British expats Craig and Patrick are designers; of objects, light, sculptures and recently, miniature colourful giraffes….
Their work spans conceptual design, industrial projects, fashion collaborations and more and with a joint repertoire of projects that include working with the likes of Peggy Gou, Nike and Berlin’s brutalist restaurant, Baldon, it seems these two are just getting started.
We visited their studio one morning and talked about what it’s like to work with your hands in a digital world, how they found their calling and keeping balanced among it all.
Could you start by telling us a little about what you do?
Craig: I do design, create objects and sculptures, everything from industrial projects to conceptual artistic sculptures. I do a full start to finish process, from concept development to design, to testing, to actual production of the final things, which is quite rare in the design field.I learned and had a real hands on approach to design.
Patrick: I’ve been working as a lighting designer, for different Berlin studios. Of course light has everything to do with material, we only see light through it’s reaction to different materials- through absorption and reflection.
What projects have you worked on together?
Craig: We originally came together to work on YUN and since then we’ve worked together on other projects, helping each other out when needs be.
I did a project with Nike earlier this year which Patrick helped me out with, we worked very closely on that and we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other.
How did you find you were good at what you do?
Craig: It was something that I was always into when I was young, I was always making things, I was in to arts and crafts, it’s just something that’s continued.
Patrick: To be honest, it was always something that I was interested in. I decided to study lighting design in Milan and from there I was lucky enough to actually work in lighting. It’s something I just went for, it’s not just something that you fall into, you have to want to actively learn about it.
You’ve worked on some really cool projects, which was your favourite?
Patrick: I did a nice project with Baldon, a brutalist space in wedding. It was one of the first projects I did independently, and I had quite a lot of creative freedom with that one.
Interestingly I contrasted very warm lighting with this cold, brutalist architectural space, that was a fun contrast.
Craig: I collaborated with Peggy Gou. She was the face of a new trainer release, we collaborated on a collectable and ended up making a giraffe. Funnily enough, we were concepting something to do and Peggy’s favourite animal is a giraffe and so is mine! It was kind of a joke at first but we ended up doing it. It was a really fun, playful project to work on.
What challenges do you find when working with your hands and how do you feel about working with physical things?
Craig: The biggest challenge is that when you’re making something, it has to work…you can’t fake it. If something isn’t strong enough, reacts weird, or just doesn’t feel good for example, these physical issues we have all the time.
But working this way is how I’ve always worked and I also work on the computer- the two influence each other but if I’m on my computer for too long I go a bit mad.
Patrick: I absolutely love it. I spend most of my time working on a computer designing projects. The thing about lighting is you can spend 2-3 years working on one project and you’ll never actually see it realised. It’s an extremely long process and working with your hands is so satisfying because all along the way you can see and feel the physical material and how it’s going to end up.
What are your fave Berlin spots?
Craig: The various Kleingartens on the outskirts of Berlin- you can go to one of these Kneipen, surrounded by gardens, via a 20 minute cycle and sit and have a drink.
Patrick: Speaking of Kneipe, one of my favourite things to do is to discover old Berliner Kneipen. Some are over several hundred years old like ‘die Möve im Felsenkeller’. It’s non-smoking and very long and thin- you can really get a feel for 1920’s Berlin.
How do you stay balanced?
Patrick: When I have the time, I like to hang around in coffee shops and work on ideas for various projects.
Craig: I actually find it quite difficult to relax and switch off from work. It’s really important to make sure I take the time to see friends and exercise regularly as this really helps.
When I have a bit more time, I like to take bike rides into the countryside and do outdoorsy stuff. These sort of times are when I can really switch off.