Interview with New Zealand Design Brand Resident

It’s to be expected that a design brand born in New Zealand would land its first international distributor in its closest Antipodean cousin, Australia – but not so for the Auckland-based Resident.


Finding its feet in Europe in 2011, Resident only launched in Australia at last month’s Sydney InDesign fair, giving us our first taste of its clean, block-colour forms and industrious flat-packed furnishings. Vogue Living’s Dijana Kumurdian talks with Scott Bridgens, one half of the design and manufacturing firm, about why it’s taken them so long to turn their sights on their Pacific neighbour.

First launched at the London Design Festival in September 2011, Bridgens and his partner Simon James dreamed of turning their shared vision of an export-focused design brand into a reality. The duo’s complementary skills and experience – James as a furniture designer and Bridgens with his background in supply chain and logistics – have given rise to the brand’s signature streamlined design and clever approach to international distribution. Now stocked at Perth’s Table & Chair, Bridgens and James have great plans for the future of their up-and-coming brand.


Dijana Kumurdian: Why was it important for Resident to have a global focus and distribution hub in Europe?

Scott Bridgens: Having a global focus is the founding principal of our brand. Our aim is to make products that are world class and relevant everywhere. The distribution hub in London gives us a home away from home where we can serve the European market quickly. From a sales perspective we are trying to make it as easy as possible for people to acquire our products, wherever they might be.

VL: Why did you choose to incorporate flat packing into your design strategy?

SB: Because it is sensible. Flat-pack products are more economical, they travel easier and they are stored better. In this modern world where we live in cities with little space, flat-pack products bring the consumer more value.

VL: Why did it take so long for you to launch in Australia? What are you looking forward to about being active in the Australian market?

SB: It took two years, which, when looking at the big picture, is a short time. Australia is very important to us so we wanted to make sure that we made an informed decision. We are really looking forward to giving this market the care that it deserves. We are geographically close so we have an advantage in being able to deliver products economically with short lead times. We intend to work closely with architects and specifiers to provide them with fundamentally different, value-driven product options.


VL: We don’t hear enough about New Zealand design in Australia. How would you describe the design scene over there and how does it compare to Australia and the rest of the world?

SB: The New Zealand design scene is going from strength to strength. Auckland as a city is rising. There is a real microclimate of creativity, innovation and manufacturing here – the scene is well balanced with informed and dynamic leaders driving companies with bright, young designers who have access to many modern design tools and alternatives. This scene, I think, is quite widespread. Designers are becoming more empowered, and the internet is bridging the gap between making and selling.

VL: What can we expect from Resident in the future?

SB: Lots! We are building a dependable brand that people can trust. We intend to continue to be consistent and relevant with our new product offerings. We are also working very hard to build our global distribution network with partners that are as passionate about our products as we are.

Introduction: Reshma Prasad, Dijana Kumurdian
Interview: Dijana Kumurdian
Photography: Courtesy Resident



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: