Social Togetherness: Sir Kenneth Grange in Conversation

On June 4, 2020 · 0 Comments

Portrait by Andy Sewell

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers from all over the world. Today we are talking with Sir Kenneth Grange.

Where’s home for you? 

Smart answer is ‘wherever the heart is’…more prosaically; both Devon and London for very different reasons have been happy homes – apart from the loved one who comes with me – I have a workshop in both…

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Waking up with as few aches and pains as the aged corpus allows.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage?

Attending the to-do 20-30-year-old pile of problems – physical easements, for the host of things to be improved. 

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

No. I had always a fond hope that when I’d less on the plate I’d go back to playing the trombone – I had some good memories as a boy bandsman in the Sally Army. And a weakness for dancing – I spent hours weekly at the Palais de dance – Hammersmith, showing off. But there’s no denying the realities of old bones…..

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

I do suspect that the ancient practice of working from home will be more common. So, it might make whatever intercourse we had daily at work more valuable when it happens. And, tho’ momentous, it might enforce a longer life from what we have. I really do think that clothes worn only for a day are immoral. They might also dump the monstrous ‘How to spend it….

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

Whatever my next project demands. With Anglepoise I’m very optimistic and I’m very keen on attacking waste – effort as much as stuff. So better storage – with less effort: In this house in the 70’s I made all the lower kit cabs. pull out so that you can see and access stuff at the bottom back. Now with a remake we only have drawers. Again you/we can get at stuff…..

And a slipper regime should be mandatory if you install quality flooring. To install something knowing that you are going to FIU seems both wasteful and disrespectful….The cathedral builders knew a thing or two about designing for use….

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting? 

One valuable consequence of hitting my to-do pile was exhuming a beautifully made and handsome top end record deck. A Transcriptor. Anyone who knows Hi-Fi will identify with it. And I’ve just set it up after years, so sound quality is a revelation after the crap that comes with all TV now – my favourite hate; TV sound quality! A good example of one step forward and – at least – one back. Others; mobile vs landline – the sound quality and constancy are pathetic.

Any music or podcasts you would recommend? 

Yesterday I enjoyed the MJQ and Quincy Jones and Stan Getz – what talents, unimproved by studio technicians – just sheer skills….And I’ve 2 meters of LP’s to go thru’

Another – really good thing! Is the ‘Live from the Met’ – A truly democratizing intro. to thousands who will never ever wish they’d been able to afford £200 a seat at the Opera – but will be astonished to discover real Musicals…..at their local ‘pictures’.

Many thanks to Sir Kenneth Grange for taking time out to talk to us as part of our Social Togetherness series.

 

Social Togetherness: Suzy Hoodless in Conversation

On May 28, 2020 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to Interior Designer, Suzy Hoodless.

Where’s home for you?

Ladbroke Grove.

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Sitting around our 10-seater Another Country table. It’s now a desk for us to work and our 3 children to home school. It’s chaotic and challenging but very special at the same time. We have been enjoying ordering food from local artisans and cooking madly. Maths lessons turned in to home economics lesson this morning with Teriyaki mackerel for lunch.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

Every weekend we tour a different country. Last week we had Spanish day, we made paella, painted the Spanish flag (a mistake as the emblem is very intricate) watched Flamenco dancing and listened to Spanish music.

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

I have taken up embroidery with my eldest daughter.

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

To slow down, be more present and more mindful. To go back to basics, buy local, travel less.

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

We have just finished an apartment in Mayfair we have worked on with Thomas Croft architects. We have worked on it for over two years, it’s highly bespoke with collector level Scandinavian furniture.

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting?

I want a daybed for the garden to seat two.

Any music or podcasts you would recommend?

I am enjoying How to Fail podcast.

A big thank you to Suzy for taking the time to speak to us.

Social Togetherness: Katherine Hoeger in Conversation

On May 23, 2020 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to Katherine Hoeger of Nine United.

Where’s home for you?

The answer to that question should be perfectly straight forward but is a little complicated for me to answer at the moment. I have been moving around with work focusing on different markets, but ultimately I feel at home where my family & friends and my work & colleagues are, which is predominantly in London, Berlin and Hamburg. 

During the lockdown period, I am in Berlin, working from our dining table here with a perfect view of the Wrongshop print by Ronan Bouroullec, that I first saw at the twentytwentyone launch in River Street a few years ago, and am really enjoying every day at the moment.

