One of Australia’s leading art and design brands, Dinosaur Designs, was founded by Stephen Ormandy and Louise Olsen in 1985. Known for their fusion of contemporary art and design, every piece is crafted by hand in their Australian studio. From homewares to jewellery, all with earthy, colourful and raw designs, Dinosaur Designs show their love for creating through the products we see and love today. Read on to find out more about the duo behind the brand and what inspires them to create.
How did Dinosaur Designs come about?
After meeting on the very first day of art school, Stephen Ormandy and Louise Olsen became best friends and later, partners. They started making clothing with their friend Liane Rossler, selling them at markets, as well as brass jewellery that Stephen had been making. After a while, an idea to sell hand-painted jewellery was born, which they started selling at markets. Funnily enough, their stall was next to artist, Geoffrey Rose, who suggested they start using resin.
What point of difference sets Dinosaur Designs apart from other brands doing a similar thing?
Stephen and Louise create based on both art and design, which has seen their versatility shine through with each piece.
Where does Dinosaur Designs draw inspiration from?
From jewellery to homewares, Stephen and Louise have drawn inspiration from tropical rainforests, coral clusters and polished river stones. Not only that, but they draw inspiration from the art world, where they reference painting and sculptures of the twentieth century.
How do they infuse art into their designs?
Stephen and Louise apply the same principles for Dinosaur Designs creations as they do in their art practice – just with a greater sense of freedom. They’ve always designed to an aesthetic rather than a market, tackling each project how they would tackle a painting or a drawing.
What is it like working with resin?
Dinosaur Designs describe resin as a “a wonderful viscous fluidity that allows us to cross the boundaries of sculpture and painting, so we can create pieces think of as visual poetry”. Their pieces are made entirely by hand, so they’re very tactile.
How important is it for them to create in their own studio?
The Dinosaur Designs studio is Stephen and Louise’s creative hub and being present through the production process is really important for them. They’ve always danced to the beat of their own drum and having their own studio allows them to continue to remain fiercely independent and create things on their own terms.
You can find Dinosaur Designs on the ground level of Wintergarden.