Designers at Heal’s: Rising Talent

up-and-coming designers

Our Rising Stars are some of the UK’s most pioneering up-and-coming designers. Their craftsmanship, innovation and design talent guarantee they’ll be big names in years to come. So, without further ado, let us introduce you!

Lea Randebrock

Lea Randebrock

Committed to designing products that consider ecological and social implications, Lea Randebrock explores the idea of how people can consume in more sustainable ways.

Taking offcuts of glass which are often thrown away, Lea has worked with the London Glass Company to develop unique and beautiful vases exclusively for Heal’s. The bubbles seen within the vases are a natural process when reheating the glass offcuts, often seen as an error for glassmakers, Lea has turned it into a beautiful feature of Fusion collection.

Fushion Vases by Lea Randebrock
Fushion vases

“I grew up in a very eco-conscious surrounding, so considering how my actions might impact the planet is very natural to me. At university, we read “Design for the Real World” by Victor Papaneck, and his quote: “There are professions more harmful than industrial design but only a few of them” stuck with me. It was then I realised that designers have a responsibility when designing for mass-production. Ever since, I have designed products that consider the ecologic and social implications, to the best of my knowledge and ability. I try to approach design from different perspectives, experimenting with the idea of how we might be able to consume in more sustainable ways.”

“I wanted to look at the circular economy, and glass can be infinitely recycled and remelted again – this is a really rare quality and something I found interesting from a systemic perspective. The project took a lot of unexpected turns, but I’ve learned so much and I am grateful for Heal’s trust and support in bringing my experimental designs to life.”

Studio Gud

Studio Gud

Founded by designers Alexandre Kumagai and Paulo Neves in 2010, Studio Gud explores the relationship between objects, spaces and stories. Since 2016, the studio is run by Paulo Neves.

“It has always fascinated me the way spaces and objects interact with people, no matter the scale; also, the memories and the stories they bring or trigger. I like to work having in mind that creation is a full circle – the empathy we grow towards something will allow awareness to its true value.”

“Product design, and furniture design to be more precise, was a path that carved itself, as the studio was born simply to create – create ideas that could be brought to life within close radius and create empathy, explore the process, the materials, the craftsmanship. And so with that it started: from makers nearby, with known materials, to bring new approaches, new stories and visions for the future. Inspiration comes from anything that surrounds you. Being attentive, empathic and curious is part of the studio’s design culture.”

Cabinet by Studio Gud
Keep cabinet

“The ‘Keep’ cabinet took shape through the idea of displaying and protecting a personal vision, personal landscape. And so the narrative developed into the frame-like design – an open window to imagination. It was thought to give content the space and the accent that it needed. The challenge was always to design it keeping in mind that it was going to contain other objects, but it had to appeal to the imagination by itself.”

“The ‘Notch’ coffee table develop from experiences playing around how materials could be in balance: flesh and bone, warm and cold, wood and marble. The making of space for details celebrates this dialog and creates continuity by exploring these structural connections.”

“About ‘CanCan’ coat hanger for WEWOOD, it has a very cool story. The idea came from researching height and structure for the type of object: the coat hanger’s arms and legs suggest movements that allude to the movements of the ‘cancan’ dance. The four identical pieces are tied up together with a single leather cord, which creates a visual pattern reminiscent of the corsets used by the dancers. Traditionally, ‘cancan’ dancers have 1,70m in height, which is the same height of the coat hanger.”

“When the ‘Orca’ chair was designed we were trying to develop work around the concepts of heaviness and lightness. What could seem light and inspire elegance, although being heavy and rigid in its core – thus the orca metaphor. A light and fluid movement only achievable by seeking to highlight the best manufacturing skills. ‘Orca’ chair, for Wewood, is a sculptural chair made of solid oak or walnut wood only possible by working closely with craftsmanship and materials.”

Divine Savages

Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy - Divine Savages

Determined to do interiors their way, Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy founded Divine Savages in 2017; taking inspiration from history, culture, fashion and the natural world to create a melting pot of influences.
“We find inspiration in many different places. Living in a city like London inspires us all the time; it’s such a vibrant place with so much going on. We love soaking up culture at museums, events or exhibitions and Tom often carries a little notebook to scribble down anything that catches his eye!”

“The natural world is also a huge source of inspiration for our designs – we’ve been lucky enough to visit some amazing places and landscapes over the years so this all permeates through into our design work. Collaborating with London’s Natural History museum on a collection was a dream come true for us!”
“We’re also massive vintage fans – so you’ll often find us wandering around junk shops, antiques fairs and markets finding new treasures that inspire us. We love vintage illustrations, old magazines and books and often we’ll rework some of these traditional elements into our designs, adding our Divine Savages twist.”