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

After a few weeks in quarantine in our flat, the highlight of the day is a lovely walk along the river with my husband at the end of the day. To have those longer days of sunshine is a treat every year in Spring, but feels extremely special right now. Admittedly a glass of wine afterwards on the doorstep has become a much-valued ritual as well.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

I’ve always enjoyed putting together fresh flowers for our flat, but admittedly I am indulging in that a lot more than usual at the moment. Both because I get to enjoy them much more, but also to support a flower shop run by a great Japanese and Dutch duo in the neighbourhood, who have just reopened and are inspiring me to go increasingly overboard with arrangements considering they’re in a domestic setting without guests.

I’ve started to draw some of the flowers, which is quite therapeutic and makes you appreciate them even more. It’ll probably end up a small series of sketches and drawings of those lockdown blooms. 

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

I’d say it’s mainly the drawing although I am definitely in need of a little more practice (and patience) to get back into it properly and be satisfied with the outcome.

I don’t think it quite counts as a new skill or hobby just yet, but I’ve gone rowing a couple of times and discovered it as a great form of exercise in times of social distancing. 

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

Though I miss seeing a lot of people and places, it has also had positives to stay in one place for a little while. It’s good for focus and concentration and inspiring in a different way than the usual fast-pace. There is also a lot of community spirit and thoughtful acts of kindness among neighbours, and a greater appreciation for things that might have been taken for granted before. As for the world at large, in our company culture where we embrace working across different countries and cultures, we say ‘when meeting remoteness with closeness, we can truly become one world’ -that feels very relevant at the moment and perhaps working through a crisis can bring people together and give the necessary perspective.

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

There are a number of new projects brewing in Nine United at the moment. With &Tradition we are looking forward to bringing new products to market through digital launches and hopefully also presenting them in exhibitions at our showrooms in autumn.

We’re also looking at creating a new collection and brand with a focus on the needs we have seen emerging across the market in Europe and which may become even more relevant.  

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting? 

I’m not a 100% set on one item specifically, but the next piece of furniture or lighting, I’d be looking for has a long-lasting quality, great colour  – and perhaps some humour or a joyful expression to put a smile on people’s faces.

Please send us a photo from home of something you find inspiring. 

It’s the view from the dining table where I work from across into the living room which I find both relaxing and inspiring thanks to the creative people and good experiences the furniture and lighting reminds me of. 

Many thanks to Katherine for taking the time to talk to us as part of our Social Togetherness series.

 

Social Togetherness: Hugo Passos in Conversation

On May 21, 2020 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to the designer Hugo Passos.

Where’s home for you? 

At the moment I am in Setúbal looking after my grandfather but otherwise, I live in Porto. 

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

When it’s sunny I spend a couple of hours on the balcony sketching and listening to music. 

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

Not really but I have been patiently trying to reconstruct a broken bowl.

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

I don’t believe it will happen immediately at large but it has already made some of us realise who and what truly stimulates our lives. 

Environmentally it is visible what these past months have contributed to a better quality of air and water. 

We should consider and re-think the resources we use, how abusive some of these are and the impact they make every day. 

I hope people understand that the longevity and quality of the things we produce can really make a difference. 

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

If everything goes as planned we will show some updates we’ve been working on with Fredericia furniture in September at 3Days of Design in Copenhagen.

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting? 

Following my new rituals, perhaps a nice folding chair that I can use indoors but also take outside when it’s sunny. 

Any music or podcasts you would recommend? 

My friend, and mighty DJ, Pedro Tenreiro has been recording a quarantine mix per day – he’s on number 37! Listen to Pedro’s quarantine mixes here.

Many thanks to Hugo for taking the time to speak to us and share his thoughts. Join us on Saturday for the next interview in our Social Togetherness series.

 

Social Togetherness: Alex Mowat in Conversation

On May 16, 2020 · 0 Comments

Today we’re talking to architect Alex Mowat as part of our Social Togetherness series.

Where is home for you?

Camberwell, South London. A timber house that was built in 1970, the year I was born. I think of it as my “architectural twin”.

What are the highlights of your home working day?

Everyone in our architect’s practice joins a 9 am “sign-in” and 6 pm “sign-out” video call every day. We swop experiences about eggs, baby blankets, Eccles cakes and good songs. These small things and the routine are keeping us going.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal place?

Whist trying to keep a regular routine, I have found the time to help the charity, Woodland Heritage. We are re-designing the sawmill at Whitney-on-wye in Herefordshire. We want to be able to increase our capacity for milling timber from Britain’s great estates for beams, boats, furniture and door handles. The mill will also extend its base for training, learning and sharing.

Are you learning a new skill?

The super-fast spread of the corona virus shows us how easy it is to spread animal and plant disease un-naturally across the world. Many people are rightly reconnecting with food and farming. For the furniture, design and construction industry it will mean a bigger focus on local materials.  With my morning coffee in a beautiful Standard Ware Mug by Leach Pottery I am reading my collection of old books on indigenous timber, learning each tree’s Latin name and their traditional uses and qualities. (Full Disclosure: not huge success on the Latin so far).

