An interview with Alexander Harris
Founded in 2013 by Alexander and Sharon Harris, London-based design consultancy Harris & Harris work internationally, creating inspiring interior and product designs. Our collaborative range with the Harris & Harris team centres on an innovative use of materials, crafted with expertise and precision. In this interview, Alexander discusses some of the key influences behind the collection, the use of skilled craftsman in the UK and featuring at this year’s Design Junction.
I spent the past ten years working for some major names from the design world including Terence Conran’s company Benchmark, David Collins Studio, Kelly Hoppen, and Philippe Starck’s property development company, Yoo. This experience was invaluable and built a fantastic pathway to forming our own studio. With my product design background and Sharon’s interior architecture experience, we are well placed to run a truly multidisciplinary design studio.
There were two primary movements of design that influenced the range; 1920s/1930s Art Deco as well as 1960s Pop design. The result is refined and chic, yet at the same time quite fun and bold.
We have recently seen the material used widely for interiors in Miami and found it to be very striking. Terrazzo also has a rich design heritage, having been used prominently for hundreds of years. There is also the opportunity to use recycled glass and scrap marble chips which can make the material a more sustainable choice.
Although Terrazzo is seen in a number of areas of design, it is rare to see the material used for a product in this way. The use of the accompanying metalwork is also timeless and the stunning ‘capsule’ diffusers provide a dramatic look when illuminated. The design language is effectively carried through each piece with a strong sense of continuity. However, each piece in the range can also stand alone confidently.
What type of interior(s) do you envisage the lighting range being most suited to?
We can imagine our lighting range working in both modern, contemporary interiors as well as more historic settings, particularly within an Art Deco-influenced interior. The collection will also work well in both residential and hospitality environments.
How important is it that the range is built using skilled craftsmen in the UK?
It is very important to us as a studio that we work closely with artisans in Great Britain. This is a strong part of our brand ethos, helping to support craftsman and learn from their expertise, which in turn can help shape the design itself. Environmentally, working with local workshops is also a key consideration.
You recently unveiled the collection at this year’s Design Junction. What was the response from the visitors to this year’s show?
The response to the collection was great. One blogger said they thought the Azzero table lamp was the best item at the show, which was very kind! We also had a fantastic response from many interior designers, so we hope to see some of the collection featuring in their projects soon. We’ve also been involved in the early stages of the collection being used in some big projects and had a keen interest from a number of major press publications.
Below: Harris & Harris at Design Junction 2017. Photography: French & Tye
You utilised quite a unique stand design for the event. Can you tell us some more about the inspiration behind this?
We wanted to show our furniture and the Azzero collection within several varying room-sets and so it made sense to display this on a rotating stage, making best use of our limited space. The final touch was the beautiful wallpaper from Cole & Son and sleek switches from Wandsworth. It all came together seamlessly and I believe showed our designs in the best possible way. It also seemed to really capture people’s imagination.
Below: Alexander and Sharon Harris
Discover the full Harris & Harris collection below including the table lamp, floor lamp, desk lamp and wall light. Each piece features softly illuminated opal glass capsules, metalwork presented in a rich gold finish and vibrant terazzo stone.