KACPER HAMILTON

DESIGN
Interview for The Risky Issue - XIII

KACPER HAMILTON – Design.

Interview – The Risky Issue – XIII

CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF ?

Hi. I am Kacper Hamilton, a British Designer. My studio is based in East London, where I work on self-initiated and client projects for high-end brands.

HOW DID YOU BECOME A DESIGNER AND WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST INFLUENCE ?

My upbringing was very much based around the art world. My mother is a painter, so I was always attending private views & many exhibitions. Since the time I can remember, I was affectionately passionate about art & design. Whilst at boarding school (10-18 years old), I would spend most of my time in the art or design department; drawing, painting, sculpting, carving, wood turning, model making… I loved working with my hands. It came naturally; I decided to pursue design as I realized that I could combine all these elements in one medium. I went on to study ‘Product Design’ at Central Saint Martins in London, and ‘Luxury Design’ at ECAL in Switzerland.

I was always deeply inspired by infamous figures and peculiar characters from the past such as Akhenaten, Marquis de Sade, Count of Montecristo, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Faust… For me it didn’t matter if they were real or fictional, it was the stories they told.

TODAY, WHAT IS YOUR STRONGEST INSPIRATION ?

I am mostly inspired when reading a novel. Recently I read ‘1Q84’ by Haruki Murakami and ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles; my library is my humble abode.

Also, I have and still am deeply inspired by Japanese history & culture. A few days ago I watched ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ directed by David Gelb, these words will remain with me forever: “Always look ahead & above yourself. Always try to improve on yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft.”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO US THE WAY YOU WORK ?

I always carry a sketchbook and fountain pen, as I like to record my thoughts & ideas no matter where I am; it is probably the first possession I would grab if my house were burning down. I spend a significant period of time researching my subject to understand all the elements. I am passionate to explore narratives, customs, traditions and I place a strong emphasis on the theatrical element in my work.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR IDEAS FOR A PROJECT ?

It depends if it’s work for a client or whether it’s a self-initiated project. Many ideas come from what I have experienced, seen or read in the past as well as the constant search to understand the many principles of metaphysics. I am fascinated by stories, which take me to another epoch from the past and present different contrasting lives & existences through the eyes of a character, such as the Count of Montecristo or Grenouille. I love walking through a book shop such as Hatchards in London and looking for the next tale.

However, recently I was working on some crystal Vases for Baccarat, and my idea for the designs came from visiting their factory. Seeing such a vast array of production techniques triggered an idea to create a ‘Cadavre Exquis’ by mixing the skills and techniques used by Baccarat craftsmen since their foundation in 1764.

CAN YOU TELL US THE CRAZIEST EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD ON A PROJECT ?

Probably seeing my work, ‘L’Art de la Degustation’ for Ballantine’s 12yo Whisky in many magazines and billboards all over France including motorways & the Paris Metro (Dec/Jan/Feb – 2012/13).

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB/ PROJECT ?

There are many things I would like to achieve in terms of art, design and architecture. I am keen to keep developing my studio and to one day be in a position where I can design and manufacture my own line of products in-house.

WHAT IS THE FEELING THAT YOU WISH TO COMMUNICATE IN YOUR WORK ?

It is a very valid yet complex question. Most of the time I want to convey a sense of beauty and respect for our past, whilst building the foundations for our future.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTIST’S LEITMOTIV ?

Narrative. Ritual. Tradition. History. Respect. Honour. Craftsmanship. Luxury.

HAVE YOU GOT OTHER CURRENT PROJECTS ?

I am currently working on a commission for a Port drinking set as well as some large lighting pieces for a prestigious art/design gallery in London. I am also working with a Swiss ski company, ‘ZAI’ to bring the Higo tools & Core Axe to market, which I designed last year.

YOUR LAST WORDS ?

Thank you & a quote from one of my favorite books: ‘Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.’ (Perfume by Patrick Suskind)

DESIGN : Kacper Hamilton.
DIGITAL TEMPLE Magazine – MMXIII.