Kirstin Innes explores the philosophy behind a new design shop that wants to be more than just a retail outlet
‘Well, I think even just in order to keep our own interest intact, we needed to do something more than a retail outlet.’ Brian Proudfoot is talking me through the philosophy behind his new Glasgow venture GOODD, which he co-runs with fellow interior designer Thomas Russell. Although it sells a range of unusual design pieces from Scottish and international companies and artists, GOODD, nestled in among the tiny galleries and artists’ hangouts of the Trongate, isn’t quite a shop. Not in the conventional sense.
‘It’s a split level space,’ he says. ‘There’s a bit more of a shop feel upstairs, but we’re really calling the downstairs space a gallery, or showroom. And it is a gallery. We wanted to create a space where the public could come in and see pieces of design that they perhaps hadn’t encountered before.’
While both Scottish, Proudfoot and Russell had been working as interior designers in London, and the idea to open a showroom came about when Russell moved back to Glasgow.
‘When Tom got back to Glasgow, he realised that there was a real opportunity there to bring some of the designs we’d found, in London and internationally. As interior designers we’ve both got a huge interest in home products and furniture anyway, and after we spoke to various artists and designers about exhibiting here, we realised there was this great willingness to be involved. People were excited about Glasgow, about wanting to show here.’
The pieces they’re showing in the downstairs space are collectibles by fresh, contemporary designers. This month, they’re starting off with graffiti-scrawled ceramics by an artist called Jon Lawrence, screenprints by Aberdeen artist Ann Craig, one of the most exciting of the recent crop of Gray’s School of Art graduates, and what Proudfoot calls ‘extreme furniture’ by a New York designer who goes by the name of Designfenzider. Extreme furniture?
‘Yes! We’re excited by his stuff. It’s really unusual, and nobody else in Scotland is showing his work. We’re proud to be able to bring it over.’
There is still a commercial aspect to the business, obviously, but Russell and Proudfoot seem genuinely motivated by a desire to let people experience good design for themselves. They’ve also got plans to turn the shop into a meeting point and hold events there.
‘Yeah, we want to get people talking,’ says Proudfoot. ‘We want to showcase designers and manufacturers who we think people might be interested in, and get designers and architects to come in and talk to people. We’re trying to make it somewhere where people can participate a bit more than in a usual shop, interact with the objects. It’s not purely a retail enterprise, where people would just come in and purchase things.’ He laughs. ‘Although, you know, purchasing would be nice. We could cope with that.’
GOODD, 11 James Morrison Street, Glasgow, 0141 552 6777. www.good-d.com