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Henry Wilson is a Sydney-based designer. He studied at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Art in Canberra, graduating with first class honours in visual arts, specializing in woodwork. During his time at ANU he went on exchange to Rhode Island School of Design. Henry then moved to Europe to do a masters at the Design Academy Eindhoven. He returned to Sydney to set up his own studio in 2012.

Henry designs furniture, lighting, accessories and components, working with a range of suppliers and manufacturers – he has built a close relationship with a local foundry for cast elements in bronze and aluminium. He sells his work directly and presents in several design showrooms around the world. Additionally, he has designed the interior for two Aesop stores in Sydney.

Henry’s work combines rational, democratic utility with sculptural expression. There is clear form and function in his products, but he believes it’s important that they also have feeling. He is interested in the awkward beauty that comes from something made by hand, and likes to explore how imperfection can be introduced into an industrial process – to make something at scale that retains a sense of individual charm.

During his time in Europe, Henry was fascinated by flea markets in the Netherlands and Germany, with the idea that discovering well-made things from the past was like tracing ancestors of contemporary design. He talks about the anthropology of design, recognizing that it has a linear narrative and that ideas today are developments of those that have come before. He understands design to be an evolutionary process of refining, learning and improving. He believes well-made things last, and that this is one of the simpler forms of sustainability designers can achieve today.

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