Social Togetherness: Albert Hill in Conversation

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.


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