On Wednesday 6th April 2016 we were treated to a rather different sort of #MenabreaMaestro class. In our series so far, we’ve looked at makers, doers and capturers (of sorts!)
With Glasgow-based creative design company INSTRMNT, we welcomed two of the city’s and the countries’ most exciting, upcoming designers.
Becoming a Maestro is as much about vision and the ability to imagine complex solutions as it is implementing them. Without the visionaries, the hands-on craftsmen have nothing to guide their hands.
INSTRMNT represent that vision, and are part of a growing trend towards bespoke and beautifully crafted personal goods. This is their story.
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Founded in 2014, INSTRMNT have found phenomenal international success creating minimalist, user-driven products, most famously their INSTRMNT 01 watch.
On a typically cold and rainy Scottish night, we welcomed INSTRMNT to Sygn Bar in Edinburgh to share a little of their story, their craft, and their thoughts on the industry at large.
Our friends at the Guardian also joined us for the night, partnering up #MenabreaMaestro with their own Guardian master classes. Both initiatives share a similar goal of showcasing some of the most accomplished talent across the UK, and INSTRMNT fit the bill perfectly for us both.
In the more intimate presentation area of Sygn Bar, we served cold Bionda and Ambratta Menabrea to guests as they arrived, alongside some traditional pizza and aperitivos.
Pete and Ross (the visionary team behind, and joint owners of, INSTRMNT) welcomed everyone in, settling the room with the warmth and charm typical of Scotland’s creative scene these days.
“It’s important to appreciate brands that have an emphasis on craft…it’s important to surround yourself with interesting people, and learn from them”
Shortly after the team introduced the INSTRMNT 01, the watch that has been their most famous and influential work so far. One of the key challenges INSTRMNT have faced as a design company however is not becoming typecast or defined by one particular product.
Since the launch and continued success of the 01, INSTRMNT have launched other bespoke products; the 02 (a beautifully designed city bike) and the 03 (the day bed). Both share the same ethos and focus of the 01, but highlight the team’s flexibility and adaptability across arguably more complex projects.
Taking questions from the audience, Pete and Ross returned volley after volley with a refreshing honesty and openness, giving the evening a truly organic feel, and the audience a keen insight into the inner workings of such a high spec design company.
Ross talked about their relationships with other design companies, and how they continued to adapt in an ever changing environment, both at the consumer and macro level. Pete delved deeper into INSTRMNT’s connection with Glasgow and Scotland, and spoke at length about the un-unravelable relationship between the two.
“there’s so many brands doing some really great stuff, but consumers want to know more. There’s a drive for consumers to know more about the provenance”
After half an hour of quick-fire question and answer, we broke for a more informal and relaxed chat, as people moved around the room and got the chance to chat with Pete and Ross one-on-one. Affable and insightful, the team stayed until the last few attendees had left, answering questions and sharing stories of their experiences.
Thank you again to INSTRMNT for a wonderful evening and to The Guardian for their support throughout the whole process.