Oscar Axhede Creative Director & Co-founder Urbanears
sc: What is Urbanears? oa: Urbanears is a collective that shares the desire to bridge the gap between technology and fashion. As technology is getting cheaper and cheaper, we will see many ways that it will penetrate our lives, and Urbanears is there to personalise and make it a bit more human. sc: Who are you? oa: Aside from being Creative Director and co-founder I’m a guy who enjoys learning things by doing things. Usually by working with my hands, building things that require problem solving. There is no better feeling than spending a lot of time on a problem, and when you finally figure out how to solve it. Mmmmm, love it. And the more time you spend on a problem the bigger the reward once you solve it. sc: How did this journey start for you? oa: To me a lot of things can be traced back to snowboarding. Before that I was a troubled kid in a Swedish suburb. Snowboarding took me out into the world, and slowly I found my place. A completely new world opened up and it still kind of does. By the way, snowboarding is still one of my favorite things to do! sc: Urbanaears is clearly inspired by urban street culture. What is your relation to the scene? oa: I’ve been into a lot of street culture oriented things such as skateboarding, the rave scene, graffiti, et cetera. All in all, sub cultures and the possibility to build strong relationships when everyone in the room shares the same passion is so great. I loved it no matter what version [of the scene] it was. sc: Tell us about what inspires you? oa: Architecture, industrial design and engineering. People who do things thoroughly and with precision. A well-solved problem is one of the sexiest things I know. All this reflects in the art I like. It’s always very minimal and graphic. Me being Swedish probably has something to do with it :) sc: What kind of music person are you? oa: Techno and house. I’ts been my life for a lot of years, and it shaped me in so many ways. Losing myself in music and getting into a trance state is definitely one of the more profound experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve always listened to music while working and at our office I’m usually the one playing but instead of playing tracks I kind of play mixes due to time restraint. And when done properly you can really build a vibe throughout the day and in the end you’re almost dancing when you leave the office. I lived in Hong Kong a few years back, and those years are basically the only time when I would DJ in public (a few exceptions of course). These days I only spin at home. sc: What triggers your creativity? oa: Materials! I’ve always enjoyed building things, and that thing of making materials transform from one shape into another is so rewarding. Losing myself in that process gets me going. sc: What's going to happen for Urbanears in 2016? oa: We've got big plans of course, but I can’t really go into the details other than that we’re moving off the streets a bit. Where it's taking us I can’t you tell yet. I can tell you this much, we’re gonna continue with a quite heavy flow of new products. We love products and product design, so expect new everything! sc: Is there any particular artist you want to collaborate with? oa: Beck & Jung was a Swedish artist duo who were pioneers in using computers as tools. They’ve made some beautiful objects. I would love to bring those guys back to life for a collaboration. sc: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists out there? oa: Take pride in working hard and doing things a little better and more thoroughly than everyone else. There are so many great artists out there that don’t spend that extra time to get things tight for a presentation. So many focus on the wrong things and instead they miss the presentation or the ambiance around what they’ve done. sc: Please recommend something! oa: Learn about cognitive biases! It’s been truly mind blowing to realize how distorted our reality is thanks to these brain glitches. Self delusion is something everyone should learn about. Try the podcast "youarenotsosmart" and take it from there.