What positive change might come from Covid-19?

We might learn to value our parents and elders more in society. Their wisdom, stories and experience are the relay race baton they pass on. They tell us how to run the race when it gets hard. I am lucky to have generous and fun parents as well as many wise industry contacts and mentors in design, construction and forestry.

Interesting projects for later this year?

We are currently working on a social housing building and 12 individual homes for rent, both starting construction when the lockdown is eased. A new infill office building in the small lanes near Covent Garden, the “up-cycling” of an old institutional building in South London and a new way of using a collection of old barns in North London.

What would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting?

Newness is not always something I strive for but my wish starts with:

Something grown locally, something made locally, something that will get better with age, something beautiful and strokable.

Something made by one of our great manufacturers like Ercol, Very Good and Proper, Benchmark, Gaze Burvill, Young and Norgate, Another Country or Sebastian Cox……….

Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to talk to us. Join us next week for the next instalment of Social Togetherness.

 

And the winners are…

On May 15, 2020 · 0 Comments

Our eminent panel of judges have selected the five winners of the Draw A Classic Chair Competition, each to be awarded a £100 Gift Voucher. Many congratulations to:

Meg Fatharly, Oskar Lillo, Mark Whitfield, Audrey Rapier and Chris Soper.

Meg Fatharly – Kettle’s Yard

Oskar Lillo – Enzo Mari

Mark Whitfield – P5 Chair in 5 seconds

Chris Soper – Abandoned, kicked, broken, last resort. A chair for every occasion.

Each was selected for a different reason, from the energy it may have captured to the emotion it embodied, the care and skill taken in the execution setting the drawings apart. Our project also demonstrated the enduring qualities of classic designs and that design longevity is cherished.

We would like to thank everyone who entered and contributed to our Lockdown project. We were thoroughly impressed with the variety and calibre of illustrations that were submitted. We received over 200 entries which can be seen on our Instagram highlights.

Further thanks to the judges for their time and acumen.

 

 

Social Togetherness: Erica Toogood in Conversation

On May 14, 2020 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to Erica Toogood co-founder of the clothing label, TOOGOOD.

Where’s home for you?

Victoria Park, East London

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Being around my family. My husband and I met at Toogood – our relationship was built on working together – so it’s incredibly natural to be around each other. Where some couples may feel suffocated, we feel the most creative when in each other’s presence. Also in order to look after our 2-year-old, we take the day in shifts – so hearing my son happily eating in the next room chatting away to his dad is probably the best feeling ever.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

I’m trying to read more, think more and generally be more focused. I’m also trying to see the days and weeks in a different light – timings/schedule/moments of creativity – as much as we need a routine to get through our work – this all-encasing environment where work, family, life is in one pot I think will produce some very different thinking on the other side of COVID-19.

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

Not a chance with a 2-year-old!  (although my den building skills have got to an advanced stage)

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

Like most, I will certainly embrace this moment – it has forced us to have less, consider more calmness, a reduced approach and a more intimate one. Constraints often provide the most creative moments.

Any books, music or podcasts you would recommend? 

I’m currently reading J.B Blunk by Blunk Books / Mariah Nielson – a truly beautiful comprehensive publication dedicated to her father’s work (1962-2002) –  wood, stone, clay, painting, jewellery – Blunk embodied the true meaning of Gesamtkunstwerk.

Also waiting for my next edition of Cloakroom Magazine and Plant Magazine to come through the post… 

Many thanks to Erica for taking the time to talk to us. You can find Erica on Instagram as well as staying up-to-date with the House of Toogood.

 

Social Togetherness: Albert Hill in Conversation

On May 2, 2020 · 0 Comments

Social Togetherness – twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to Albert Hill, co-founder of The Modern House.

Where’s home for you? 

Home for me is in Farnham, Surrey. On a quiet suburban street. 

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Taking breaks to kick a ball around, jump on the trampoline or play table tennis with my two sons. And watching the blossom come out on our apple tree.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

The occasional bit of baking (not always successful) and lots of experimental smoothies and juice making!

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

One of my sons has been teaching himself the ukulele which has prompted me to pick up the acoustic guitar again.

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

I am really enjoying spending this time with my family in the sunshine without being torn away by school and work. It’s definitely brought me, my wife, two sons (and dog!) closer together. I have also been overwhelmed by the positivity and commitment of our team at TMH in these challenging times. It’s only reinforced what I already knew – that we are lucky to have such great people to work with.

On a broader level, I think people will be realising, with the noise of endless choice turned down, what’s really important to them. So post-pandemic we will hopefully see people focus on fewer, better things and be a little less rampant in their consumerism.

