Dowel Jones: Our Favorite Australian Design Duo

The furniture market is so saturated with knock off furniture. Only Good Things is proud to partner with designers to ensure that our products are fresh creations. One of those spectacular designers is the Australian design team Dowel Jones, creators of the Half Hurdle, Hurdle, Full Hurdle, and Sir Burly.

Grand Rapids Chair, our sister company, partnered with Dowel Jones for the first time in 2018. “This young company has a talent for stripping everyday products down to their basics, which is what originally caught our eye,” said Grand Rapids Chair president, Geoff Miller, when they first began producing the Hurdle collection. “Their economically-minded approach to production and commitment to quality construction and design aligns perfectly with our approach to product development.”

Dowel Jones’ story, of course, begins a bit earlier than that, in 2013. Adam Lynch and Dale Hardiman found each other at their university. Once they graduated, they teamed up to form Dowel Jones, now an internationally recognized brand. The name comes from their very first product which was called Mr. Dowel Jones. It was a lamp made of simple dowels and rubber components that the user could assemble themselves from a kit.

Their furniture, lighting fixtures, and accessories can be found in interiors all over the world. On top of designing for homes and restaurants, they also have worked on more conceptual designs for galleries like this bench called “Never Grow Up” which is sure to bring out your inner child who liked to scratch things into their desk at school.

That childlike quality brings so much fun and personality to their work. Pieces like Sir Burly aren’t just seats, they’re full characters. Featuring soft edges, exaggerated steel legs, and an overall adorable look, Sir Burly was imagined as furniture for a playground.

Other designs like the Hurdle collection also feature those soft bent curves, like the parabolic leap of a track athlete over a hurdle. The frames of these seats are brought to life by their connections to human motion. Dowel Jones teaches us that design can be playful and artful. Even when you’re an adult buying furniture, you don’t have to give up all your youthful whimsy to make a stylish space.

While the designs come from down under, we build all the chairs and stools in our factory in the United States. The Australian design scene is a vibrant one, and we were delighted to have the chance to bring the work of Dowel Jones to a North American audience. If you’d like to read more about what goes into our products, check out this article about commercial grade furniture.