Very pleased to have Bec Brittain on this weeks The Makers! You may already be familiar with her wonderful SHY light but less familiar with her beautiful hand-woven leather jewelry which is sold via the superb Sight Unseen shop. Thanks for sharing your love of frogs and your gravity anxieties Bec!
How important do you think your working and home environment are to you? ... for example is the work you make reflected in your personal space?
As someone who makes objects for a living, the objects and space that surround me have a constant subtle effect, but it would be impossible to articulate. My home is much more cluttered than my work; perhaps I surround myself with many things but then use the work to pare down to a clearer idea.
While I don’t have any one idea about what design is, for me the form and the function are nearly impossible to separate—when I’m stuck on one, the other can show the way out. Fantasy is where it starts.
What do you think has informed your personal aesthetic?
Do you have a project that was a turning point in finding your creative path?
No, it was a job. Working for Lindsey Adelman really opened my eyes up to the possibilities of low-quantity, high-quality product design. It brought together about 10 years worth of education and searching for where my work fit.
A project where I don’t have to worry about gravity, and light bulbs magically light up without wires.
I enjoy talking with other designers about work, and I’m not super rigid about authorship and where ideas come from. I liberally give and take.
I’m not sure I have one. There is so much room for everything in this world.
I still get excited when I see good work and get very inspired. I don’t spend much time researching what’s out there though—it’s more about what I happen upon. It’s too easy to overload.
Anywhere there are lots of animals to look at. Tapirs and frogs really seal the deal.
Born in Washington, DC in 1980, Bec Brittain studied industrial design at Parsons, earned a BA in philosophy from New York University, followed by an architecture degree from The Architectural Association in London.
Brittain’s work experience has been similarly varied as her education. She was Lead Designer at architecture firm WORK AC, then shifted focus to design luxury door hardware for manufacturer H. Theophile. After years as Design Director at Lindsey Adelman Studio, she started her own product design studio in 2011.
Brittain draws from these different modes of thinking and synthesizes them into a new whole, creating relationships between normally disparate elements. The aim is to create work towards which there is both an immediate sensual reaction to its form and material, as well as a more gradual appreciation of a larger idea.