Meet the Makers: Aimee Furnival of Another Studio
This is the second in our series of maker interviews produced by The City Story.
Another Studio focuses on creating original products for the desk, home, and workplace. Whether it’s tiny animals for your plants or 3D models of famous landmarks or even bookmarks, they’ve got it covered. We caught up with Aimee Furnival to know more about her craft and practice.
WORDS BY THE CITY STORY TEAM
The City Studio: How long has Another Studio been around?
Aimee Furnival: I launched the first design in 2010, can’t believe where the time has gone!
TCS: Can you tell us a little about your journey – how did you decide on starting such a distinctive design studio, and what inspired the idea behind it?
AF: I was at a stage where I wanted to have a more creative career, but there were very few jobs for product design. I felt the only option was to create my own role where I could develop my own ideas and learn new skills. At the time, there were few well-designed, thoughtful gifts that retailed for £10 that I really liked. At the heart of the studio is a love for creative, considered, and inventive products that are fun to use or make you smile. I have a slight obsession with miniature objects, so playing with scale has always been very important. The most important criteria for all our designs are “would I buy this”. I have to feel like I’d walk into a shop and be swooned by it.
TCS: Does the city influence your work in any way?
AF: Absolutely. How could this amazing city not! I grew up on a small island, so London’s always felt monumental. I love how diverse it is, be it the architecture, people, or the number of events and exhibitions. The skyline is ever-changing, and I find this so inspiring; the city keeps pushing forward, and that inspires how we work, always developing new ideas.
TCS: Can you name a few designers whose work you admire?
AF: Italian designer Matteo Cibic, I absolutely love the Domsai desk terrariums, they are such playful and beautiful objects; I really enjoy following Sabine Timm on Instagram as her creations always bring a smile; Ruth Martin is my go to for greeting cards and little gifts, they are so much fun and so different from other stationery. I also really admire the “mellow collection” of vases by South Korean designers Hattern.
TCS: Do you have a favourite borough in London?
AF: Not sure I can choose! I’ve lived and worked all over London in the last 20 years so am attached to how different the boroughs are. I always enjoy visiting Southwark for a walk along the river, Camden for the busy city life of Soho and the quiet retreat of Hampstead Heath. I really love living in Lewisham on the top of the hill as it has incredible views of the city which I never tire of.
TCS: It’s mentioned that Another Studio is inspired by origami – what is your favourite origami figure to make?
AF: Ha, well actually I couldn’t make anything without instructions! I’m inspired by how origami is really ingenious and systematic, simply creating an amazing three dimensional figure from a single flat sheet.
TCS: How easy or difficult is it to sustain a unique design business such as yours?
AF: Of course it has its challenges. Finding great people to work with is key, be that my brilliant staff (Hannah and Lahla), the amazing retailers who stock our products, working with freelance creatives (stylists and photographers), or having excellent relationships with the factories that produce our designs.
TCS: What according to you is a perfect desk?
AF: Probably Hannah’s desk, who is Studio Manager! My desk is an explosion of samples, sketchbooks, and paperwork. Hannah’s is clear, tidy and calm – I’m constantly in awe.
TCS: Where do you see Another Studio in the next five years?
AF: We’re doing a lot more consultancy and bespoke work for retailers, so I see this becoming a bigger side of the business alongside creating our own products. I want the company to grow, but the most important thing is to create a nice, happy work environment for my small team and staff to enjoy. Work should be fun, and that’s how I want to keep the studio!