Adam Markowitz is an architect, lecturer, designer and maker of furniture and lighting. Born and raised in Elwood, he has studied extensively in Australia and overseas, including time at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine, USA.
Adam founded Markowitzdesign in 2014 and now produces a range of finely crafted production furniture as well as bespoke commission work out of his studio in North Melbourne.
Markowitzdesign has a focus on sustainability and true design - not simply following the current trends.
It's not just made to last in terms of quality, but made to last in terms of the design. It's not a simple message to communicate, it's more complex than a style or a trend. It's more an idea and that's what people are buying into - it's a conversation.
Adam likes to move quickly through physical prototyping as it gives him a closer understanding of materials and form.
I think that the power of being able to work with your hands is being able to move quickly between the idea and the reality.
Although Adam's design process includes sketching and 3D modelling he likes to begin working with timber as early as possible. Working in wood from the early stages allows him to dynamically update the design, and sculpt while working.
I'm really interested in designing with my hands and the feedback that you get.
While he uses other materials such as brass in his works, his favourite material has always been timber.
The thing about timber is that it is a very sculptural medium. Because it is a natural material and because every grain line grew on a tree, there's a kind of beauty and veneration that comes with it. With timber you can make it as minimal as you like and it will always be really tactile. It is also a really unforgiving medium. If you get it wrong it will really punish you.
MM: How important is Social Media to your business?
AM: It's really important. Back in the day it would have been impossible for someone like me to reach a wider audience. My stuff is produced locally, it's made in Australia and because of that it 's expensive, that's the simple fact. Social media lets me get in touch directly in touch with my market.
MM: Where do you get the best coffee and food in Melbourne?
AM: Grigons and Orr Corner Store - It's around the corner, The guys there are absolute legends. The coffee's really good but it's completely unpretentious.
Claypots in St Kilda is amazing, mainly because of the Jazz. It's pretty special.
MM: Can you recommend a good read?
AM: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. It's a book about quality, but from a philosophical point of view.
MM: What are you excited for in 2018?
AM: I'm working on a couple of products that I would like to get out there. There is also an artists' residency in the US that I'm planning to do in the next couple of years. I also enjoy teaching, it's really rewarding and it's nice to be back in that environment where everyone's open and happy to take risks.