F5: Jason Bird’s Favorite Chair + the Simple Things He Favors
Jason Bird has been the Founder, Creative Director, and Managing Director of Luxxbox since 2006. There, he designs and manufactures furniture, lighting, and objects for both residential and commercial use. A long and varied career has allowed Jason to channel his own brand’s unique aesthetic of urban design using unconventional materials, industrial finishes, colors, and production techniques.
Jason’s career in architectural lighting launched in Australia. He then relocated to the US and designed for several major manufacturers, gathering loads of experience along the way. Once he made the return to his own practice, Jason focused on designs that embodied a visual display of strength through the exploration of negative space. Then he kept pushing the boundaries to create an individual style statement.
“When I was in school I always loved art, but was also fascinated by engineering,” he recalled. “I remember going to a career day and discovering industrial design and it seemed to all fall into place. Design seems at the crossroads of art and engineering.” Jason added how he feels “lucky that my work is my passion and design is so interwoven into how I live so it has never felt arduous.”
But given the chance to go back and do it all over again, he said he’d choose to focus more on conventional visual art. “It would be interesting to step into a creative space where the process wasn’t about producing something commercially or at scale, but just creating art for art’s sake. To have the time and space to explore visually and materially.”
Jason’s knowledge of lighting design and manufacturing have seen him receive international awards and accolades for large-scale public and custom lighting installations in Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, and Australia. Meanwhile, Luxxbox has become a major manufacturer exporting to Asia, Europe, and North America.
We’re happy to have Jason Bird joining us for this week’s Friday Five!
1. Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair / Eames’ Lounge Chair Wood
Both of these designs have always fascinated me. In my design practice I am always looking at how to use materials and production processes in new ways, and these are both classic examples of this concept at work. The innovation of bending steel to make furniture was so unconventional at the time. Likewise forming plywood for a chair. These days, both are ubiquitous ideas, but they were really game changing at their release.
2. Northern California
I have lived in Northern California off and on for many years. It is a part of the world that really resonates with me. There is a lot which is reminiscent of home in Australia, but at the same time it has a distinct sensibility that I’m drawn to. The climate, weather, food, the riding, and the landscape are all so inspirational, but there is also a wonderful sense of community and compassion about the locals.
It probably sounds very cliche, but music has always been a factor in my creative process. You could call me a frustrated musician, and I still play a little with my kids. I think that finding new music, discovering new talent, going to live gigs is really energizing. A current favorite is Fred Again. Fred Gibson is just endlessly positive and the way he mixes sound with video and performance is so innovative.
I travel a lot, both for work and pleasure, and I try to make each trip encompass a little of both. There is no better way to refresh your mindset. Getting exposure to new perspectives, talking to designers and business people, and looking at new angles is really important. The key to continuing to create innovatively is not getting blinkered by the environment immediately around you.
My children really inspire me, still as young teens, watching them learn and grow. Teaching me things every day. Being challenged by the future, but working through that and projecting their better, positive view of the world. I hope that having design as an influence in their life will help them solve life’s challenges. After all, everyone is a designer.