A Moment With | Tim Ross
Comedian, writer and television presenter Tim Ross's life is rooted in his love of music, architecture and mid-century design. Over the years Tim has transitioned from radio presenter to becoming a spokesperson on all things design. Tim celebrates design through many mediums, from his 'Man About The House' talks to his new book 'The Rumpus Room and Other Stories from the Suburbs'. The new book is a selection of short stories from the suburbs, full of nostalgic tales of Australian suburbia in all its gritty and wonderfully real glory.
Hi Tim, tell me a little about your new book 'The Rumpus Room'? Whenever I go on holidays I always have a stack of books - I start reading and I get the itch to write again. I like writing punchy tight pieces so a book with pictures lent itself to this. The book in style is based around a bunch of old books from the mid 1970's I'd collected and I suppose the style is unclassifiable in some ways. I live in design world and I knew it would appeal to fellow design nerds. The words are nostalgic and most people are finding them funny.
I love the gritty, real feel of the imagery in ‘The Rumpus Room’, which is a refreshing change to the manipulated imagery we are exposed to today - what was the behind this design decision? They are darker than modern images in terms of tone and color. There are plenty of books with jaw dropping photos of houses but this isn't one of them. The beauty is in the ordinary and the roughness. The images are very considered and designed to engage with the reader, not only in a nostalgic way, but in a celebration of the ordinary.
When was your love for mid century design and architecture first ignited? As a kid I was surrounded by interesting houses in the suburbs and the best of them were mid-century. I have collected furniture from my early 20's and it has continued from there.
If you had to pick a favourite architect who would it be? So many, so hard but I'm going to say Hannah Tribe for the house that she will one day design for my wife Michelle and I - I haven't asked her yet... it's just a dream!
What do you love most about what you do? Freedom. I don't have a boss and I get to spend time with my kids.
What’s your most treasured item? My wedding ring. My friend Pol made it for me and it is a symbol of not only my marriage but also of our little family.
Where do you go for inspiration, is there ever any shortage? Books, travel, conversations, the interwebs. When I travel it sparks me to write in the same way conversations used to spark me to write jokes. If I've had something that has made me extremely happy in the last two years its that...
What has been your career highlight? Without doubt I am so proud of 'Streets Of Your Town'. It was a series I wanted to make for years and tried so hard to get up - making it was an absolute joy and an absolute privilege.
What are you most passionate about? Ideas and the pursuit of new experiences.
It can be making documentaries, music, creating live shows or exhibitions - I'm driven and passionate about making things happen that I find interesting. At least one of these things someone else has sort of liked.
What is your ultimate indulgence? These days I'm a broken dad who gives everything to his kids. My only indulgence is sneaking a beer while I wait for the Chinese takeaway!
What do you love to do most in your downtime? I really like Netflix and Stan. SVOD are mankinds greatest achievement.
What are you loving at the moment? The Last Waltz soundtrack, my homemade chili oil, building Lego with my boys, Dachshund my local coffee shop - I go every morning at 6.30 and it sets me up for the day. The boys who run it are terrific blokes.
+ Main image of Tim Ross - Photography by Kylie Speer.