IDS 360° Virtual Series: Studio Faculty

IDS 360°, presented by Volvo Cars Canada, is a new virtual series created by IDS in solidarity with the industry and designers we champion. Launched across all our platforms, it highlights handpicked, diverse brands with video Q+As, product launches, studio tours, and more. Not taking our voice and reach for granted, the national IDS platform is accessing individual designers, architects, and brands of all sizes to hear their visions, challenges, triumphs, and potential for a more thoughtful, more beautiful design practice, post-pandemic.

We are thrilled to continue the IDS 360° series with Vancouver-based art direction and graphic design collective @studiofaculty. We recently sat down (virtually) with Vince Lo from the team and he shared some thoughts on the values their design practice was founded on and how those have been reinforced during these unpredictable times.

The team behind Studio Faculty also run the popular home goods and accessories design destination SORT in Kitsilano. SORT is a design store offering a carefully selected range of design products from books, magazines to studio stationery and home goods. Each item is selected with a focus on quality, aesthetics, honesty and a shared goal of improving for the everyday life. Follow along on @Sortdays to learn more.

Q: Who or what inspires Studio Faculty’s love for design?

A: That’s a really great question. I think we are constantly trying to be observant with our environment, with different cultures, and with everyday life. When we were able to travel in the past, we found travelling was a great way for us to find inspiration in a new place, but also gain new perspective on life back home. From those trips, we’re able to see how design has informed the way of life in each city and that always inspires us to look at how design can once again influence our own environment.

Architecture, product design and photography have constantly been sources of inspiration for us and there are so many connections between all the industries.

When it comes to particular individuals, we’ve been really inspired by the work and philosophy of Kenya Hara, Helmut Schmid, and Dieter Rams.

Q: The effects of the pandemic will bring what potential impact to your design practice and the design community at large?

A: I think the pandemic has perhaps revealed many of the injustices and issues in our world that have always been there but has caused most industries to pay more attention now. What it has reminded me about is that design has a direct impact on society, whether in ways big or small, and there is a responsibility here to do good work, being considerate of what we’re communicating and how it impacts society right now and also in the future. So for our studio, we’re hoping to be more intentional with the work we take on and the working relationships we build.

From an operational stand point, the pandemic has definitely forced us to shift the way we work a bit. Aside from working more from home though, most of our work hasn’t changed too much. Half of our clients are international and so video calls are somewhat normal for us.

Q: You define the studio’s philosophy as “Whether within the culture of the studio, in our communication with the people we work with, or in our community, we are striving daily to communicate with honesty, sincerity and an openness to one another.”  How has this ethos and definition evolved or potentially been affected or even been further reinforced in 2020?

A: When we wrote those sentences on our about page a number of years ago, we thought it might come off sounding a bit strange. Yet we really do believe in that approach. We found that most problems that arise in projects came from a miscommunication of expectations or lack of communication. So each year, we try to come back to this ethos and ask ourselves if we’ve truly worked with our clients in this way and also within our team, and try to grow further into this approach.

With 2020, I think this ethos was definitely further reinforced and took on a new meaning. Our current cultural moment is filled with so much mistrust, confusion, and a refusal to listen. We’re hoping to live out this ethos and hopefully it shows in our work and impact on our community.

To learn more be sure to follow along on Instagram @StudioFaculty & @SortDays

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