The Scottish Design Exchange is a unique concept store and not-for-profit creative community, bringing artists and designers together to share a new retail space in Edinburgh that benefits the both makers and customers.
Akvile Su, founder of jewellery brand Objectified, talks to us about her work and inspiration.
1. What are your signature designs?
Minimal and unisex pieces refined to an elegant simplicity.
2. What is your favourite piece from any of your collections?
My favourite piece of my current (and first commercial) collection would be the 'Teardrop Bangle'. It was one of the last pieces to design, so naturally happened to be the most considered piece amongst all. I just love how it looks while wearing, and it's small gold detail.
3. How would you describe your brand?
Minimalist, unisex, classic. Yet modern! (laughs)
4. What is your ultimate goal for the brand?
To stay true to my aesthetic vision. And to keep to a tradition of high quality, handmade and unique pieces. Moving forward I would like to help erase the many gender stereotypes related to both how and who wears jewellery.
5. What kind of things inspire you?
Everything around me is an inspiration! I tend to gather material anywhere I go. I pay a lot attention to the details of everyday things, be it their colour, shape or materials. I also have a great love of photography and painting.
6. How do you think the Scottish Fashion industry can move forward?
I happen to know the Scottish fashion industry well from working as a model as well. There are a lot of very creative and talented people out there! Speaking to jewellery in particular, there is a market for more contemporary and original designs. It is sad to see some designers losing their own identities for the sake of pleasing the public.
7. What customer do you have in mind when you design?
Probably someone like me (laughs)... I aim my jewellery to be appealing for any age or lifestyle people with strong sense of style and their own aesthetic.
8. Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?
It is indeed. Very much so! From my perspective the sharing of knowledge is very important. Working along someone from another creative field or with a different aesthetic can be a great experience. It can be so helpful to receive opinion from another point of view. Two creative minds are better than one after all!
9. What has been the greatest influence on your career?
Probably Pinterest (laughs). You can find work from all around the world there. Also studying at Glasgow School of Art has had a great impact on me as well.
10. Which is more important in your work- the process or the product?
Both are extremely important. I want my final pieces to be flawless, but the making process to be enjoyable as well. I don't think art should be suffering. You should see how excited I get while filing something for hours!
11. Is designing difficult for you, and if so, what drives you to continue?
It can be. Commissions can be a struggle because you want to create something that a costumer would truly love. But practice makes it better. I'm driven by passion to finish what I've started the best as I can.
12. Have you ever been particularly moved by the reaction to your designs?
Every single time I am a little bit moved. Though the best feeling is when people recognise my work.
13. What's your definition of beauty?
Simplicity can be genius. Either it's bare face instead of layer of make up, or minimal cut dress. True beauty is being comfortable with yourself.
14. What's your philosophy?
Less is more!
15. What is the most important lesson you've learnt?
Always try to stay unique. There's a market for everyone and developing your own style instead of chasing trends is the key.