The following is a little interview with Atelier 688 designer Matthew Hunter. Just a little bit of background on the TV show host/designer on juggling two career paths and how they have influenced each other!
Bio facts: Matthew Hunter
Study: English BA, University of Western Ontario
Fine Woodworking, Selkirk College, Nelson BC,
TV Shows: The Re-Inventors (History Television), Colour Confidential (WNetwork)
Furniture designer: Atelier 688
1) So tell us a little about yourself and how you got into Design.
I was working in the printing business and realized that there was more in my future then the Pantone colours. I’d done some building (docks, decks, etc ) but wanted to focus more on detail and joinery so furniture design was a logical choice.
2) Any design influences you’d like to share?
I went through a Czech cubist phase which led to some REALLY unusual pieces at school. Now I tend to build very geometric, almost architectural pieces so I find I’m drawn to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.
3) So, you are on TV as a host of the Re-Inventors and you were the on-camera carpenter for Colour Confidential, how did those things come about?
I got lucky really. I’d been doing some acting, commercials mostly, and then I had the chance to audition for Colour Confidential. I shot 65 episodes of that show and then got the opportunity to co-host The Reinventors. Right place at the right time.
4) And how has your design focused changed from what you studied to do since doing the re-inventors….Basically, did your work on the re-inventors change or influence your ideas on design?
At school so much of our focus was on building. I only had two years out there so design took a back seat to learning how to put things together properly. Now I tend to design things a little more “out there” and I can’t help but think that after building flying cars and 4 armed catapults for the show it was bound to happen.
5) So, what was the inspiration for the Barbed wire sheliving unit?
I love barbed wire….period. I’m going to continue in my quest to bring it to the masses.
6) What’s next?
Good question. Keep putting furniture together that challenges me and hopefully stay involved in the Television industry. It makes for a very balanced life.