Founded by sculptor, designer, and creative director Gaurav Nanda in 2010, Bend Goods bridges the gap between beauty and function, creating innovative, intricately designed furniture pieces and accessories through the artful twisting, bending, and sculpting of wire. The son of creative and entrepreneurial parents, Gaurav grew up trying his hand at a variety of art forms before landing on pottery. His love of clay and sculpture continued on throughout his school years, and eventually led him to a position with General Motors as an automotive sculptor. Torn between pursuing his design dreams and going corporate, Gaurav took a leap of faith and followed his passion for design. He eventually discovered that furniture was the creative avenue he’d been looking for – the ultimate form of functional art. Guided by his sculpting background and newfound technical experience, he saw wire as a material rife with creative possibilities. Today, the LA-based brand has shaped the wire furniture industry with their colorful, architecturally-inspired pieces that change the way we live with furniture. To learn more about Bend Goods, we caught up with Gaurav and asked him a few questions!
What led you to explore wire as a medium?
As a kid. I remember playing with wire, like making these crazy little stick figures out of wire. And I just realized at that time, oh, this is a cool material to make things out of because you could make it really fast and make some really cool shapes. I think that was kind of the starting point when I was a kid, just playing with the material.
Tell us about your biggest design influences.
I really love architecture like John Lautner or Le Corbusier. I mean, those are really cool modernistic architects who I think really had some sort of lasting influence on me. When I saw [their work], I was like, “I wanna do things, I wanna make things, I wanna make cool things like that.” I think that was really kind of a starting point. Furniture obviously was another influence – Eames, Platner – these people were like very revolutionary in what they were doing back in the day.
What makes your creative/production process different from more traditional furniture design methods?
I think what makes Bend Goods’ approach different from other furniture design companies is we don’t really do any market research. We just kind of do things that we like, create things that we’re inspired by, that we want in our homes and enjoy having around. We might be inspired by something, and then we’re like, “how does this relate to us?” And like, “how can we take that movement and make it something new and fresh?” And that really resonates with us.
Bend Goods has bent wire into a variety of forms – from wall sculptures to your intricate tables & chairs. Which forms were the most challenging to create?
Chairs are always the most challenging to make, to build, to construct because you’re having different body types sitting in these chairs and so you wanna make it comfortable, you wanna make it structurally sound so people will be supported in the chair. And then, these are also functional pieces that people like being around, move around all the time. So they gotta be strong enough to support people and the environment that they’re in. Having the indoor and outdoor element of it is also very challenging because of the elements – being near the ocean is completely different than it is being like in an indoor environment, or even like in an outdoor environment in like the middle of the United States – the elements in each environment are different.
Tell us about your favorite piece in your line and why it’s special to you.
My favorite piece in the line is probably the Lucy chair because that’s the chair that started it all for us. We designed this iconic chair that you can see everywhere nowadays – people are using it in restaurants and in their homes, so I think that really resonates with me. Also like the Hot Seat ($780) just because it’s a really cool shape of a lounge chair, and I think that’s really cool. I think we’re also making some really cool things for next year and we’re really excited about those pieces too.
Can you tell us more about those?
Well, those pieces are not really thinner wire. We’re using a much chunkier wire, a much chunkier tube actually for those pieces. So, we’ll see how that turns out!