Alistair is a designer/maker of sculptural furniture and home accessories, who works and lives between Edinburgh and Glasgow, where he grew up. The driving inspiration for Alistair’s work is his love for music and soundscapes; sound acts as a catalyst for the configuration of abstract environments in the mind. Over time, these environments set the scene in which the shapes and volumes of his work are realised - almost as if props from a film that no one else can see. Alistair’s work often includes hand applied materials and finishes that show the markings of a maker and document a labour of love across many months. Texture is also a key ingredient - rough/smooth, natural/artificial - that invites the onlooker in, to study the work with both eye and hand. He completed his Master’s, with First Class Honours, in Product Design Engineering from Glasgow University & School of Art in 2020.
What value does craft have in daily life?
As a maker, I consider craft to be a verb rather than a noun. For me - the act of crafting is deeply meaningful, in a way that words can’t fully express. There is a continual back-and-forth between unrestrained exploration and militant orderliness that I find very fulfilling. Often something completely miraculous and unexpected can take place, but in the same breath I will have somehow messed up the simplest of processes and be brought straight back down to earth. It keeps me on my toes.
What does Scottishness mean to you?
I’ve lived in Scotland my whole life – Glasgow specifically and then Edinburgh over the last year – so it’s all I know from a social and cultural point of view. More recently, I have started to appreciate heritage to a greater degree and feel it is under appreciated in the design world. I find Scottish heritage to have a wealth of inspiration that is not being utilised. Aside from heritage, I also get an image of hard work and community when I think of Scotland.