“If PINCH was a person, she wouldn’t be a supermodel. Instead, she would be quiet, confident, elegant, and unpretentiously stylish,” Oona says jokingly. Oona and her husband, Russell, are the co-founders of the furniture brand PINCH. It feels like she is describing herself when explaining the style of PINCH. The two of them believe in the emotional connection between humans and objects in the surroundings, so the design of PINCH is to actualize the kind of connection and the style of life in their minds. The space they create does not carry an overly strong personality since they love to be surrounded by a subtle vibe that is both quiet and elegant. “She is the eyes and the ears, and I am a pair of hands,” says Russell. The two of them, believing in one another, work together to create practical and long-lasting furniture pieces that exude a comforting aesthetics.
R: We just came back from London. We are preparing a few new designs for the London Design Festival, so we’re pretty busy.
OB: What are the highlights of the series that you’re showcasing in Lane Crawford?
R: Our collaboration with Lane Crawford began over ten years ago. In the beginning, there were only a few pieces of small space furniture. But for this season, we are launching a full collection that includes a bed, a sofa, a dresser, and other items. The series can well present our style.
OB: The design of PINCH is very minimal. Your furniture looks very substantial without excessive ornament.
R: Indeed. Our focus is on the outline, construction, and material of our products. Therefore we are keen on exploring new materials. For instance, our Nim sculptural table is finished with cast jesmonite, which is a composite of plaster, cement, and waterborne resin. It has a very substantial texture. This hand-finished and hand colored layer give a nice finishing to the sculpture-like coffee table.
OB: The delicate craftsmanship is what can be noticed in artwork, while the roughness and uneven color gradient create an illusion that this table is carved out of a cliff in nature.
R: We apply different types of material in making ordinary furniture. We usually conjure up an idea that we know how to execute. But sometimes we would bring our ideas to the craftsmen and seek their advice. Having a discussion with them and building a prototype are also part of the creative process, which can always give us delightful surprises.
O: A lamp is necessary for every household. The Anders light we design was inspired by a photo we saw in a fashion magazine where a model is wearing a draped dress. The shade is made from banana fiber and draped around the central light fixing. Its appearance has the charm of a sculpture. Light can seep through the shade and diffuse into a gentle and romantic glow.
R: Oona is the director of our brand. She has a great vision and ambition, she is also a detail-minded person. Perhaps it’s because we are a couple, she sometimes talks to me using some crazy words, or leaves her sentence half-finished and not giving an affirmative answer whether she likes it or not.
O: That sounds terrible.
R: I guess I am the only person who could understand what she means and have her ideas executed.
O: I am not a designer, but I can give feedback from a user’s perspective. Creativity can be sparked only when the two of us work together.
O: Home is a very private space. To us, it is where we stay with our kid, it is also the place where we can be at ease. We both have a busy life, staying home makes us feel comfortable. It is like a shelter. I believe your surroundings can reflect the quality of your life.
R: The interesting thing is, our place is not particularly beautiful, but we believe the importance of things that we use. They can affect our mood and emotion. Can they inspire you? Can they spark joy? This is how people can be affected by the environment. Our design aims at bringing users a positive influence.
OB: You once said that sitting down is the moment for you to temporarily stop, relax, and think, so chairs are very important. Apart from chairs, what else is essential to a household?
R: A big kitchen with all the utensils I need. We enjoy cooking a lot.
O: Well, you enjoy cooking and I enjoy eating. To me, a big dining table is a must. Our kid can work on one side of the table, where we eat or work on the other side of it. I also need a very comfortable sofa where we can sit together to talk or watch TV. This is the place where a family can gather together.
Lane Crawford Pacific Place Home Store, Hong Kong 2118 2288