Products by Colin Nourie
Colin Nourie brings a pragmatism to his work that is unsurprising. After all, he was born into a family of architects and engineers, and raised in the Midwestern part of the USA, where nature tends to teach the lessons of practicality.
Nourie has proven an eloquent student: “The goal for my designs is what I call the effortless efficiency of the natural world. I strive for designs where, as in nature, a thing has shed whatever’s unnecessary and evolved to the point of visual and functional efficiency.”
For Nourie, efficiency in design emerges when “every trait has a purpose and the design speaks.” To arrive at that point, Nourie begins by “identifying the quintessential elements of a design that will make it great.” These elements become the intention for the design, and while they certainly reflect the design brief, they also go much further. “It’s about the relationships people form with an object,” says Nourie, “the memories the object elicits for them. To bring something to life, the creative person must stick to their intentions.”
Nourie illustrates with a personal anecdote. “One of my earliest memories is sitting on the arm of a chair as my grandmother read me stories. It wasn’t until later that I learned the chair was an Eames Lounge Chair. Now, whenever I see one, I flashback to that experience and have positive associations.”
“I strive for designs where, as in nature, a thing has shed whatever’s unnecessary and evolved to the point of visual and functional efficiency.”
- Colin Nourie
Nourie’s upbringing gave him a fascination for creating, which led him to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from Ohio State University. He launched his own studio in 2002. “I knew I would never really reach my highest point of contribution as a designer until I fully committed and launched my own studio.”
Results followed—and continue to—in award-winning designs for consumer products, personal care packaging, and furniture. His studio, Collective Ten, regularly works with Herman Miller. Over his career, Nourie has also created furniture, products, and environments for Steelcase, Staples, Proctor & Gamble, and Abercrombie & Fitch.