Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Age: 42 (James). 41 (Hannah).
Hometown: Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire. We’re continuously having to retrain ourselves after just recently moving from London after 23 years.
Studio location: Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire.
Describe what you make: Always such a tricky one to sum up succinctly, but we’ve narrowed it down for purposes like this to say that we make objects and create environments.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: It’s cumulative—we couldn’t choose one work or project. We work intensely on whatever project is live. Each feeds into the next, and vice versa.
Describe the problem your work solves: Louise Bourgeois described her art as life-saving: “Art is a guarantee of sanity” she wrote on metal outside the sculpture-environment Precious Liquids in 1992. She considered art as a form of mental mending, making art being empowering: She said “I need to make things” of which we couldn’t agree more.
Describe the project you are working on now: We’re designing a home in a forest in Upstate New York from the ground up. It’s our first full architectural project from scratch. We have a lot of freedom in the brief from our clients, but one very specific requirement is to house one of Ai Weiwei’s 20-foot-tall Tree sculptures.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: All projects are in progress.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Humor is vital and life-saving. Also, our Italian Moka coffee pot.
What you do when you’re not working: Chop firewood or our current seasonal obsession of picking garlic.
Sources of creative envy: Jannis Kounellis, Maureen Doherty, Philip Glass, Montserrat Caballé.
The distraction you want to eliminate: The hunt for a Land Rover Defender.
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts.
Dark or light? Dark.