Charles Wilson naturally embodies the art of living ethos - from his design collaborations with King Living, to how he unwinds and relaxes to recharge. The award-winning designer’s approach to living more authentically involves simplifying and reclaiming time for what matters most. He believes the cultivation of material objects in our home should take into consideration how it will enhance our lives and its ability to transcend through time. His two indoor collections for King – the Zaza sofa and Luna chair - are truly reflective of this philosophy, with both designs inspired by botanical forms and crafted from engineered steel frames.
The Luna Chair.
What inspired your outdoor collections?
Charles Wilson: The Luna chair began as an outdoor proposal, clearly there are organic elements to the design that relates to plant-like forms, particularly in the branching of the legs into the under-structure of the seat. The intention was to create a flowing design that relates to nature.
Would you say nature inspires your work?
CW: Sometimes, though not always. The Solifiore lights are a good example as they were inspired by botanical forms. Also, the Luna chairs as I mentioned before. We are currently developing dining chairs and stools that are a continuation of the same design motifs of bent wire and expanded mesh – much like the Luna. It’s very exciting to see those about to hit the market.
The Zaza Sofa.
How does your day to day living connect from indoors to the outdoors?
CW: It depends whether I’m in the city or back at the farm. At the farm, I’m continually distracted by the outdoors as there’s always so much that needs to be done. We’re blessed to be living in Australia with a beautiful, Mediterranean climate, especially in central New South Wales. Sydney apartment living could hardly be more different, though I’m lucky to have a balcony. I have outdoor Luna chairs there which are great for relaxing.
What does living authentically mean to you?
CW: Authentic living involves considering what you really need in life and what you need to purchase and how it’s going to enhance your life and last the distance. We need to consider products that might be with us for many years, if not decades rather than throwing it out in a year or two. This is the sort of things we’re endeavouring to achieve in all the furniture we develop at King.
Would you say you’ll be a designer for the rest of your life?
CW: I’ve never met a designer that looks forward to retirement. In fact, you might look at it with dread. Most people who make a living creating original work, kind of live for it.
The Luna chair.
What do you do to recharge yourself and keep your creativity going?
CW: I play the piano when I have time and I love gardening which I do a lot when at the farm. I also love to cook. Since the easing of lock-down, I’ve done quite a bit of entertaining at home.
What does the Art of Living mean to you?
CW: For me, my art of living is more like fumbling about hoping for an occasional success. And enjoying the distractions along the way. People so often talk this year about slowing down but to be honest, I’ve never worked endlessly to the detriment of enjoying life. It’s a fairly slow and leisurely process that gets me through.