With a design practice encompassing public art, jewellery, object design, the development of cross-cultural resources and other client-directed work, Rich employs design as a means to facilitate an experience, and enhance personal engagement and connection to each other and to place.
Rather than relying solely on the conventions of material choices and longevity of materials to create sustainability in her design, Rich reflects upon and questions our relationship to objects and the importance (or otherwise) they play in our lives. Interrogating everyday rituals in a process she describes as ‘slow-motion seeing’, Rich creates highly thoughtful objects that enrich, re-imagine and add meaning.
The Urban Billy consists of five glass components: two drinking glasses with timber sleeves; a white-spirit burner and water chamber with timber lids; and a windbreak that doubles as a stand for the water chamber when in use. Its pared-back simplicity belies the precision and accuracy of each unit. During prototyping, Rich worked closely with scientific glass blower Kent Carruthers to ensure that each component of the billy not only fitted within each other for the pack up, but also that its scale was suitable for its role — for example, the methylated spirits reservoir holds just the right amount of white spirit to boil water for the two cups provided. The mountain ash sleeves and lids are individually formed and turned by Oscar Prieckhaerts to match each glass component. The sleeves provide both insulation for the hand when drinking, and absorb movement when packed up.