Watch this space
Desire for cross-pollination is a characteristic of good designers. If you are a good designer — be it in interiors, architecture, graphics, whatever — why be restricted to designing one thing for your entire career? There are design specialists who want to enter fashion; architects are particularly drawn. Pauric Sweeney was training to be an architect before he began designing lighting, jewellery, clothes and, finally, accessories. So when architects Andrew Griffin and Michael Bannon approached me with their watch range, Push, and their business, which they hope to expand into other areas of fashion and accessories design, I took them seriously. These guys are in their late 20s and have already achieved a lot.
Upon graduating from Bolton Street, they quickly built strong reputations as architects. Both do furniture design projects for interiors companies. Andrew is part of the collective that designed the extraordinary Iceberg apartment complex in Aarhus Harbour, Denmark. Michael, of the Bannon family of Dublin jewellers, has long had a dream of supporting young designers and innovative jewellery design. With Push, they hope to get a new creative business model rolling.
Push watches have a strongly minimalist, Sixties aesthetic. In ‘chunky’, or medium sizes, priced at just €49 and €35 respectively, and made in black, white, or rainbow colours with silicone straps, they are set to become a cult product. When lit, the striking blue digital display makes them brilliant for dark interiors. They are available from Bannon Jewellers in Blackrock, Co Dublin and Greystones, and online at alwayspush.com. Ten per cent of all profits go to the Irish Cancer Society.
“As an architect, there is huge emphasis on sustainability and the environment,” Andrew explains. “We want to encourage Irish talent by leading by example and also by bringing people together from different creative backgrounds. We are opening offices on Essex Quay in Dublin, and we hope to hold talks and get a creative centre going.”
Part of the guys’ dedication to Push is that Michael is giving up his career in architecture. “I love architecture. But I love doing this, too,” Michael says. “Packaging in jewellery is a hugely important aspect of the purchase, but it is hugely wasteful of materials. So we were determined to design a box that used less paper, no glue, gave people the information they needed, yet was attractive. The idea is to always push boundaries. To think creatively and try new things.”