We had the pleasure of working with Matt Gilbert last year on his Kickstarter campaign for the Solstice Clock. The new piece was successfully funded and adds another inspiring item to the Animaro collection of kinetic furniture.
Here’s what inspires Matt as well as some great tips on finding the right manufacturer.
Tell us about yourself and Animaro.
I became really fascinated by kinetic and movable structures during my masters of architecture. I studied a lot of techniques for how they can work. I also love working with beautiful materials, such as hardwoods and polished metals.
Through Animaro, I wanted to marry these two passions and bring kinetic designs to the high end furniture market. It is very common to see 'kinetic art' made as a passion project, or a one-off commission but much less common to see it available to purchase to decorate ones home from a design store.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew in your first year?
That investing time in myself and my own skills is invaluable and can make the whole process much faster. Also that it's important to place myself amongst people whose strengths are my weaknesses to confront these early on.
Top 3 tips for finding the right manufacturer?
1. Work with smaller manufacturers first to have individual parts made at lower risk, potentially during the prototyping phase. Use this process to develop a technique for vetting and ranking manufacturers.
2. You need to be able to speak their language in terms of technical jargon, so you need to have a pretty clear idea of how it will be made before you meet them. A clueless customer will ring alarm bells for them.
3. Look for products similar to the one you are making and try to find out who made it.
What was the best bit of advice you were given and who gave it to you?
To go and exhibit my work in Milan when it was still just a hobby. Getting my work in front of people, and seeing my products validated, gave me the confidence and enthusiasm to move forward.
What’s your ambition for Animaro?
First and foremost I want to develop Animaro to be a brand known for creating beautiful and unusual timepieces, which combine time with art. I want to develop two branches to Animaro, and put more emphasis on one or the other based on success. One will involve creating batches of beautiful products and working with crowdfunding and high end retailers. Another branch will involve creating special editions and much smaller runs, built in the UK, and work with galleries to display these.
What song motivates you in the studio and why?
There are a lot of songs that motivate me! And I tend to go through phases where I will listen to a song continuously until i get bored of it. Right now I am really enjoying 'New Sensation' by INXS, because it has a really catchy guitar riff running throughout which gets the energy going.