New Norm Magazine
Hestia is a design and architecture studio based in Amsterdam, founded by Scottish designers Craig Hepburn and Jennifer Campbell. Together, we create spaces, products, and experiences for ambitious businesses and inspired individuals. With an emphasis on sustainability, timeless aesthetics, and uncompromising quality, Hestia specializes in interior architecture, furniture design, and identity.
Where are you from / call home?
We are originally from Scotland although we met whilst working together at a design agency in London. For the past few years we have been living in Amsterdam which is definitely the place that feels most like home.
What are some simple pleasures that you’ve rediscovered during the coronavirus pandemic?
We live and work in the Jordaan neighbourhood, at the very heart of Amsterdam. Living in what is normally a busy tourist destination, the main difference during this time has been the transformation of the city center: fewer cars, fewer bikes and fewer people! Most evenings we walk around the historic canals - the beauty and unique architectural character of Amsterdam is an endless source of inspiration and intrigue.
Embracing slower living
How have you and your creative process changed?
Our creative process hasn’t changed as we have our own studio space that we continue to work from every day. Our designs are always based on context and a creative concept that we then use in combination with sketching, 3D visualization and virtual reality to design and develop. Like many other artists, musicians, and creatives around the world; the pandemic has allowed us the freedom of time to spend on creative tasks, free from the pressures created in our modern society.
However, as architectural designers, our business is centered around the use of space and human experience and so we have certainly had to adapt. Craig is currently working on a new arm of the business called ‘The Visual Aye’ that will focus on digitally curated, artistic visualization. As the world increasingly moves towards a ‘digital world’ it will offer a creative alternative to the physical spaces that we can no longer enjoy.
What are some of the things that have changed in your country as a result of the pandemic? What is the new normal?
The lockdown in The Netherlands isn’t as extreme as some of our neighbouring countries. We are able to go outside and most shops remain open. The most noticeable difference is that people are working from home and traveling less. The city is therefore significantly quieter, there are fewer planes passing overhead and noticeably less air pollution. We believe and hope that the ‘new normal’ will be more sustainable, socialist, and less materialistic. Our design ethos has always been one that strives for thoughtful solutions, minimalism, and pertinence… something that we also extend to our everyday way of life.
Travel from home
What was your favourite destination and why?
A few years ago we traveled around the Norwegian Fjords. The weather was on our side, and it was truly an amazing week of unspoiled natural beauty juxtaposed with small pockets of beautiful architecture and some of the most impressive feats of human engineering.
What are some of your most memorable moments during the trip?
The stunning Art Deco streets of Alesund, swimming in the (freezing) water of the Aurlandsfjord in Flåm and the colourful houses of Bergen!
What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?
When we travel we always try and ‘live like a local’, it’s a good way to get a feel for different cultures and challenge your perception and understanding of the world. Culture is defined by how people do things. Changing ones mindset about how to do something is best achieved by living differently and challenging everyday normalities.
You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, where would you go?
Definitely Japan! Our designs are often inspired by Japanese proportion, detailing and craftsmanship.