Hey guys and gals. This is the first post in my New Feature 'Meet the Designer'. Once a month I will be interviewing a designer who carries a unique and extremely creative presence in all that they do.
This weeks designer is Andy Lampard of 'The House With' - A fantastic designer and good friend.
Andy started his e-mail back to me with this... which I thought was well funny and so so true, hehehe:
"Hi Stuart, thanks for this great opportunity.It’s lovely to put one of our conversations in print for once.How many ‘wise words’ have we shared and then blurred away into the bottom of a philosophers pint!"Here are a few images of the great projects 'The House With' have worked on recently. The interview follows on from theses amazing photos... Enjoy! (Watch out for Andy's wittiness, hahaha)
Q. Can you tell me about 'The House With' and your role within the company?
A. Thehousewith is us! Primarily we are friends and in work we simply have a great deal of respect for each other. We are an independent design consultancy, we believe in the artisanal craft of design and its appropriate creation. Along with our growing list of collaborators we provide a really extensive breadth of design ability from conceptual architectural design, visualisation to illustration and web development. We do this as individual elements or as a full process.
We decided around two years ago to join forces, 6 companies now form the 6 partners of the brand- each of us specialising in a particular element of the design process. My role is mainly within the research, creative and narrative start to our projects, this is my specialism and publically where I will hold responsibility. Within the studio however we do all muck in and help each other out throughout the entire process. We work within the idea of project leads – one of us is always responsible for the entire project and how it runs. For each element the lead will then take on a tailor made team of people from our partners and collaborators to complete the works to the highest level possible – each element being cared for with vested interested by a specialist. This means that although my primary role is in the story at the beginning I do often see a project all the way through with the team, that’s a really important aspect to all of us.
The story to me is the essence of a great design, you have to have purpose and meaning when creating otherwise you are just ticking boxes. I think as soon as you walk into a place you can feel a designs integrity, if it has been loved and cared for, if the elements around and within it talk and really for me I can only find this sort of integrity in the facts that surround a project and their pure representation – this is what I would class as the story.
Q. What kind of jobs/clients do you work on/with?
A. All kinds of projects, generally if we get on well with the prospective client and feel that we are inspired to be involved we will. We have worked on many different things from Christmas window displays at Selfridges to Private beach residence in Kenya.
Thehousewith… media as I mentioned works to create visuals, animations, graphics, illustrations, web design and branding to any client.Thehousewith… design is all about the full design package and covers commercial residential design, private residential, bar, restaurant, spa and fitness, exhibition and retail design incorporating everything from concept architectural design through to the website and web marketing.We work with large and small, commercial, charity, private clients, developers, operators, hoteliers, chefs and restaurant managers.As I said if we like the idea and people we are open to opportunities and find new ideas fascinating.A great one we have just started working with is the Think.eat.drink membership, take a look it’s a great idea!
Q. How, when and why did you decide to start up your own company?
A. When I realised that it was actually possible to do it. I set up Zopsigog Ltd with a view to provide an outsourcing resource to design company’s for concept films and visualisation. Then along with a couple of the other partners of thehousewith… we have teamed up and run thehousewith… media - a complete media outsourcing resource. In conjunction with setting up the media side we also established thehousewith… design, which is where we do all of our design projects. Zopsigog enabled me to embark, with all of the other partners on developing thehousewith… brand as it stands today. Design is tough to get into unless you have clients so having our outsourcing companies as a foundation at the beginning was essential to us.Q. Where does your inspiration come from for each project?
We are still a very modestly sized group but we get excited about going to work in the morning and each of us loves what we do - most of the time we have to be torn away from our desks to do anything else.
A. Research- all of our projects are solely based on the combination of three elements. 1. The site, 2. The Client / clientele 3. The Product. It sounds simple because it is, but we don’t like to get lost in the fashionable trend of our own personal preference.Q. What are the most important principles in your design work?
A. Love your work and you will never work again. The governing principle to me is to be honest and the rest will follow.
Q. Can you describe your creative process?
A. Why? What? How? When?
Specifically in that order. These are our Hallmarks at thehousewith… which together with a process / order of events is what ties us together and enables us to adapt to any situation with absolutely no house style.
Firstly you must question, find out exactly what you are dealing with. Then you can formulate a concept of fact. Non subjective, void of personal opinion and therefore a solid foundation from which you can be informed and elaborate. Once laid out you must learn to communicate in a tailored manner, so that the information projected if fully understood, mis-understandings and cross wired preconceptions are the downfall of all great design intent.
Finally you must adapt, building is a wild creature and throws challenges at even the most prepared. If you have strong foundations laid a solution to an onsite issue is always be possible if your mind is open. (If you are interested in this we have just completed our case study brochure which illustrates with two contrasting projects how this collaborated process works).Q. What is your next big project?
A. We have some great opportunities opening up to us at the moment, it feels like 2013 may be a very formative year for us. We are really excited about the completion of a couple of big projects for us, Project Diani and Virginia Lodge, as well as a few very interesting London based projects on the horizon.More detail on the new I cannot give right now… my lips are sealed – you know how I like to keep you in suspenders!
Get to know... Andy
+ A random fact:
If you blow on your hand lips pursed it will feel cold, try again with your mouth open… hot? That’s how the combustion engine works, how mosques created the world’s first air conditioning and how we started our thinking for the naturally ventilated architecture within Project Diani.+ Your favourite Interior Designer:
William Morris, his influences within interiors and the styling elements of design as a single medium have a human quality that only the passionately obsessed can create. I have always loved his simplicity of reason and admired his fundamental effect over the perception of the creative industry as a series of interlinked skilled craftsmanship’s. With the rise of digital white out we have more pride for singularly important items of furniture – Hand crafted folk styles make you feel good.+ Your favourite item of furniture you own:
For Christmas this year I was given the most beautiful taxidermy barn owl. Its smaller than I imagined but is the single softest and most mesmerising item in my home. I am from quite a scientific / biological background and I have always had a bit of an obsession with taxidermy, the only problem is I am now quite conscious that my hallway doesn’t turn into a scene from Farthing wood.+ What book are you currently reading:
Zinio! I’ve never been great with reading – magazines and picture books are more my thing… The Nobrow volumes are a party to the whimsical and creative eye.+ Your favourite Quote:
‘Design is only ever an opinion, so relax and listen’. A friend of my granddad, who was a perfume bottle designer, once said that to me when I was a kid and got I upset that he didn’t like a design I done for my dream house.+ Your favourite design blog:
Are you fishing Mr Wilson? You know I’ve always loved your work! *note from me (Stuart) - Correct Answer, hahaha!+ Your dream home:
Not the one I showed my granddads friend! I’ve looked at it since and structurally it is ridiculous! Seriously, I live in it now but as I change so will it, tomorrow it may simply be a tent – I believe for a home to be truly a home and not just a house it has to fully embody the mind that inhabits it and the mind is a wonderfully transient thing.Thank you very much Andy. Great interview from a great designer and friend. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did :)
The House With (Watch out Bauhaus... this is the Movement of the future)