Norwegian design duo Amy and Oscar share a love of creating – both at the early stages and when objects start to materialise. New mum Amy tells us more...
Norwegian-born, London-based designers Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud started Hunting & Narud after working independently as designers for years. Amy trained at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation. Oscar studied at St. Martins in London and then the Royal College of Art.
What were your dreams and aspirations as children?
We both loved to draw and make things and before we even knew what a designer was we were drawn to the creative world of making.
How would you describe the Nordic aesthetic and your approach to design?
Typically the Scandinavian or Nordic aesthetic has been characterised by its clean, minimalist lines and honest materials, with an object not being too loud or outrageous. It’s also sensible, reliable and quiet. We like to think about contemporary Scandi design as much as the diversity that unifies it. We don’t think our approach to design and our work has much to do with being Norwegian really.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
The best part for me is probably the very early stages, where things are still abstract and everything seems possible. Oscar loves the hands-on stage where things start to materialise in the workshop.
Your work is very material based. How do you think advancements in technology are going to change the way we interact with and enjoy design?
There is so much room to customise and put your own signature on design today. Available technology also means that more stuff is being made and that’s not always necessarily such a good thing. The design world is almost mimicking the fashion scene and the pace is so fast with new trends and products popping up constantly. When things aren’t carefully considered they tend not to last so long, and they quickly become outdated.
Who or what inspires you and why?
We tend to find inspiration outside of the design world, in everything from construction sites to fine art.
Can you tell us about the Copper Mirror Series?
This was created for an exhibition we did for a fashion show at Somerset House in London. We wanted to reference Scandinavia in a more subtle way than you usually see. We researched materials that have been important over time and found metal, copper and granite. This became the material starting point. It’s important for us to create objects that reflect light and are beautiful in their own right, so we set out to design something sculptural and functional while exploring the material properties.
Do you have a favourite design you’ve created so far and, if so, why?
I think the answer to this will always be what we are currently working on. We don’t really tend to be too nostalgic with our work.
Above Minimal-style Apex tables, £1,900 each
Are there any materials that you haven’t worked with yet that you’re interested in?
Loads! We want to learn more and experiment with a range of materials we haven’t even started to explore yet. We’ve said the next material will be a dead one; we’ve done a lot of work with wood and because it’s live and reacts to temperature and humidity, it can be very challenging.
What do you hope your designs bring to other people’s homes?
We are really fascinated by objects that have an impact on their surroundings, so we hope our work brings something unexpected. The Rise & Shine mirror is an example of this. It is counter-balanced and by pulling on the string you adjust the height of the mirror. By doing this you can really play with reflections and light and find an interesting composition in your home by catching a corner of a painting, a building on the other side of the road. Or, if you pull it all the way down to the skirting board you will see really interesting images of feet walking by.
What is your favourite product from any designer (past or present) and why?
It’s impossible to choose just one, but a current favourite is the lounge chair by Vico Magistretti for Cassina Veranda. I love how you can change the shape of it and how it looks when you put two together and use them as a sofa. It has something weird and slightly odd about it which is a good thing. Pretty is boring.
What was the last item you bought for your home?
We have a young baby so our recent purchases have all been for her. However, our last non-baby related purchase was the 265 lamp by Flos. It’s great in our living room as it can be directed to wherever you need a task light, for example a reading corner.
Are you working on any exciting new designs or projects that you can tell us about?
We’re looking forward to working on a light installation on a commission from a private client. This is exciting because it’s going to be something new for us and we’re also looking forward to experimenting and playing with light.
Article by: EKBB