Henrietta Gothe-Ellis

2DESIGN | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Bachelor of Design, 2003, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.

Where did you head after graduating?
2DESIGN was founded the day after graduation. My signature piece and first major design project AURA was in its prototype stage, so I focused on getting funds together to put the work into production.

With a finished product range ready, I began exhibiting in late 2003. I won an Australian Design Award in 2004 and have continued to exhibit and work on design collaborations around the world.

When did you launch your own business?
In March 2003.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
I’m a Sydney based, multidisciplinary designer. My company 2DESIGN also deals with graphics, layout, advertising campaigns, corporate identity, marketing material, brochures and websites on a freelance basis. I am continually working on new ideas to add to the existing 2DESIGN product range.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
My signature piece AURA is a seamless fusion of furniture, lighting and sculpture. Inspired by the nautilus shell, AURA combines a seemingly natural, organic form with modular practicality and ergonomic design that allows for unlimited seating configurations.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
Maintaining belief in your product during slow sales periods. Being based in Australia, coping with a relatively small market and dealing with rising freight and shipping costs. Balancing ethical concerns with productivity, sustainability and environmental impacts in all aspects of the design process.

What are the next steps for you?
I hope to see AURA sales increase through continuing to market the product, participating at key design exhibitions and by expanding the existing 2DESIGN range. I am planning to add a children’s version, AURA MINI, and am considering seeking investors to fund this next project. I also plan to develop an illuminated table that compliments the AURA range and hope to have a prototype ready in two to three years.

Published 15 July 2008.

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