Ross Hansen is a landscape and furniture designer. He received his Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University followed by an MFA in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Prior to establishing his own design practice in 2014, he was adjunct faculty at Woodbury University and worked at the offices of Hood Studio and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.
What are your favorite sources for design inspiration?
Landscapes. I was trained as a landscape designer. Even though I mostly make furniture now, I still love searching through landscape architecture text books, monographs, or writing to find new inspirations.
What designers/artists are on your radar right now?
Aldo van Eyck, Andrea Branzi, and Adolf Loos.
What are some of your favorite emerging design/art trends?
I feel like functionalists and democratic design have loosened their hold on design, which makes me simultaneously irritable and optimistic. Regardless, it has granted designers the ability to slip back and forth between categories and explore new materials, processes, and archetypes to create new interesting objects.
What is your personal approach to furniture making?
The sketch is an important part of my process — every project has extensive sketches to study scale, details, and connections.
How has your artistic style evolved?
In the past, once I was satisfied with the sketches, I would direct the design in other directions. Using standard design materials, I attempted to make “good design”, but I was always frustrated as the personality of the object was removed during the process. Over the last couple years, I have been studying certain materials and processes that are able to retain the line quality, textures, and other characteristics of the sketch throughout the process.
Which is your favorite piece in your portfolio and why?
My favorite is the speckled shelf, because it was the first piece where the materiality and form successfully came together.
What is your most valued possession as far as art/furniture?
My grandmother had an extensive collection of Bavarian cuckoo clocks and large ceramic cats. When I was a kid, I loved to visit her and was fascinated by both. They are irreplaceable, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few.