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Standard Equipment relays love for Postmodernism with 'fun' furniture designs
Furniture designs by Standard Equipment
Image: Courtesy of Standard Equipment

Standard Equipment relays love for Postmodernism with 'fun' furniture designs

As the founder of the Toronto-based design studio, Josh Gadomski crafts joyful, geometric, functional, and daily-use objects inspired by Postmodernism and industrial designs.

by Ria Jha
Published on : Nov 06, 2023

“Design is not just a job, but a hobby,” declares Josh Gadomski, designer and founder of Toronto-based design studio Standard Equipment. Initially practising as a toy designer, Gadomski’s intrigue and inclination towards furniture design drove him towards crafting side tables, shelves, and sofa designs. “Designing furniture and homeware is fun and a new challenge. I gravitate towards this design aspect because it is so tangible. These are things that you use every single day—things that can spark joy every single day,” he says.

Drawing inspiration from Postmodernism and the realm of industrial design, Gadomski aims to craft product designs that are functional and unique. Commenting on his creative inspiration, the furniture designer relays, “my inspiration comes from things and objects that look weird and different. Obviously, a lot of inspiration comes from other furniture/ homeware pieces, and Postmodernism is probably my favourite design period. Originally, I was inspired by industrial objects around me, whether it be a weird-looking HVAC unit or the way pipes bend and intertwine with each other while running up the wall, and I would try to think of how I could use those forms to create tangible and useable objects.” He states that the abstractness imbued within his objects rendered in flat solid colours comes from a plan of experimentation and 'fun,' and a juxtapositioning of minimalism with a bold colour palette.

Mixing the strong and delicate, Standard Equipment's furniture pieces are crafted predominantly with sheet metal, specifically aluminium, an infinitely recyclable material medium. “In design school, we were given a chair design project, where each team was assigned two materials and had to come up with a design for a chair. We got sheet metal and wood. This started my love for sheet metal furniture,” relays Gadomski. Being a self-taught furniture designer, Gadomski was inclined towards designing objects that he could produce on his own. Therefore, all his designs are intentionally simple and straightforward and come together without welding.

The process of bringing the pieces to life starts with a mere scribble on a piece of paper, which then travels to CAD, and then to KeyShot for digital material application, after which they are finally manufactured. “Achieving the 90 degree bend in the designs is the most challenging part... most of the designs are simple 90 degree bends. I have added a few trick bends in hopes of reducing part count and increasing structural integrity. These bends were quite difficult to achieve and ended up needing to be redesigned,” he explains.

Standard Equipment steers clear of mass production and practises sustainability by only manufacturing made-to-order products. This methodical production approach demonstrates the studio's dedication to environmentally responsible design methods which look at reducing environmental impact. In keeping with its commitment to sustainable design, the studio is able to lower excess inventory and the waste that goes along with it, by implementing a made-to-order production approach. “Our large pieces are all made-to-order, while our smaller pieces are made in very small quantities. There is no warehouse full of Standard Equipment products. There is no surplus, there is no waste. Someone wants it—someone gets it, and we call it a day. To add to this, since these pieces are mainly created using 5mm aluminium, they will last you forever. These are pieces that (can) be handed down from generation to generation,” the product designer based in Canada shares.

In the future, Gadomski aspires to incorporate newer materials in his designs and work alongside other studios and brands. He plans to step into and explore the realm of lighting design through a new collection of lamp designs. “There is such an opportunity for continuous learning in this field. Please never stop enjoying,” he urges his fellow creatives and readers. Gadomski's unique creations blend his love for sheet metal craftsmanship with influences from the Postmodern design movement, declaring his passion for the tangible, quirky, and sustainable through functional objects of everyday use.

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