Social Togetherness: Inga Sempé in Conversation

On July 4, 2020 · 0 Comments

With many still working from home and restaurants slowly reopening we are doing much more preparation of food and drink. We have asked the designer Inga Sempé to share her experiences, with particular reference to her design for UK firm Crane Cookware.

What was your philosophy and objectives when creating the cast iron pan?

I wanted to create an object that doesn’t look directly drawn with the most basic tools from the computer programmes. I mean a curve doesn’t have to be always half a circle or a quarter of a circle. Curves can have some other rules.  An oval is not obliged to be made by two parallel lines joined with a half-circle neither…I looked a lot on Ebay at all the cast irons pan that are available, from the most recent to the oldest from the 19th century. It was the first times I was doing it because I was not really familiar with those kinds of cooking utensils, and I even had never seen a double grid pan… I wanted it to look visually light and not aggressive, more technical. Just friendly, and recognizable with the distinctive stripes in a herringbone pattern… I wanted it to be easy to use with the double pouring spouts for left and right-handed… 

Have you been using it recently and if so, do you have a simple recipe you would share?

Yes, I have used it on fish with the fennel that I grow every year on my windows. I also use it with zucchinis and eggplants and the herringbones that appear on them is very nice. 

What aspects of the pandemic have bought positive gains for you, your work or your family? 

The pandemic was not a hard time for us as we are living in a nice and light place in Paris. But I was thinking a lot about the people living in tiny and dark places. The positive side of it is that all wild herbs have grown on the streets of Paris, every seed had time to grow in the tiny holes of the macadam and walls. It shows that the way we treat vegetal is as stupid as the way we treat animals and hair on women bodies….

Any new designs you would like to share and thoughts for the future?

In Milan that was supposed to happen in April, I was supposed to present a new sofa system and a cast iron candleholder with Hay, some glass containers with Glas Italia, a collection of ceramic tiles with the Italian company Mutina, a wooden stool with the small and qualitative Swedish company, Articles… All those should be released around September and December… My thoughts for the future is that cast iron is a very old material which still has a great future…

Many thanks to Inga for taking the time to talk to us, we can’t wait to see her new designs.

 

Social Togetherness: Bessie Austin in Conversation

On July 2, 2020 · 0 Comments

The family-run business, Austin Austin, is dedicated to producing organic skincare products using the finest natural ingredients. Today we talk to one half of the father-and-daughter founded brand, Bessie Austin, as part of our Social Togetherness series.

What started you on your path to manufacture responsibly and how do you define your company philosophy?

I grew up surrounded by the environmental principles of natural and organic produce. Until quite recently, this was an alternative way of living which hadn’t yet captured the imagination of most. I have never disagreed with the principles underpinning my parents’ more environmentally responsible way of living but growing up I did wish that the products (outside of food) didn’t have to compromise function and aesthetics. As global interest in organic and natural grew, the science and production around organic advanced too. This opened up the possibility of creating a collection that was aesthetically considered, high performing and responsibly manufactured. These are the cornerstones of our company philosophy.

Who assisted in the design?

We worked with artist Christian Newby on the Indian ink drawings you see on our boxes and bottles. 

Any hints on how to use and maximise the benefits of Austin Austin products. 

Hands are taking a lot of wear at the moment. I keep a hand cream on my desk so I can apply regularly and catch my hands when they are completely dry which helps the cream to sink in more easily. You only need a pea-sized amount and I like to give each hand a short massage during the application, particularly around the palm and between the fingers. Our palmarosa & vetiver hand cream helps condition the skin with ingredients such as grape seed, sunflower seed, shea butter and coco butter. While extracts of plants, grasses, seaweed and algae moisturise and protect those well-washed hands.  

What aspects of the pandemic have bought positive gains for you, your work or your family?

I have a daughter who is coming up to a year old. Lockdown has allowed my husband to work from home which has given them the time to grow close. Her changes and developments are almost daily at the moment and it’s incredibly special to witness these together. Today she started pushing herself up to stand for a few moments. 

Any new designs/products you would like to share and thoughts for the future?

We have a second collection in development at the moment. We are working with a new artist and are excited to announce the designs soon. We were hoping to get them on the shelf in time for Christmas but due to covid we are now aiming for the new year. In terms of the future landscape, perhaps as we continue to see the environmental impact that our buying decisions have, making conscious and careful choices like opting for certified Organic products will become ever more important.

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

 

Social Togetherness: Mikiya Kobayashi in Conversation

On June 18, 2020 · 0 Comments

As a company, we aim to offer designs that enhance the way we live. Cooking and eating at home focusses our attention towards the stories around functional homewares and we are asking the creators for their insight. Today we are talking to Mikiya Kobayashi in Tokyo.

What is the background to your design for the Tate Otama ladle?

Every design project starts by looking at our daily life. That’s because there are so many design tips in our daily lives that can trigger new interesting ideas.

As you may know, the living space in Tokyo are often very compact, and so are the kitchens. It was keeping this in mind that I came up with the idea of a ladle to stand up by itself and save space.

Do you use it at home?

Of course, I do, we actually use it often at the studio too when we cook lunch all together.

Is there a simple recipe you can share that makes the best use of your design?

Recently, we have started our own YouTube channel. There you will find already a video where we introduce Tate Otama through a dessert recipe. I will be very happy if you could have a look at it here. In addition to that, we are also introducing videos about life in Tokyo and about our products.

What new projects are you working on that you can share?

Among the products, we are designing a wide range of typologies. One of them is a collection of wallpapers presented by Sangetsu, a Japanese building materials manufacturer. The concept was to cut out the beautiful moments hidden in everyday life and express them into the wallpapers. You can find beauty even in elements that may seem negative at first glance if you are able to adapt your perspective. This reflects also our philosophy since we create designs that fit our current lifestyle according to the perception of daily moments. Please also see the movie on the YouTube channel.

What positive gains do you see coming from these times of change?

By spending more time at home with my family, I almost felt like my life was starting again. I have come to think deeply about what I need to enrich and fulfil my everyday life, and as a designer, I want to create what we need in this very specific moment.

Many thanks to Mikiya Kobayashi for his observations and taking the time to talk to us.

 

 

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: Spandana Gopal in Conversation

On May 30, 2020 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone are honoured to work with wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to Spandana Gopal founder of Tiipoi, a design studio based between Bangalore and London.

Where’s home for you?

Currently NW8, but moving to Lower Clapton soon.

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

Food has been a highlight and we’ve been eating and experimenting with different ingredients (wild garlic at the moment), usually a glass of wine with lunch after a mat-based workout!

My ‘workday’ usually starts at about 14:00 these days till about 18:00. I keep staring at my literally unsolvable puzzle of white rice (also on the dining table taking up a lot of space) Take breaks to read books that I haven’t read – lots of design history books. The evenings have unfortunately been consumed by Netflix – Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (which is excellent).

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

I knitted some slippers and I tried to make objects out of vegetable pulp – that didn’t go too well.

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby? 

Refreshed my knitting skills. playing some songs on the piano – I learnt a song by Rhianna last week.

What positive change might come from Covid-19?

The end of capitalism. We will go back to growing vegetables, trading clothes and goods, not travelling by air, but opening borders in new ways – maybe camper vans will be a thing of the future!

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year?

Not sure yet, but we think we will continue developing products and working with interesting materials – maybe thinking up a new type of event where we can engage with our audiences through entirely new ways? 

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

More like a portable food truck-come-shop which we could drive around London. Moving architecture for nice objects, food and people.

Many thanks to Spandana for taking the time to talk to us.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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