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Whimsy gets a modern spin—literally!—in Jamie McLellan's Eccentric Mobile. Jamie's known for designing everything from furniture and lighting to bicycles and windsurfing rigs, so it's no surprise he has engineered this precision wonder. Each section gently rotates independently, an ever-changing display of aerial sculpture. Spinning on embedded micro bearings, the mobile from New Zealand design firm Resident is perfectly balanced despite its intriguing visual asymmetries.
“I’d be ripping my hair out if something took more than half an hour to put together,” says Resident founder Simon James on the subject of flat-pack furniture, something he knows quite a lot about. “Most of our products wouldn’t have more than five or six screws, maximum, nor do they take longer than 5 or 10 minutes to put together.” That’s just one of the innovative qualities of the New Zealand contemporary design and manufacturing company established in 2011. With equal parts dedication to an authentic brand of craft and an eclectic but refined aesthetic, Resident has quickly made a indelible impression.
Set up in a cleverly international way with a small head office in Auckland and a distribution hub in the UK to equal the supply-time equal of its European counterparts, Resident manufactures both in New Zealand and Europe. (Partner Scott Bridgens’ knowledge of logistics comes from previously working as operations manager for Brit design firm Tom Dixon.) A small stable of designers, artists and architects—all New Zealanders and based in various parts of the globe—keeps things tight design-wise. As Simon says: “We’ve gone with people we know and whose work we admire.”
“I do like to strip things away to the bare essence of a structure but it's once I'm at that stripped away point (that) I can't restrain myself." says designer Jamie McLellan, who divides his practice between New Zealand and New York. "I have to maximize something, find a detail and dial it up." It's a winning formula for Jamie, who runs a small-product and furniture design studio, based out of a boat shed, just minutes from downtown Auckland. His clients range from established brands to small, highly innovative start-ups—everything from lighting to luxury watercraft and furniture to woolen footwear.
Graduating with a degree in industrial design, Jamie worked for British design heavyweight Tom Dixon before striking out on his own. Having lived in Italy, Hong Kong, London and New York and worked in China and India, he has designed for manufacturers and consultancies in Australia, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Asia and the U.S. Such varied experience no doubt informs his stated design philosophy: “I do believe less is more, but to a point."