Using traditional crafts in design is not “sentimental” Sebastian Cox tells Dezeen
Dezeen recently interviewed our friend and collaborator, Sebastian Cox, who champions the revival of traditional crafts in the UK. He told them that neglected techniques represent a new set of opportunities.
Here are some excerpts:
“I’m not being sentimental, or nostalgic and sad, about the idea that these skills will be lost if not passed on. I get excited about the prospect of finding a new – to me, or to contemporary design – set of materials or techniques to learn and draw inspiration from.
One of the things that unite us is our ability to make,” said Cox. “If we can develop a product that possesses subtle evidence of craft, then I believe it resonates with a customer’s primitive maker urges. As a result the customer will enjoy that thing all the more, and everyone has enjoyed keeping it out of landfill for longer.
I believe in looking both forwards and backwards at once,” said Cox. “We can learn so much from the past that is useful to take forward, especially when thinking about a sustainable future.
I want to use good design to give our trees an economic value. We have 2.8 million acres of unmanaged woodland in the UK, which is a hugely undervalued resource, right on our doorstep. We shouldn’t rely on government subsidies to keep woodlands managed; we should turn that timber into a desirable commodity and make woodland management good business.
I’m trying to show people how beautiful and exciting our native hardwoods are; they might not be all the same colour and have uniform grain patterns, but that’s part of the charm.’