MEET LANCE McGREGOR
With a career spanning almost twenty years—as well as three continents—Lance McGregor had worked with design luminaries Tom Dixon, Matthew Hilton and Fabien Baron before setting up his own studio, McGregor & McGregor in 2009.
Born in New Zealand
Owns his eponymous studio
"I’m surrounded by trees and nature which really helps my design process. My studio is part of my home and there’s a lot of flow between the two spaces. My kids are always in there drawing and creating things."
Born in the seaside city of Tauranga, New Zealand and now based in the pretty suburban town of Montclair, New Jersey, nature has had a huge influence on McGregor’s work from day one. Combining materials like glass, metal, stone and marble, McGregor creates textural yet minimal pieces that are always imbued with a sense of whimsy. A self-described jack-of-all-trades, McGregor’s designs include everything from furniture to fragrance bottles.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in everything, especially nature and natural materials like stone and marble. But it could be anything—a little detail in the street, a sketch that my kids have done or a passage in a book. I find that I’m kind of a sponge. I take it all in, and then it just comes out on the page when I’m sketching.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My aesthetic changes constantly—I never really think about it; it just happens when the pen hits the paper. I’d describe it as sculptural, minimal, and abstract in a way. There always has to be an element of fun; something whimsical to set it apart from everything else that is out there.
Can you tell us more about your studio and your work environment?
My studio used to be in New York City but I’m now based in a suburb called Montclair in New Jersey, about thirty minutes away from Manhattan. Although it is very creative being in the city, there’s a lot of noise. Its nice to be able to go into New York two or three times a week and then come back here and have the solitude I need to really focus. I’m surrounded by trees and nature which really helps my design process. My studio is part of my home and there’s a lot of flow between the two spaces. My kids are always in there drawing and creating things.
What did you design for OTHR?
With OTHR there’s no brief, which is great but I was a little stuck at first! Then one day, I was at the beach with my kids and we were blowing bubbles. These bubble wands are usually just cheap plastic objects, but the activity of blowing bubbles is so cool and beautiful that I thought, “Why not make this into a luxe item for adults?” The bowl is ceramic and the wand is solid gold—it’s pretty wild!
How do you think 3D printing is changing the design industry?
Well OTHR’s philosophy is zero waste—everything is limited edition and 3D printing allows them to work that way. As far as people having 3D printers at home, I think that will make beautiful design available to the masses. There shouldn’t really be any bad design when there are so many great designers out there. With the bubble wand for example, I see home users downloading the model and then printing off thirty of them in plastic for a birthday party.
How did you come to collaborate with OTHR?
I was introduced to the team at OTHR through a friend and I told them I would love to design something for them. They are pioneering something in the industry and its really cool to be a part of that. It’s really humbling to be selected to design something amongst the other designers that OTHR work with and I think the OTHR aesthetic works well with my own. It’s simple, honest design. There’s no bells and whistles, there’s no noise and clutter. It’s just pure design.