Q&A with Sarah van Gameren of Studio Glithero
47 Allcroft Road
When and how did Studio Glithero form and where did the name come from?
We officially formed around a year ago, but we worked together before. It was less formal and more behind the scenes but we’ve always produced work together. Glithero is the family name of Tim’s mother – it’s really as exciting as that!
Is there anything testing about working with your partner? Do you find it difficult not to talk about work all the time?
It works surprisingly well! We’ve always enjoyed it as we’re absolute opposites. We tend to compensate and play good cop bad cop with each other. Our opinions are often quite different and we take on certain roles – but they are usually quite fluid – neither of us find it difficult to change our perspectives.
What inspires your designs?
The biggest inspiration we have is the idea of the ‘moment’ – neither of us are satisfied with design ‘as is’, or the end product. The process is the most important thing to us. In terms of creative influences; Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson and Alfred Hitchcock are all pretty important to Tim and I.
If Studio Glithero had a mission statement what would it be?
We are interested not only in the end product, but more in the build up to it – the public becomes a witness to our endeavours.
What is your Les French project about?
Les French is the first project we started from a brief focused on functionality. It forced us to think about design completely differently. The bronzing process we adopted burns away the original bamboo and string form to leave a one-off, super-limited piece – a direct translation of our prototype.
With Les French bamboo is transformed into bronze, what is it that interests you about the interplay between such opposing materials?
We wanted to recreate the fragility of the cardboard box and bamboo structure as accurately as possible, whilst giving it a permanence and durability. The one-off element is really important to us – we also used gum paper and honeycomb cardboard to recreate the cardboard box on top.
To what extent is your work concerned with deception?
I never think of playing with my audience – the work is more concerned with character than anything else. I’ve always made things to almost avoid designing them. It is important for both Tim and I to avoid over-design and destroying our ideas through over-conceptualisation.
Where is Studio Glithero based?
Studio Glithero is based in Chalk Farm just next door to Camden in North London.
Whose work do you particularly admire and why?
I admire very few designers; I’m more inspired by artists, musicians and dancers – you don’t travel very far by being inspired by other designers, we have influences, but only those in very close proximity to us.
Studio, Laboratory or Playroom?
At times our workspace is like a laboratory, with chemicals, gloves and goggles everywhere. I look around sometimes and think, God, we’re just pretending to be scientists. It often looks like a playground too, we got funding for long-drop, a big slide that just sits in our studio. A lot of the time though, it’s more like an office – design isn’t all fun and games you know!