Are you a fan of Dinosaurs? But if they meet the art and fashion?
We were so lucky to interview Dinosaur Designs – the ultimate Australian brand standing at the forefront of design and fashion for 25 years. Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy – the master minds behind the hand made designs, accepted to talk about snow ball effects and successful jump from students to Vogue.
Originally selling hand painted fabrics and jewellery, Dinosaur Designs now sells a large, constantly evolving range of handmade resin and sterling silver jewellery, textile, metal and ceramic homewares in their nine stores in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and online. Interesting fact about this studio is that their stores run on Green Energy options that do not generate any greenhouse gases. They also support organisations and people who make the world a beautiful and interesting place. Why? Thus, we asked.
What inspired you to enter the world of creating design and how do you think it can tackle the many issues currently facing the world?
Working in design is a wonderful privilege. It’s a great way to study the world. It’s a never-ending exploration where we’re constantly inspired by nature. The world’s resources are finite and population is growing. It’s inevitable that resources will become scarcer. We have to consciously engage with the design and production process to ensure that our work practices and the materials we use add value to everything we do. That means cutting waste, minimizing resource consumption and still being able to create pieces, which people will love and cherish.
What is your concept of sustainable design? Where do you think the movement of sustainable design is going? What is the next evolution in design? What is needed to move the mainstream toward sustainable design?
Environmentally friendly design is becoming more mainstream as growing numbers of people are concerned about how and where the things they buy are made. It may seem like there’s a lot to do, or that the small things can’t make a difference, but you have to start somewhere and encourage others to act. Once you start looking there’s a snow ball effect. It can be as simple as turning off lights and appliances when they’re not being used to looking at more challenging aspects such as minimising the amount of material used when creating pieces. When you question every part of the design and production process, you’ll be surprised what comes to light. Apart from the environmental aspect, it’s also good business practice.
Tell me a little bit about the “seed” of the idea for Dinosaur Designs. And who whispered the name of the company, what does it mean?
We were art students in our early twenties looking to make more money to buy art materials and pay the rent. We started making small pieces and selling them and suddenly we were picked up by some great stores, and then noticed by Vogue. From there the company took on a life of it’s own. The name came one night when were sitting in a restaurant called No Names and throwing ideas around. It was the eighties and New Romanticism and Punk were big and we were listening to bands like Devo, Talking Heads and The Sex Pistols. Dinosaur Designs just seemed to work and it’s a name that people always remember
What makes your brand ethical or sustainable? What are the core values of your label?
We actively seek out new ways of making our pieces and are constantly experimenting and pushing our knowledge of the materials and techniques we use. We gain many wonderful things from nature so it is important to give back to the environment. As well as our designs and manufacturing processes, we have also worked closely with charities such as WWF, Earth Hour, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Oz Harvest and Get-Up to help protect the environment in the long term.
Who is your target market and what do conscious customers expect from Dinosaur Designs? Are your all clients tree huggers?
Our customers are primarily those who have an appreciation for art and design. They also are also mindful of the environment.
One of the main themes we are talking about in our blog is intersection of luxury and sustainability. Designers care about image, and the green movement has a reputation for being all substance and no style – ethics without aesthetics. Do you agree with it?
I think in the early years there was a lot of green wash from companies who overstated their claims. There’s so much to discover and challenge us in our design thinking. The ultimate luxury is time, so buying something that’s handmade and considered in all its aspects is true luxury.
IN SHORT. WHAT ARE YOU:
Loving the discovery of Spotify
Jeans are great for working in the studio.
Buddha’s Little Instruction Book by Jack Kornfield.
Winter greens and brothy soups as winter blows in over here.
Orchards Street Green Fields juice.
Looking forward to?
More time to paint.
Values of life?
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Photos from http://dinosaurdesigns.co.uk