It’s time for another designer spotlight! And this time around, I wanted to shine the light on a furniture designer who’s passionate about the environment and materiality. His name is Brodie Neill.
I came across Brodie while listening to The Design Dialogues podcast recently. And I was instantly taken with his philosophy on design. When I did a quick his work, I was immediately convinced that he deserved a designer spotlight post. So that quick Google turned into an hour-long dive.
Brodie Neill’s work is hyper-modern, sculptural, and completely breathtaking. If you’re into furniture design, you definitely want to keep reading.
Who is Brodie Neill?
Neill Brodie is a Tasmanian-born furniture designer who has been working out of London for the past decade or so. He grew up with a complete love of design. He even built furniture in his parent’s shed from the age of 13.
Throughout his childhood and his education in design school, he fell in love with materiality and novelty. He was constantly looking for ways to create something new – he says that to this day he doesn’t like to make the same thing twice – through a combination of new techniques, materials, and technology.
He was also highly motivated to make a name for himself in design because of the global nature of the industry. This discipline could take him around the world to learn from and be inspired by new cultures, and collaborate with the global community to drive innovation. So it only makes sense that he would move across the world to London to start his brand.
This brand, Made In Ratio, was founded in 2013 – all designed and produced in-house.
Brodie Neill’s design philosophy
Mix together the fact that Brodie always had a interest in form, material, and process with his sense of responsibility to the planet, and you get the perfect foundation for some of the most unique furniture pieces on the market.
In most of his work, materials are salvaged, repurposed, or in other ways eco-friendly. He creates a sense of circularity in his work that fights against the waste that occurs in the furniture and textile industries. And the world in general, really.
The challenge of taking something that is discarded or deemed unusable is one that motivates Brodie Neill in his career. Turning trash and waste into art is the driving force behind his work.
Some of his most popular projects
Aside from being sustainable and waste-conscious, Brodie Neill’s work is visually incredible. Everything has a very free-flowing and almost infinite appearance to it. Which is right on the nose, because he technically is making the materials infinite.
Every single piece is unique, but you can still see his style in each one. A Brodie Neill piece is one that’s extremely modern, but maintains character and warmth.
I would highly recommend heading either to his website or Made In Ratio‘s website to check out his full body of work. But I wanted to highlight some of the pieces that he is most well known for. These pieces are truly what helped him carve out his lane in the furniture design world.
The Remix chair
One look at this chair and you understand why it made such big waves in the furniture industry. The smooth, rolling look of the chair is both calming and intriguing to look at.
But perhaps even more novel about the chair is what it’s made of. All the materials for this chair were salvaged from building sites. And it’s not just timber. Brodie Neill combines all types of materials you may find laying around on a building site, including plastics.
The unusual blending of materials is what gives this chair such a distinct layered look.
The Gyro table
This table was designed as part of a collection for the Australian pavilion, curated by the National Gallery of Victoria.
While it may look like its design may simply be inspired by space and galaxies, the roots of this table reveal something much more interesting.
One day, while walking on a remote beach in Tasmania, Brodie noticed all the trash washing up on shore. If there was so much trash in this isolated area, he got to thinking, imagine how much there would be in more densely populated areas. He felt compelled to make a statement about this and do his part to contribute to the solution in a small way, in the best way he knew how – through design.
So then the Gyro table was born. He sourced half a million pieces of micro-plastics from the ocean as the material. And typically, when micro-plastics are used in production, there’s a tedious and expensive process of sorting. But with his construction techniques, they remained unsorted, giving the tabletop a terrazzo-like appearance.
Although those half a million pieces of plastic are just a drop in the bucket of the total amount out there, he hopes to provide the inspiration for other designers to consider how to makes their products more circular in nature.
The Recoil table
The rocoil table is another study in how to make use of material deemed unusable.
In the 1980’s, a forest in Brodie’s native Tasmania was flooded, claiming countless trees. Thanks to Hydrowood, a company that harvests wood from underwater, this wood was given a new life.
Brodie Neill used 1.8 miles of veneer from these flooded trees to make the recoil table. Similar to both the Remix chair and the Gyro table, this piece has a un-uniform texture and look to it. This is due to the mix of several different types of salvaged wood, including various pines, oak, eucalyptus, blackwood, sassafras, and myrtle.
Where can you find Brodie Neill?
If you’re intrigued by his work – you probably are – and want to keep up with Brodie Neill, you can find him on the channels below:
- Brodie Neill’s website
- Made In Ratio Collection website
- @brodieneill on Instagram
- Check out his 2022 Sotheby’s exhibition
- Listen to his episode on The Design Dialogues
Want to read more about some incredible designers across disciplines? Check out the posts below
Dani Dazey: Interior + textile designer
Curriegoat: Graphic designer + fiber artist
Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based blogger and interior designer. I’m passionate about fun, adaptive, and affordable design that is filled with personality. And I’m a huge believer in a good DIY. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find the inspiration you’re looking for – and maybe a little extra 😉
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