At Our Core
We believe that Art and Design can be used as a vehicle for societal change, from making us think differently about how we consume to building entirely new systems for consumption. We also believe that Art and Design has the power to help us lead more meaningful, joyful lives. We maintain that a world of creativity and productivity can be a beautiful one - striving not for having 'nothing' but for having 'things' which we love and will treasure that are purchased in full awareness.
All the accessories that we make are inspired by modern day societal stories and are designed to encourage you to think deeper about the world we live in today and our role in it. Each piece is labelled with how much carbon dioxide was produced in the process and how much water was used to make it. We are advocates for environmental consciousness.
Our Reason for Being
Laboratory of London is British based House of Imagination that exists to bring joyful, meaningful experiences to the luxury goods customer and transform the luxury goods ecosystem through crafting fine quality products and experiences that evolve humanity and treasure nature. We authentically care about using design as a tool to improve lives; respecting our community, culture and the environment; and that compelling solutions and experiences can be found where different ideas, fields and cultures collide. Our vision is to create a world in which people can enjoy the art, craftsmanship and memorable experiences synonymous with the luxury sector whilst contributing to environmental and social progress.
What is a House of Imagination?
Imagination is the essence of great design. Without imagination and the ability to rethink, remodel and question the structures of today, we minimise the chances of our work being culturally meaningful. Yes — execution is important and something to be taken seriously — but knowing what is worthwhile to execute on beyond thinking about profit, is at the heart of the work that we do. Imagination, curiosity and questioning are the foundations of our work.
It is common to say that you “don’t need a great idea to start a business” — very true. Mindless consumption means that most things would sell, to someone, somewhere. However, imagination, knowledge and awareness are essential to creating what matters. So I termed the organisation a House of Imagination because first we imagine and then we design. We imagine what the future could look like; we imagine how lives will be affected by our work; we imagine what new stories could be created to improve our experience of life as individuals and as a society. This is not about ‘great ideas’, ‘big ideas’ or ‘complex ideas’ but rather that our creative energies are invested in work that is worthwhile and aligns with our values, no matter how big or small. Sometimes great work is born from moving small step by small step.
Connecting to the World
Great relationships are central to living a happy life. Our philosophy for connecting with the world is one based on cultivating a deep understanding of those we serve and those we work with. We aspire to connect with our customers in the way that two loving friends might connect with one another. Through our connections to our customers and our collaborators we work to get the best out of each other and help improve each others lives. This does not mean that on occasion we won't make mistakes, but we commit to taking responsibility for our actions and doing our very best to make amends in a way that is meaningful to the other party. We set the intention that this ethos extends into our creative work and that the relationship you have with the work that we do is something that enriches your life also.
Why we charge what we do?
When poet Kahil Gibran spoke of Work, he described it as 'love made visible.' Our creative efforts are simply a way to share our love of imagining and connecting, doing so in the most responsible way possible. All of our products are made in England. We work with a printing company in Macclesfield that was born out of the deep passion of one man for the textile industry in the 1970's. The family still run the company to this day. We also work with independent artists and a London based tailor, all of which we are committed to paying a respectful price to for their craft so may continue to labour out of love. It takes roughly 12-15 people to produce a single scarf, excluding the delivery men and packaging people that we work with. We truly believe that these people deserve respect and the opportunity to make a decent living from doing work that resonates with them. In a world of mass production, producing limited runs by its very nature is more expensive. Yet we continue to do so for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure that you have distinctive pieces and secondly to minimise the amount of waste that we produce. We want to ensure we can focus our financial and energetic resources on the things that truly matter to us and to you.
Why are we called Laboratory?
We are called Laboratory because the founder Natasha Hussein is a Chemist by formal training. Inspired by the space in which to take creative risks, play with new concepts and undertake in depth investigation, she named us Laboratory. It was done with the vision that as we make, we keep experimental in mindset and to remind us that at its essence creativity is about play, exploring the unknown and having fun. That was the premises on which this company was founded and is something we aim to stay true to each day. Laboratory is a place where we experiment with design and use it as a tool to help improve the life experiences of those we serve, in a way that is culturally relevant.
Why do we work across disciplines?
We work across disciplines because we see design work as a vehicle to transform lives. We are interested not in one segment of life but in the experience of life which is complex, multi-sensory and multi- object. We are interested not in isolated occurrences but multi- point interactions. Our design work is simply a vehicle through which we hope to improve life, bit by bit, whether it be helping people to think more critically, to try out a new perspective, become more aware, experience more joy or connect more deeply.
Our work is solely the process of mastering bringing ideas to life, even if the exact manifestation of those ideas looks different. Our emphasis is on the process, dedicating ourselves to bringing our full spirit and attention to creating for our customers and clients.
We also feel that it is important to leverage our knowledge as we go along, which is why we work with young people to inspire them to create and to stimulate their thinking in a way that conventional education can fall short.