Hayden Youlley


Hayden Youlley believes that good design is about realising function with aesthetic integrity without unnecessary complications. He thinks the products and systems we interact with everyday should enable us, instead of frustrate us, and he hopes to instil that in each of his objects.

For Hayden, the process of designing, prototyping and producing ceramics, both sculptural and functional, involves the right mix of instant satisfaction, challenge, surprise, problem solving and beauty to keep him interested in exploring all its possibilities.

Hayden Youlley studied a Bachelor of Design at COFA (UNSW Art & Design), which gave him the opportunity to experiment with various design disciplines and introduced him to ceramics.

Hayden Youlley's Paper Series can be found in store at Object Shop.  "This work is about using porcelain to create a surprising tactile experience. The simple, random distribution of creases in the porcelain surface of the objects creates complex patterns of light, shade and texture that disrupt the smooth surface to mimic crushed paper and invite investigation and touch. The Paper series is a functional dinnerware series that uses a simple creased paper form. I cast this form by hand in porcelain, transforming the often-discarded flawed object, fragile and temporary, into something robust and permanent."


Images: Hayden Youlley, Paper Series, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist; Hayden Youlley, Portrait. Photo: Joshua Morris


What is your 'origin story'?! Where did it all start?
I’ve always been passionate about design and craftsmanship, but I didn’t find ceramics until I enrolled in a Bachelor of Design at the College Of Fine Art (COFA) at the University of New South Wales. Things really clicked for me as a designer when I found ceramics during my second year. I felt that in ceramics I had found a creative outlet that allowed me to express myself fully. Ceramics as a medium gave me the freedom to create in the moment and the ability to explore whole ideas from start to finish. The endless possibilities malleable clay offered to explore my ideas about surface, scale and volume really sparked my interest. Once I started working with clay, I realised that it appealed not only to my fascination with materials and process but also to my sense of independence as a designer. It’s the only medium I have worked with that I can use to make a product by doing each step in the process myself - from designing and prototyping to realising and manufacturing.

Tell us about your dream project ambitions? 
My dream project would include collaborating with some of my closest and most talented design friends to create large scale lighting designs and installations.

What is your favourite spot in Sydney and why?
Bronte and Tamarama – my two favourite beaches in Sydney, and where I learnt to surf. Those beaches are a beautiful place to be and although they are crowded city beaches I have always felt relaxed and comfortable there.