SW: Why did you start your own studio?
AB: After working in different practices and disciplines in the industry I kept having ideas of different directions of what I would like to do. Referrals and opportunities came to me individually that didn’t fit with my employment at the time so I thought, ‘wouldn’t this be an amazing opportunity to do this?’ I have always been business and creatively minded.
What was the original aim or idea for your practice, and how has it evolved in the five years since inception?
The aim of the studio was – and still is – to work closely and really listen to our clients’ vision. We translate this in the process and craft well resolved, beautiful spaces that are refined in detail with an element of surprise.
Just as important is for the studio team to be truly collaborative and for the collaboration to extend beyond the studio walls, working with like-minded, talented, passionate people and companies from small artisans to larger enterprises. Sometimes I meet the person or company prior to a project and I feel that we must work with them to create magic. As our body of work has grown over the years the projects have evolved in to scale and signature, allowing the studio team to grow organically. We are currently working on some amazing product collaborations which I can’t wait to see come to life in the product and project space.
What would you say have been your biggest accomplishments?
-Creating a studio and brand that has become well-recognised
-Most of our work is referral based
-Being shortlisted in awards and publications
-Speaking to large audiences
-I personally love seeing people enjoy the spaces we create as a studio whether it is a home or commercial space.
What are some challenges you’ve faced through this period? Surely there must have been a few! How have you resolved them?
By building the right team within the studio. We have a very collaborative approach and over the years I have naturally become more in tune to what is needed within the studio. Sometimes I meet someone that I feel would be a great fit without there being a set position. [So] I go about creating one.
What advice would you give to other young designers wanting to break out on there own?
Learn and develop your skill set before doing so. Gain understanding of the process from concept through the completion.
What you wish you would have known before launching?
Once I’d taken the plunge the business took off at a pretty rapid pace, which was fantastic. Had I known how quickly I would’ve had some things set up sooner, small things like title blocks and schedules, nothing major.
I was never going to work so hard in my life but I would never feel so accomplished. I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like work …most of the time.