Botanize Heritage cushions - Divine Savages
Botanize Heritage cushions

“We’ll often play around with different patterns and layouts until we’re happy with the overall balance of the design and then the fun begins with different colour schemes, which can take quite a long time for us to agree on!”
“Seeing our Botanize Heritage collection on display in the store is so surreal, we still can’t quite believe it! We love the history of Heal’s and how you support younger designers and brands, giving them a platform – so we are very grateful to be a part of that special story.”

Annabel Cucuz

Annabel Cucuz

A recent graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, Annabel Cucuz takes inspiration from her home in Staffordshire, which lies at the heart of Britain’s pottery industry.

Working with local clay suppliers to create beautiful stoneware, each of Annabel’s hand-sculpted vases are entirely unique. The pieces delve into the complexity of design aesthetics, playing on the idea of being disguised within any interior, whilst evoking a nostalgic feeling.

“I love flicking through interior design books published in the latter half of the 20th century, particularly the 70s and 80s, which I source from charity shops and eBay. They evoke a weirdly ambiguous and unreachable nostalgia for me – it’s strange to feel a nostalgia for a time when I wasn’t alive. I attempt to capture this feeling in my sculptures by echoing certain themes or shapes that appear in different interior settings.“

Annabel Cucuz Vases
Annabel Cucuz collection

“When designing, I fill sketchbooks with drawings that I’ll create whilst researching, and my sculptural forms evolve from this visual research. My pieces play on the idea of being able to disguise themselves into any interior, whilst being able to evoke that nostalgic feeling. They exist in the visual in-between.”

My collection with Heal’s consists of repeated forms that run in parallel with my artistic practice of one-off pieces. My ethos runs heavily on being so interested in the history of interiors and architecture, allowing that to inspire my sculptural forms on a smaller scale so that they can be enjoyed by anybody in their homes. Being so interested in architecture and design has pulled my art away from working exclusively with a white cube gallery scenario in mind – instead, I like to create works that can help to elevate domestic settings. Work that people live amongst – work that will naturally be embraced for longer than the few seconds a person might spend in front of it in a gallery.”

Amechi Portrait

Amechi Portrait

Officially launched in December 2020, Amechi Mandi’s eponymous homeware brand is a purpose-driven enterprise. Having become dissatisfied with the range of West African-inspired home décor on the market, Amechi looks to celebrate pre-colonial African heritage through exciting and inspiring products, which explore aspects of indigenous African traditions and cultures. The collection launched as part of Heal’s Discovers 2021 and features five vibrant designs across velvet and linen cushions.

“I take inspiration from indigenous African traditions and cultures. This can range from textiles, art and other cultural aspects which served as communication expressions. For example, scarification is common amongst many indigenous cultures in Africa, while body paintings or mud house wall colourings are all expressions that communicate a particular message within societal structures, distinct to the community where the expression originated.”

“I reimagine these inspirations into practical items for everyday use in a contemporary home setting. Each design is hand drawn until I’m satisfied with the outcome, then will go through prototyping here in London, with sample printing and sewing, to see what else might need to be altered before sending to the manufacturer.”

Amechi Cushions
Amechi cushions

“The goal of the brand is to support the communities that inspire me. My Amechi collection is inspired by modesty aprons that were worn by the Kirdi people of Northern Cameroon. I initially started talking with some youth leaders in that part of the country to set up a little cooperative, where I would support young women by teaching vocational skills, such as sewing, so that they could go on to start their own businesses. This proved complicated for many reasons – mainly due to the unrests in the region, especially the Boko Haram insurgencies.”

Patricia Perez

Patricia Perez

Born in Spain in 1983, Patricia Perez studied Industrial Design Engineering and Product Design in Barcelona. Upon receiving a grant to study jewellery, she moved to Brighton and later to London where she worked as an intern for Michael Sodeau, before developing her career in product and interior design.

Driven by a curiosity for how things are made, Perez loves to visit factories to watch the machinery and engineering process taking place.

“Design is something that has always been very present at my home since I was very little although I never knew that was the path I was going to follow as an adult. It wasn’t until considering University that design became a tangible career path to focus my creativity.”

“When I finished University, I decided to move to London and started working at different design studios which I think helped me to define what I like and my style in general. I also worked as an interior designer which gave me a wider view – not focusing just on product, and feel this is why functionality is so important in my designs.”

Mouro Lamp by Patricia Perez
Mouro lamp

“I began thinking about the portable lamps while on the hunt for one for myself. Having your own need is often a spark for new design as you identify and intimately understand the requirements. For me, the main one being that it should be directional as well as portable to maximise its range of use: from a focussed side table light for reading to a softer ambient light you could place wirelessly on a shelf, none that I could find satisfied both. I also wanted something that had weight and permanence so knew the material choice and construction would lend to the development of the form and scale. All of the lighting components are housed within the framed disk allowing it to fully rotate and change the light while the solid steel block at the base gives it weight, stability and is satisfying to hold. “

“I’m from Santander, and the Mouro lighthouse is an enduring reference point for me so I wanted to pay homage by naming the finished product after it.”