“For us the process is just as important as the finished product,” says Tim Simpson. Born in 1982, he comes from Swindon in South West England. Sarah van Gameren (b. 1981) is from Utrecht in the Netherlands. They met in 2005 while studying product design at the Royal College of Art. Simpson’s student projects included a set of coin-operated telescopes intended to reinvent cityscapes. Van Gameren, meanwhile, worked on The Big Dipper, her graduation piece. It was a machine that made chandelier candles by dipping wicks into vats of molten wax. As much a performance as a product, The Big Dipper played out the life cycle of Van Gameren’s chandeliers, from the moment of the product’s conception to its melting and fading away.
“We found we had a lot in common,” Tim Simpson says. “We both wanted to explore issues of mass production, consumption and accidental aesthetics.” This interest led to a personal and creative relationship. In 2008 they formed their Studio. (Glithero is the maiden name of Tim Simpson’s mother).
They also wrote a manifesto. “Miracle Machines and the Lost Industries” is about man’s relationship with the machine. The booklet aims to stimulate, critique and add depth to design. “The more we know about manufacturing methods, the less we will be at the mercy of those industrial concerns whose only motive is profit,” says the book. “When it is understood and rationalized, an object becomes more tangible and rewarding to us. And if we are able to relate a deeper emotional attachment to it, we will value it more.”