designer thomas housden

While Thomas Housden practises as an architect in the UK, he also has a passion for getting back to basics with design. He felt that his profession was getting too far removed from the manufacturing process. The result is Hand & Eye Studio, which he launched last year. So far Tom has formed a small studio and workshop, and works with a range of manufacturers in the UK to create products that celebrate materials such as terracotta, earthenware clay and tulip timber.

Which five words best describe you? It depends on who you ask. Tall, skinny dreamer with a pragmatic side perhaps?

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I studied architecture and have worked for a range of companies. I realised whilst working that the one thing I really missed was getting involved with the manufacture of things. Architecture is remarkably remote from the actual process of making so I decided to start to make smaller things. Hand & Eye studio is the result.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? It's always important to understand other peoples' point of view. The amount of times I have seen people demanding unreasonable requests always amazes me.

What’s your proudest career achievement? The very first Hand & Eye Studio sale was a great thing. It's very simple but there is something gratifying in the fact that other people find enjoyment in your work and are willing to part with hard-earned money.

What’s been your best decision? I'm not really sure as it is probably too early to say.

Who inspires you? Samuel Mockbee. He was an architect and a teacher of architecture who started the influential Rural Studio program. I read a number of his writings and was always moved by his thoughts.

What are you passionate about? Manufacturing. Making is so enjoyable as it allows the intellect and all bodily senses to work together at once.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Gertrude Bell

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Hand & Eye Studio would like to eventually own a large workshop space where ideas can be explored through manufacturing.

What are you reading? The hare with the amber eyes by Edmund de Waal

images courtesy of hand & eye studio