recipient @andyhau took some time out to provide some answers to Questions that I sent him. He's been rather swamped by some rather interesting client work lately so it took some time for him to find the time but man, it was worth the wait!
Questions with Andy Hau
YD: You are the first person on to mount a campaign to get a Bready!
AH: I know this is not a question but I’m going to comment on it anyway! The competition was so tough! I knew I had to resort to a little campaigning if I wanted to get my hands on that tiny bread! I’m a bit like Monica Geller from Friends in that respect. I only have 2 addictions in life, the first is to sugar and the second is to inauthentic validation from strangers. One will rot my teeth, the other my soul.
You’ve got a track record of beautiful creative work. But, Quinn the Fox seems to be a big part of your oeuvre right now. What was the genesis of Quinn and #QuinnsQuips? Where do you see him going? (FYI - I really like the fox tooth fabric).
AH: Thank you so much for your kind words! I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s where everything in design seemed to be either a subversive attack or an ironic take on a topic. I still love that type of design but I got to a point where I just wanted to create something that was honest and sincere, that wasn’t desperately trying to be anarchic or completely intellectually and emotionally inaccessible. I wanted to tell stories about the things that I had learnt and to express the feelings that I couldn’t express fully with words. When artists create, they involuntarily expose a piece of their soul and Quinn the Fox is nothing short of a reality programme: a unfiltered exposé into the psyche and the inner world of a designer.
Quinn started off as an outlet for me but as his popularity has risen, I introduced a weekly illustration series called #QuinnsQuips which embody a profound idea or an inspiring quote in a unique and colourful way. Despite working in a very visual industry, I find it is words and turns of phrases that inspire me the most. The ideas and quotes for the weekly #QuinnsQuips illustrations usually come directly from my conversations with friends, family or clients during that week – so if you’re talking to me, don’t be surprised to find your words turned into a #QuinnsQuips! I am basically the Taylor Swift of the design world.
In addition to the illustrations, Quinn is also the star of our “Tales From The War & Other Short Stories” homeware collection. Far from being just functional pieces of furnishing, the products in this collection act as important storytelling devices in your home that unlock conversation and trigger memories. We were amazed and so flattered by the reaction that this collection received, which was covered by national press as well as noted interior design sites such as Elle Décor. We are in the process of designing next year’s collection, the “Eye To The Periscope” collection, which will explore the idea of introspection and mindfulness.
Quinn’s adventures can be read at many different levels of meaning, from fairy tale to philosophical treatise, which means that we could take in him in so many different directions. At the moment, I’m really interested in collaborating with people who are in different design disciplines to see what they can do with Quinn. For example, the very talented animator Jonathan Dahl recently helped me bring Quinn to life and make him walk and I am in the process of looking for musicians who might be able to create music based on Quinn - there might even be a Quinn gaming app at some point. I love collaborating with other creative people, so if you have an idea for Quinn, I’d love to hear from you.
(EDIT: definitely check out @ellocollaboration)
So you’re moving . . . your residence. The before and after are stark contrasts. When creating something anew that you’re going to live with every day, what do you think is the most important question to ask yourself? How did you come up with that new kitchen? What worked? What didn’t?
AH: I have moved! I think with all residences, from period property to new build, there is an element of compromise and you have to recognise fairly early on what you are willing to compromise on and what you will fight tooth and nail for to keep. In my case, despite the space being fairly constrained, I had to have a dishwasher – I HATE washing dishes with a passion – which meant that I had to compromise slightly on the location and size of the sink. For others, you may need a certain amount of storage but don’t really care about the size of fridge – just work out your list of what is critical to you before you start. What frustrates me is when people are unrealistic with themselves and so they either end up spending far more than they ever imagined and ending up with something that looks nothing like what they wanted, or the whole project grinds to a halt and they end up with a half finished kitchen. Always be realistic – about your goals, your budget and what is achievable.
Though the kitchen looks great now, when it arrived, many of the units didn’t correspond to what had actually been ordered - to have the correct units delivered would have taken weeks. Because my default position is impatience, I basically asked my carpenter carve up the units and we came up with a different design – I wouldn’t recommend this approach to everyone!
You’ve definitely got a knack for the sartorial. Kick ass socks, fun colo[u]r and fabric combinations, and the rare ability to rock a bow tie. If you could pick one outfit as a uniform . . . what would it be. What would be your go to look that would be both professional and livable.
AH: Thank you! I feel like whoever you are, the way you dress should reveal a little about your personality. That doesn’t mean it has to be outlandish - it could be as subtle as the colour of the stitching. Ultimately, it’s about what you feel comfortable wearing.
As to my go-to uniform - definitely something that involved tweed – probably a tweed blazer, an oxford shirt, a pair of indigo skinny jeans and a pair of good tan brogues. Then in my bag, I’d probably have a bow-tie (self-tie only please) and a pocket square of some description – you know, in case you get invited out to high tea with the Queen.