Work / Product Design

Rob Ryan & Michael Marriott

Individually Rob and Michael are both at the top of their game. The former in the realm of making beautiful images and the latter by making beautiful objects. Both are very hands on and happy to get their hands dirty when it comes to making work, the two seemed a fitting partnership for If You Could Collaborate. Their piece is a ‘Rockin’ Rob Ryan Chair’, made and designed by Michael, embellished by Rob.

A snippet from the catalogue:

Hello guys, can you tell us what you’ve produced for the show?

RR. It’s a flatpack rocking chair, made from five pieces of plywood that slot together and are held with four nylon ties. I have screen printed on the surface.

What were the biggest challenges you faced?

RR. Just trying to think of exactly what to put on the chair, I came up with loads of ideas but I wasn’t ‘feeling’ any of them. When I did, it was so obvious.
MM. Getting the rocking balanced right. The one we show is still effectively a prototype, but I think it should rock good.

What’s your favourite collaboration of all time?

RR. The songwriting partnership of Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. He went to New York as a young man to seek his fortune as a singer – it didn’t work out and he ended up on the streets, sleeping on park benches. He met Valerie Simpson singing at a soup kitchen in a Baptist church in Harlem. He went up and spoke to her and got know her – they fell in love with each other, and from that came the classic track Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
MM. Iggy Pop & David Bowie, Lust for Life.

To see the complete If You Could Collaborate feature, click here