Nick Newlands background is in mechanical design engineering. In 2018 he attended a designer-maker course at the Rowden Atelier school of fine furniture in North Devon. It was a year that set the wheels in motion and where the ideas and concepts of Hounddog Design began to emerge. In 2022 Nick moved to Brighton and is now based at Robinson House Studio in Newhaven where he continues to develop and produce his unique designs.
All products are generally made to order, giving opportunity to engage the client with any customisation requirement. I find it best that any initial design work is done with pencil and paper, but during development I quickly move on to 3D modelling software, which provides better aesthetic feedback and evaluation. Normally there are a number of prototype builds and a few hurdles to clear before any design is finalised. I work in shared workspace with other makers, so it's always good to get input and discuss ideas.
I try to minimise environmental impact by using sheet materials such as birch and poplar plywood. These species are both fast growing hardwoods, and are from managed sustainable sources. The veneers used to plywood are rotary cut, which also minimises waste. Because of the finished format, it is stronger, more stable and results is less wastage in each design. I some designed I also use high pressure laminate made from layers of craft paper and resin. There are efforts form the supplier to use low environmental impact processes in the their production, targeting net zero. I am in a shared workshop which minimise s energy usage. The lights I produce are designed to be shipped in close fitting cardboard tubes with recycled internal package, and avoiding plastics. I like to think that my designs are built to last, and are not part of the throw-away culture.
I currently have fairly modest ambitions, but would like to evolve a small sustainable company that has perhaps a more manageable focused portfolio, creating designs that are a step away from generic mass production. I would be open to work with other makers or companies, collectively and collaboratively, providing there is a common ethical basis. Eventually I would really like to include young people in any of the processes involved in the venture.