Outdoor furniture and accessories
Robert Plumb is a singularly Australian design and construction company renowned for its quality craftsmanship. Creative director and award-winning landscape designer William Dangar (pictured) is also one of The Store’s curators.
“Good design should put emphasis on the details, because details deliver the design. Robert Plumb products do just that.”NADINE BUSH Creative director
What drew you to landscape design?
It happened quite organically, really. I grew up on a farm in northern NSW, and spent time working on properties in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
I met my wife in Sydney, and she wasn’t keen on the idea of living on the land, so I started a lawn-mowing business here, and my landscaping work evolved from that and my horticultural studies, as well as working alongside some of Sydney’s top landscape designers
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I’m a plant person – I really dislike the way garden design has become so much about ‘stuff’ – outdoor kitchens, TVs, spas, pizza ovens, fires and pools – rather than the actual plants. Even in a small space, people have a tendency to over-design, leaving no room for the planting.
How do you set about your creative process?
The first thing is getting a good brief from a client within the parameters of the scale of their garden, their budget, what they want included. Scale is such an important part of any design. It’s also about good consulting, the dialogue we start right from the outset.
Who (or what) would you say are your greatest creative inspirations?
People who consider architecture and its relationship to the landscape, such as the late Roberto Burle Marx from Brazil, and Andrea Cochran, in San Francisco. Locally, Fiona Brockhoff, Myles Baldwin, Hugh Main, Marcia Hosking and Daniel Baffsky – all of whom place great emphasis on plants. I love horticulture.
What drew you to product design?
I’m not a product designer as such, but I worked with Belle magazine editor Eric Matthews as his garden and exterior design editor in the mid-2000s. Working on a piece about letterboxes, I could find nothing mass-produced that was well designed or well made, so I designed some prototypes, which were so successful that from them Robert Plumb was born. I’ve always been interested in creating better-looking external furniture that’s also fit for purpose, like our classic fire pit.
If money or time were no object, what kind of garden space would you like to create?
Something super-contemporary and minimalist, using recycled sandstone, timber and Corten rusted steel, planted with grasses.
And is there a particular product that you’d like to design or improve upon?
Air-conditioning shrouds have to be the ugliest things on the planet. I’d love to get together with an industrial designer and come up with something that’s not only practical but which looks good. I’ve spent my whole career trying to work around them.read less