Brooksbank and Collins collaboration began with a quirk of fate when they were ascribed adjacent desks working for a London architecture office. Almost immediately they started an ongoing conversation about art, architecture, design and the common threads which are woven between these things.
Drawing on their divergent backgrounds as an architect (Brooksbank b. 1982) and a fine artist (Collins b. 1979) their dialogue condensed around an open list of distinguished designs in seeking to illuminate precisely which inner conceptual intentions set apart Shiro Kuramata’s Acrylic Vase, the Porsche 917 and Mies Van Der Rohe’s Crown Hall IIT, amongst many more masterpieces of design.
Gradually through listening, talking and observation Brooksbank and Collins came to recognise that their own independent lines of inquiry within the fields of architecture and art had, to a large degree, come to overlap within design. This shared pattern of interest has, since the establishment of their London studio in 2012, formed the template of their design collaboration.
“Standing in the middle of a large open field is a Tree. Nearby is a Bush and close to that a Telegraph pole. Overhead electricity wires are strung out between further Telegraph poles which run diagonally across the field. I walk out into this still space; a full moon lights the scene with the silver brilliance which compelled ancient Chinese scribes to combine both Sun and Moon within their written character meaning Bright. I scan from the Bush, to the Telegraph pole, to the Tree then back to the Bush and the Telegraph pole again. As I observe the relationship between these elements a sense of their exquisite poise emerges: their positions become definitive. My eyes collect the geometry of relationships between them and by doing so the void becomes charged. It becomes present within the great open field. Now I look over towards the Tree, which stands on its own a hundred yards away. As a single structure within the expanse of the field, it draws space in towards itself, becoming swathed in the void just as Hendrik Petrus Berlage (Modernist Dutch architect 1856 – 1934) said: one object is dependent upon another object to function apart”. Tom Brooksbank
“We communicate our ideas through the medium of Design and produce Furniture and Objets d’Art that is the materialisation of those ideas. Our working methodologies owe more to Conceptual Art than Product Design; the idea or concept is the most important aspect in our work. Ideas can also be works in their own right and have just as much validity as the objects. An idea is developed into a plan, the plan then becomes a machine that designs the object. All of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution of the object is a purely functionary affair. The less planning and decisions made during the process the better. By using a plan we negate subjectivity, our work is thus objective and universal. The language we use to give form to our work is the universal language of mathematics and geometry. The outcomes of some plans may result in just one type or in many variations of that type, the plan may also result in a definitive series of results or an infinite series of results. Each Series is recorded and classified; ordering and classifying our work generates new subsets of work and new paths of research. It is the nature of our inquiry that we continue researching our ideas, some ideas may be said to be completed but for others, the research will be ongoing”. Allan Collins