The Method Behind: Matthew Bear of Union Studio
Average Rating: ( 0 votes)
I don’t quite remember where I first spotted the work of union studio but I do remember I was instantly sucked in. I love the clean lines and mix of materials. They make some amazing furniture along with some stellar interiors. More after the jump. Q: Who is? I run a small design company called Union Studio [...]
I don’t quite remember where I first spotted the work of union studio but I do remember I was instantly sucked in. I love the clean lines and mix of materials. They make some amazing furniture along with some stellar interiors. More after the jump.
Q: Who is?
I run a small design company called Union Studio located in Berkeley, CA. We design and build projects from furniture to complete environments, working throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York City. On smaller projects I often work alone or with an assistant, and I maintain a small workshop for prototyping and creating one off designs. For larger projects, we collaborate with a range of talented professionals including engineers, contractors and other fabricators.
Q: What is your background?
I grew up in Southern CaliforniaI in the 70’s and 80’s. My parents were always building things, restoring antiques and old cars - Their enthusiasm for building, problem solving and aesthetics was a big influence for me. I studied Architecture at UC Berkeley and then spent a couple of years in publishing (go figure). I stumbled into woodworking with a friend and found that it was a perfect marriage between my design impulses and my interests in craftsmanship and the applied arts. Union Studio grew organically from these interests and through my relationships with other designers and artisans. Fifteen years later we continue to take on larger and more challenging projects.
Q: What inspires you?
Interesting people doing great work. Commitment to craft at every level. Followthrough on the smallest details. Great clients who take an active interest in how they want to live and work. Simplicity, clarity and restraint. Industrial objects and architecture. My wife and kids.
Q: What is your preferred material to work with?
Firstly, paper and pencil. The design process is so important in the art of making anything. Often the material choices become obvious through rigorous design exploration. With regards to the furniture, I work primarily in solid wood - mostly North American species like Black Walnut, White Oak and Ash. It is important to me that the materials are sourced as close to home as possible. Over the last few years we have been introducing more and more steel into the work. I prefer hot rolled steel for it’s dark mill scale; It is a humble material that when used thoughtfully can feel very rich. I also like experimenting with materials and have integrated bookcloth, wax, felt and leather into various projects.
Q: My favorite______is________
I try not to play favorites.