We’ve always been a fan of structured pieces, but we’ve been ramping up our appreciation for architectural looks even more recently.
While it is easy to add architectural inspiration through clothing, jewelry is another story. There is a fine line between architectural jewelry that is costume-y and architectural jewelry that is subtle.
Thus, we were ecstatic when we came across these designs by local Seattle brand Simbiotek Design Lab (SdL). SdL is a collaborative effort by Hayley and Hunter, two architectural designers.
Below, we showcase our favorite pieces from their collection alongside a architecturally-inspired ensemble. We even have an exclusive interview with Hayley, who gives us an inside look at her designs, personal style, and more.
Simbiotek Design Lab – $28 and under, Color Block Pumps – $775, Stretch Silk Pants – $350, Cotton Tank – $165
What is the design philosophy behind SdL?
We believe that coexistence with nature in design should be as balanced as the natural world around us. We believe in design as a process rooted in ecology, a creative interpretation of time, place and space as a manifestation of interacting relationships. Ecology is the study of the interactions between life and its physical environment; the relationship between two entities and how they affect one another. Simbiotek design lab will be a new branch of exploration with designs based on scale and elements of nature with the precision and methods of crafting with modern computer-aided devices.
How was the SdL brand born?
Hunter and I met in college while going to architecture school in Southern California. Young and starry-eyed, we dreamed of starting our own design business where we could work side-by-side to the tune of creative freedom, designing what inspired us most without the constraints of scale. Schematic design in architecture often yields many creative concepts that are never developed further. This sparked an idea for using these initial efforts as a springboard for designing new products. Prism Pendants, for example, came about after I worked on an architectural competition for re-imagining the modern classroom. During the process of design, I played with geometric patterns with the hope that a classroom could one day open up to create modular flexible, interactive spaces. After the competition was finished, I had dozens of intriguing sketches of these patterns and I thought why not turn these designs into something useful? Thus our jewelry line was born!
Take us through your design process.
Our process begins with architectural explorations that are rescaled into creative objects. The Prism Pendants are made by using a modern cutting machine called a laser cutter. Each is cut from a sheet of birch, a fast-growing renewable wood, sanded for perfection and hand-fitted onto a custom designed chain and fitting. They are simple, lightweight and easy to wear. As we are trained as environmental designers, our passion for preservation and environmental consciousness is a driving theme in our work. Every item is sustainable and packaged with 100% post consumed recycled materials.
Describe your personal style.
My personal style is a cross between my architectural self and that of my roots, an easy-going eclectic California native. I try to keep things simple. This may include wearing bold, retro patterns like those my mother wore in the 70′s with a hint of intriguing, well-designed accessories. I love to shop for things that are uniquely creative and that are a little odd. Architecture influences my style when it comes to patterns and especially accessories; this is where I make my mark. When I spot a well-designed piece, I have to have it! Maybe it’s because creativity is contagious!
Hunter is also very laid back about his style. He favors Volcom’s high end items because they are well-designed with more of a creative thought process than your typical “California surfer guy” t-shirt. The craftsmanship of the items inspires him with unique detailing and a juxtaposition of interesting, meaningful graphic prints often showcasing the environment.