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

We will be putting out a magazine later this year which should be great!

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting? 

I am hoping that this question is a precursor to you granting that wish! I have been thinking a lot about rugs – I wouldn’t say no to a vintage Jean Lurcat rug. I also did an interview with the artist, Keith Coventry, for our magazine and he collects 17th Century English oak furniture and Flemish tapestries and his apartment looks so good with these pieces alongside an amazing contemporary art collection. That question of combining the new with the old is one I’ve been considering. It only makes me admire Scandinavian Modernism even more as the best of this really does go with, and hold its own, alongside anything. 

Ahm House – Image courtesy of Coppin Dockray, photography by James O. Davies.

Any music or podcasts you would recommend?

I only listen to two podcasts – Adam Buxton’s one and one called This Jungian Life. Like lots of people, good music has been really been buoying me along during this period. I’ve been particularly enjoying Cannonball Adderley played loudly with the doors to the garden open (hopefully my neighbours are fans too!). There’s a record label called Spacebomb, run by a guy called Matthew E. White and both his and his label’s Instagram feeds have really good recommendations of songs, artists, radio stations etc. My 12-year old son spends a lot of his time making music so I listen to his creations quite a lot which is something of a mixed blessing. My discovery of the lockdown period is a musician called Washington Phillips, a gospel singer from the early 20th century who made his own instruments.

Many thanks to Albert for taking the time to talk to us, our Social Togetherness series continues next week.

 

Social Togetherness: Jacob Plejdrup in Conversation

On April 30, 2020 · 0 Comments

Today we’re talking to Jacob Plejdrup, founder of DK3 as part of our Social Togetherness series.

Where’s home for you?

Home is Denmark for me. A small safe country, where we trust in each other and where we take care of each other. Especially in these times of the Covid-19 it really shows…

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Taking a phone-call and speaking from the terrace in the sun!

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

Spending more time – more relaxed time – in the nature – which is the most inspiring thing for me!

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

That we are forced to think differently – change is inevitable. We must consume less – be thoughtful – sustainable. Travel less. And appreciate/enjoy what we already have.

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

Our international to-date most successful dining table TEN TABLE will be launched in a round, extendable version this Summer.

Please send us a photo from home of something you find inspiring.

The south-side of our garden and house. The west-wind is stopped by the huge trees in the background. It’s my favourite spot in our private “park” for some sun, peace – and reflection.

Thank you, Jacob, for taking the time to speak to us.

 

 

Social Togetherness: Paula Day in Conversation

On April 25, 2020 · 0 Comments

Social Togetherness – twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to
Paula Day.

Where’s home for you?

I live in a beautiful quiet part of Cumbria. I share my father’s passion for the outdoors and my mother’s for gardening – I’m so privileged to have been able make my home where my heart is.

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation’s office is at my home, so my work as Chair has continued very much as usual – except that I attend meetings by video conferencing instead of making monthly trips to London.

Before starting work first thing in the morning I walk round the garden to see what’s happening. At present the big wild cherry tree is festive with blossom, tulips are flaming, bees browse the pulmonaria flowers and birds are busy nesting – its heaven! After work I usually exercise by climbing the fell above my house, to look out across the valley and catch the last of the sunshine.

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

I have a bit more time for what I have always loved doing – sowing vegetable seeds, pruning, planting, watering, weeding… I think of it as collaborating with nature!

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

Covid-19 is giving us a foretaste of what it’s like when our fragile human edifice is rocked by forces we’ve unleashed and can’t control. Even if it were possible, we must not go back to what we thought of as ‘normal’ – a way of life which was dragging us inexorably towards climate catastrophe and human suffering on a much greater scale.  

My parents lived through the devastation of World War II and the great social and cultural reconstruction which they helped celebrate at the Festival of Britain in 1951. This new order included the founding of the NHS in Britain, and the global establishment of the United Nations and World Health Organisation, which we still rely on.

Like my parents’ generation of survivors, out of tragedy, we have the opportunity to join together to create a better society. One which supports all human beings equally and protects our shared home – the Earth. 

We’re already learning some of the skills we need. Instead of piling on carbon emissions by flying, we are video conferencing. Instead of driving private cars to distant destinations, we are exercising from our doorsteps. We’re appreciating the key work carried out by people who are paid least. And we’re discovering that we don’t have to keep up with consumer fashion.

My father had always understood the ethical imperatives of design:

Things should be made because they are better and with regard to the limited resources of the planet, so they should be re-usable and long-lasting. People often think that mere newness is innovation, but it isn’t.’ (Robin Day, 1999). 

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

There are some exciting projects on the way – we’ll announce them when we can in our quarterly Newsletter.

Many thanks to Paula for taking the time to speak to us.

 

 

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