JamFactory: New Directions

Adelaide is set to welcome one of the country’s best designer-makers as the new Creative Director of JamFactory’s furniture studio.

Adelaide is set to welcome one of the country’s best designer-makers as the new Creative Director of JamFactory’s furniture studio, as Jon Goulder begins in January and the buzz surrounding his appointment has already begun. When Jon Goulder relocated to Western Australia seven years ago he did so with clear goals in mind. Helping the non-profit cultural organisation FORM establish the Midland Atelier was first on the agenda. Second was turning the creative hub into a nationally and internationally recognised centre for design excellence. As head of its furniture workshop he managed to do just that – and then some. By the time Goulder resigned from his position late last year the Midland Atelier was a self-sustainable success story responsible for reinvigorating Western Australia’s design scene. Come the beginning of the New Year and Goulder will be relocating once again; this time to Adelaide. His appointment as Creative Director of JamFactory’s furniture studio has sent ripples of excitement throughout the Australian design industry. All eyes are on the designer-maker following his recent achievement at the Midland Atelier. This time around, however, he’s not starting from scratch. “The furniture studio’s outgoing Creative Director Tom Mirams has done an amazing job; I have some big shoes to fill,” he says. “But I’m really excited to be part of the JamFactory’s new direction under the guidance of Brian Parkes.” Such modesty is characteristic of the New South Wales Southern Highlands native, belying his reputation as one of the country’s most renowned designer-makers. His most recent accolade was a nomination for the IDEA (Interior Design Excellence Awards) 2012 Gold Medal, but Goulder has received multiple awards and widespread recognition since founding his own studio in 1996. Most significantly as the winner of the Hobart Art Prize in 2004 and inaugural winner of the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award in 2003. As a fourth generation craftsperson his training in upholstery and furniture making began from a young age under the mentorship of his grandfather and father and culminated in design studies at the Canberra School of Art. It’s no surprise that Goulder’s resulting body of work is highly refined and exceptionally well crafted; defined by an aesthetic that is clean, elegant and thoughtfully considered. While he exhibits regularly, many of his pieces are held in private and public collections. A number of them, including the Glissando credenza, Calypso lounge and Amore Mio chair, are nothing less than iconic. Goulder’s experience is an asset to the JamFactory role and his appointment has overwhelmingly positive implications for the organisation. “I have proven commercial results in one-off exhibition work, limited edition collectibles and design for production,” he says. “So I bring an actual working practice to JamFactory that can help the Associates gain a real world perspective.” As a mentor to the three Associates chosen from a national and international pool of applicants each year Goulder’s practice will serve as a teaching model. It’s his job to help them grow their own practice and show them pathways for future success. New commercial opportunities will be set up and Associates will develop their skills through commissions and the designing of furniture and objects for production and exhibition. In this respect the JamFactory furniture studio will run in the same way as the Midland Atelier furniture workshop, except on a smaller scale. Regardless of size, Goulder’s goals are still crystal clear. “I want to make the JamFactory furniture studio the place in Australia to come and study or practice furniture design,” he says. “And I want to give it that reputation very quickly.” One of his priorities will be establishing new national and international networks in exhibition, production, distribution and media. Goulder’s ambitions are not only for the JamFactory but for the wider Australian design industry as well. What the furniture studio has to contribute in the bigger design picture is not to be underestimated. Goulder, for one, knows JamFactory’s potential; not for nothing he moved his wife and two young children half way around the country. He is also well aware of Adelaide’s growing reputation for good design. The current development and movement taking place is an indication Adelaide’s future is as promising as it is exciting. Within this milieu Goulder’s vision makes perfect sense; most importantly it feels achievable. His laidback, amicable attitude will see him fit in right away and his strong work ethic will guarantee results. His close collaboration with JamFactory CEO Brian Parkes may seem a formidable partnership, but there’s no doubt applicants will be clamouring for the opportunity to be mentored by Goulder. For those lucky enough to be chosen their future is very, very bright. jongoulder.com jamfactory.com.au