I enjoy working with compositions through form and function, which can lead to more dynamic results.
In an interview by local designer Angela Adams, conducted for her blog, Associate Professor of Woodworking & Furniture Design Matt Hutton describes himself as “absolutely a woodworker. I enjoy the process of thinking steps ahead of myself and working on a planned project. Working intuitively is not something that I do well. I enjoy the challenges of woodworking and furniture design – working on a human scale, dealing with a material that is rigid, but moves with the seasons and creating objects that are hinged on utility, which is something that is very hard to fake. It either works or it doesn’t. I often avoid symmetry. Furniture is inherently symmetrical, as we are. That can be predictable sometimes. I enjoy working with compositions through form and function, which can lead to more dynamic results. I enjoy the quiet and small moments in design; the ones that are often overlooked.”
This aesthetic is reflected in his work, created at Studio 24b, his home studio, which he shares with his wife and was humorously named because it is as large as his family home, purchased in 2004, with the street number 24. He and his wife Erin Hutton ’96 designed and constructed the space themselves. Matt was born and raised in rural Indiana. The landscape there continues to influence his work, as he uses the grain silos, billboards, barns and telephone poles as a visual lexicon, from which he can pull vocabulary for his wooden forms. His work also contains echoes of nostalgia and transformation, two other powerful Midwestern themes.
Matt has been instrumental in establishing, designing and helping to build the nationally recognized Woodworking & Furniture Design program at MECA. He also serves on the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts board of trustees.