Before Antony and Richard worked their design magic, who knew a chopping board could be such a style icon?! But they didn't design just any old chopping board, but the Index Steel Chopping Board. Each board is colour coded and has its own index-style illustration tab, indicating which food type it should be used for, to avoid cross contamination of different food. Smart. It’s just one of the unmistakable essentials the design duo has created to sit stylishly on your worktop. The pair has recently launched a new Shop-in-Shop at Selfridges too. In our exclusive ACHICA Living interview, we quiz the twins on home style, inspired designers such as James Dyson and they tell us a secret they've never told anyone...
Did you always know you wanted to be designers and what was your first big break into the design world and setting up your business?
RICHARD: Yes. We both studied product design at school together and then at university. My first break was going to work for James Dyson as a design engineer after leaving university.
ANTONY: We come from creative stock - Mum was an architect and Dad was in manufacturing. We knew very early on that this was what we were meant to do. Our first break was a large order for our glass cutting boards (worktop savers) from the now non-existent department store Alders.
Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Board (above and below)
And now with knives inserted into the design (below)
The Index Chopping board has become such an iconic piece, but what’s your favourite personal design?
RICHARD: The Chop 2 Pot Folding chopping board (below). This was the second product we launched in the range and the first one that had a real functional advantage over all other chopping boards.
ANTONY: My favourite product always changes, but for now it would be the Pie Timer because it’s such a simple intuitive idea that uses the same mechanical movement found in many other timers, but in a far more effective way. The display disappears as time counts down meaning that at a glance you can see how much time is remaining… magical!
Which fellow designers do you admire?
RICHARD: All designers that have managed to combine great design with commercial success. James Dyson, Paul Smith, Steve Jobs, Dieter Rams.
ANTONY: We admire designers who have set up and run their own business from scratch. James Dyson would be an obvious one.
Do you ever wake up feeling uninspired and if so, how do you overcome designer's block?
RICHARD: Getting out of the office. This is critical to coming up with new ideas. We get inspired by looking at different products outside the kitchen - architectural projects and fashion themes.
ANTONY: Not really, my mind is always working on overdrive. It’s important to have a good team around you and when we’re short of ideas we use workshops and brainstorming to help identify potential opportunities and new products. Our approach is very much about problem solving through good design, which could be applied to all areas in the home, such and bathroom or gardening products. We are currently working on utility/cleaning products, which is a new string to our bow.
Which three products can’t you live without?
RICHARD: The No Spill Mill – I love a lot of ground pepper and our new mill is great with its No Spill function that catches excess pepper and prevents it from spilling on the table and cupboards. Second, my iPhone as it’s ideal for viewing product images and drawings when I’m out of the office, and finally Bose Noise Cancellation Headphones. We do a lot of overseas travel and they’re great for the long haul flights.
ANTONY: Nest 8 (below) as I use it most days in some way or another. The Chop2Pot is a folding chopping board and was one of our ‘Eureka’ moments. It really is one of those useful products that you wonder what you ever did without it. Elevate utensils (as below with the baking set) are also great everyday tools with elevated heads that reduce mess.
How would you describe your home’s style?
RICHARD: Contemporary with a splash of antique furniture.
ANTONY: Messy! I have two small children to run around after. The interior décor is quite eclectic, and combines Farrow & Ball elements with the fun and vibrancy of Pop Art. The latest thing I bought for home was a Takashi Murakami print, which is very colourful.
How do you spend your weekends?
RICHARD: If I’m not away travelling or working then I try to get out of London.
ANTONY: When I’m not away on business my weekends are spent with my family. Although last weekend I did sneak a visit to our new Shop-in-Shop at Selfridges, Oxford St.
Tell us one thing about yourself that you’ve never told anyone?
RICHARD: I have a soft spot for Baconnaise – Bacon flavored mayonnaise!
ANTONY: I use our Chop2Pot to fan the BBQ, you see… multi functional!
Here’s a little trivia that you can pass around the Christmas table. Did you know Richard and Antony Joseph are unidentical twins who have brothers who are also twins? Funnily enough, the other twins are also unidentical, but one is identical to Richard and the other is identical to Antony!
The Joseph Joseph promotion at ACHICA starts at 7am Monday 12th December and ends at 7am Wednesday 14th December.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor