Name: David Brown
Company: Quartz LC Ltd.
Position within the Company: Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)
I was trained as an architectural interior designer and graduated from Napier University in 1980. Having worked in London for several years I set up my own practice in 1986 in Edinburgh. Lighting became a speciality and became the focus over a number of years. I now devote 90% of my time to lighting design.Quartz was established in September 2012. The concept behind Quartz LC was to focus on producing a top end quality product where detail and construction method was not to be compromised. It was an idealistic goal however, taking a few years to perfect we finally launched our contemporary crystal product followed on by our woven metal products which was launched early 2016.Our goal is to have British designed and manufactured products, even when cost would normally suggest manufacturing components elsewhere, we have rejected the cost benefit for integrity.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I would consider myself to be contemporary and minimalist, however I like to design using rich embellishment in a subtle way. Initially we worked with crystal but handled it in an unconventional way resulting in a minimal but highly decorative crystal product. Followed on by our woven metal and fabric products, the emphasis being in simplicity and disguising structure.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Nature.Quite simply natural light creates the most amazing effects, whether it’s the Northern Lights, refracted light through moving water, sun reflecting on early morning snow fields or translucency of Quartz crystal (I named the company on the back of natural quartz crystal).
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is a better appreciation of materials than there has been for the last decade. This can be seen with the introduction of a variety of manufacturing methods, styles and use of materials. There will always be the element of period reproduction which is simply not for me. I do have more time for some of the later influences from the 50’s to 70’s but I like to live in the present day and use materials that are available to me in a fresh and new way.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond
Sustainability and our environment Break convention Consider new materials Retain a good understanding of historic detail/aesthetic Don’t compromise
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to product design what would it be?
If you do not feel passionate about it – do not do it – find something else to do with your life
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
We have achieved several awards over the years by default, by which I mean, we were the lighting consultants on projects that won significant awards. I personally have shied away from publicity but this has been to my detriment. I have entered this competition because I truly believe in what we have designed and I feel this is a first class competition to be associated with. I can also appreciate the benefits it can bring in exposing our new product to a design conscious audience. So I thank you for the opportunity that the IDA has offered.
What Projects are you currently working on?
Natural crystal with the challenge being ‘avoiding the obvious’.Display products for show apartments in central London 5 Bronze chandeliers for a project in central London Development of a ‘blown glass’ range of chandeliers
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Over the next twelve months we would like to expand our core design range of products but mainly to obtain recognition for the products that we have already launched.
Final Thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession
My canoe that I paddled in the rapids of the Grand Canyon, USA
Your favourite holiday destination
My favourite holiday destination would be skiing on the snow covered mountains with my family
Your favourite hotel/restaurant/bar
It has got to be The Four Seasons on Fifth Avenue, NY Favourite book would be Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Your favourite food and drink
Seafood accompanied by a G&T
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon
It would be white-water canoeing with friends
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be
I would have to be involved in something design orientated such as furniture design but ultimately I am happiest outdoors as I was brought up as a stone mason’s son and so more than likely I would be carving stone.
Anything else interesting?
Travel to other parts of the world exploring a crystal mine, looking for new materials and talking about light.