Five design companies from Scotland
Timorous Beasties, Harris Tweed, Blue Marmalade, Linn Audio Equipment and Snook
This Scottish shopping basket shows that the country’s design industries are nothing if not diverse: from traditional woven textiles to the cutting edge of service design, we’ve got it made
This Glasgow design studio has been leading a mission against twee textiles for over 20 years, picking up an armful of awards and famous fans along the way. Best known for provocative, contemporary takes on the toile de jouy fabrics of Napoleonic France, it also makes wallpaper, lace, lighting, rugs and ceramics.
To carry the official ‘orb’ symbol of authenticity, Harris Tweed must have been made in the Outer Hebrides in the traditional manner – and yards and yards of it are, every year. A large proportion of that output goes to fashion houses ranging from that of the late Alexander McQueen to Sara Berman and, in 2004, even to Nike for a limited run of Harris Tweed ‘retro’ trainers.
A furniture and product design company with an emphasis on eco-friendly design, Edinburgh’s Blue Marmalade does not turn out the homespun sort of aesthetic you might expect from such an endeavour: browse its website and you’ll find bright colours, clean lines and striking contemporary design, plus the eco credentials of each item.
Linn Audio Equipment
A name familiar to audio geeks the world over, Linn was founded in Glasgow in 1973 and produced the highly successful Sondek LP12 turntable. It’s still there today, producing top-of-the-range audio equipment with a sleek look for the music fan who’s serious about sound.
Leading the way in the relatively young discipline of service design (designing systems and user interactions in all sorts of contexts) is this Glasgow start-up founded by two graduates in 2009. From creating a new way of interacting with the police to development work with Festivals Edinburgh, it has done a lot in a very short time, and its commitment to doing it in Scotland, with social change never far from the top of the agenda, is admirable.