniques within a contemporary context.
Ricotta, pictured above with Rakumba craftsman, is the result of LeAmon reversing lamp shade typology, inverting it and making the frame the hero.
The Ballerina floor lamp presents exquisite pleating as a luxurious gown that embraces the light source.
INTERVIEW BELOW FROM SURFACE ASIA
Nominating her architect father as a major influence, as a 10-year-old Simone Leamon believed every head of the family designed and built the family home. ‚ÄúOur house was a work in progress. Dad designed high-end residences, and I grew up surrounded by builders, tradesmen and incredible crafts people.‚Äù
Compulsively drawing and making things lead Simone to study sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts. ‚ÄòVCA was 4 years of trade school laced with a lot theory, but I knew inherently design would appear in a more formal way. My career explores the conversation between art and design‚Äù Simone explains, and she went on to study industrial design. After graduating, she worked with Australian jeweler Susan Cohn, who‚Äôd recently released ‚ÄòCohncave‚Äô bowl with Alessi, exposing Simone to the world of object design and the process working with Italian design companies.
After five years working between Milan and her native Melbourne, LeAmon now sees her design future closer to home. ‚ÄúWorking as a designer in Australia is very different from Europe.¬† We‚Äôre used to producing items that respond to Asia Pacific needs. Living on the other side of the world certainly is a limiting factor,‚Äù she explains of her experience.
Awarded Australia‚Äôs richest design prize for the Lepidoptera Chair in 2009, the chair made from up-cycled automotive upholstery is an exploration of the reuse of by-products of commercial waste.¬† Her ‚ÄòBig Sky‚Äô installation for Australian lighting company Rakumba exhibited at the Royal Exhibition buildings, a highlight of State of Design Victoria 2010.¬† In development is lighting for Rakumba set to launchthis year, and LeAmon has found her niche in the space where design meets craft.¬† ‚ÄúBy rebirthing craft techniques popular fifty years ago, and reinterpreting classic designs like the ballerina lamp, we retain the lexicon of lamp making and utilize skilled workmanship from long-term employees‚Äù she shares of the design process.
Aside from lighting, LeAmon is busy with her first interior project, as well as a commission for the ANZ bank. Also set to launch this year is a vase, a new bronze candleholder and incense burner. And as we go to press Leamon has just received word she‚Äôs landed a three-month artist in residency that she‚Äôll take up in September in New York, no doubt a new design chapter in her life will unfold.
Bodywork is a 3D digital model of the artist/designer Simone LeAmon‚Äôs body sporting a custom designed exhibition suit styled in the fashion of motorcycle leather. Exploring the categorisation of creative practice and production, Bodywork uses the space of the practitioner‚Äôs own body to speak of the disciplinary and corporate cultures of art and design.
Exhibited in Melbourne at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces and Viafarini, Milan in 2003 Bodywork is the result of collaborative activity and enterprise between art, design and digital practitioners. Received across the arts and business sectors in Australia and Europe Bodywork was awarded 2nd prize at the 2004 LAB 3000 Australian Digital Design Biennale.
Bowling Arm¬Æ is a fashion accessory made with the red, white and yellow leather remnants from Australian cricket balls. Each leather ring is different because of the manufacturing process, a combination of the machine and the hand. The rings will stretch to fit all wrist sizes and acquire character from wear. Bowling Arm¬Æ is a simple idea ‚Äì it is about making something nothing. It supports the design and production of sustainable product ideas and embraces the joy of storytelling.
ALL IMAGES ¬†(c) Simone LeAmon // products & digital work, designed by Simone LeAmon