Answering Creativity’s Call
Drawn to artistic endeavors from a young age, Ford Bostwick set his sights on a creative lifestyle long before most. His eventual career was more of a calling than a choice, and that calling has served him well. This Brooklyn based designer is making a name for himself in the world of furniture and fabrication.
When did you know a creative career was in your future?
It was clear to me as a kid I would have a creative career. Growing up I spent all my free time building sculptures, costumes, catapults, street luge cars, furniture, tree houses and everything in between. I also had a deep passion for art, especially drawing. After high school I studied architecture and sculpture at Syracuse University, and since graduating, have continued to pursue art and design. Though my projects and processes have gotten more sophisticated, I still feel like a kid exploring whatever excites me creatively.
Tell us a little bit about your history with solid surface and how you became familiar with the material.
After graduating from architecture school I got a job at an unconventional architecture firm with a focus on fabrication called Situ Studio based in Brooklyn. At Situ we have completed a number of projects using solid surface including saunas, hospital interiors, furniture, and large scale fine art installations. After using the material for several years and becoming familiar with its thermoforming properties, I began to think of and develop new possibilities for solid surface furniture.
Of all the different “creative hats” that you’ve worn, which one fits the best?
How does a project start for you? Does creativity “strike”, or is it more of a deliberate process?
I think a creative spark comes when lots of subconscious thoughts snap together into a coherent idea. For me, most creative sparks happen after rigorously trying to understand a medium, whether it is solid surface, wood, graphite, or film. If you put enough energy into understanding the medium and how it connects to you, culture and history, eventually that energy will coalesce into an idea for a great project.
Any suggestions for designers or fabricators who are new to working with solid surface?
Who do you feel you have learned the most from, so far in your career?
My father is an architect and, from a young age, would take me to job sites to explore buildings under construction. It was really inspiring to see the guts and bones of buildings and all the thought and labor that goes into making them. Through these site visits, he taught me about construction and instilled in me a passion for architecture. We love visiting notable works of architecture and studying both the nitty gritty details and the deeper spiritual connection we have with them.
How does your view of solid surface differ when working with the material at an architectural scale vs. smaller, product design projects?
I get most excited about designs where form and structure are resolved with a single material. For furniture and small objects, solid surface is strong enough to create dynamic forms while supporting itself. On an architectural scale, solid surface can achieve vast, beautiful, seamless surfaces whether flat or curved, though an additional wood or metal armature is needed.
If you could design anything in solid surface, no budget or client to consider, what would it be?
I’d love to design the ultimate solid surface bathroom complete with a sauna and hot tub, where all surfaces blend into one another and integrate seamlessly.
We hear something exciting is coming up, can you tell us more about your most recent prototype?!
Thermoforming solid surface is a great way to make organic shapes for comfortable seating. I’m currently working on a chair in the same style of the stool I designed, and I hope to develop a chaise lounge chair out of solid surface as well.