Callie Tedder-Hares, Founding Partner and Creative Director of Volume Creative, is also an advisory board member for Sustainable Design Summit (SDS). Callie is an agent for change and a powerful ally for sustainable design innovation within the industry. She has collaborated with brands that want to make a positive change in their industry. Callie has led groundbreaking projects across the airline, cruise and hospitality sectors. Last year, she spoke at SDS on circular design.
We sat down with Callie to talk all things sustainability, from Volume Creative’s cutting-edge solution for bringing new life to waste to her biggest sustainability bugbears, and also to find out why she cannot wait to attend SDS.
Thank you for speaking with SDS, Callie. Can you tell us more about Volume Creative?
We are a female owned interiors and product design agency based in Brighton. Last year, we launched a sister company called Spared where we take waste and turn it into objects, surfaces, art and furniture. I run the two companies together with my business partners.
Why is now the right time to talk about sustainability?
I think right now it’s hugely important, but I’d argue that now the focus needs to be on action. Things are happening that weren’t happening seven years ago. For us, we feel it’s a total emergency and we have an urgent need for solutions. The conversations can’t just be conversations anymore. They cannot be about our egos anymore. A lot of current conversations are about promoting yourself and promoting the future of your brand or making profits. But they need to be about tangible results and solutions.
What, in your opinion, is the biggest sustainable design headache for your industry at the moment?
One of the biggest sustainable design issues is finding companies that will support and want to actively support it, considering the sustainability process from the start rather than it being an afterthought. Ideally, you start having those conversations right from the forefront of the project. We’d like to stop ticking boxes at the end of a project, with sustainability instead being built into the project from the onset.
You’re going to be at SDS where three interiors industries will converge. What are you excited to learn from other industries at SDS?
I’m really interested in understanding the gaps that particular industries have. The role of a designer is really unique; if you don’t understand the pinch points, you’re not able to help solve them. I’m hoping to get a real vulnerability and honesty, to understand what those gaps are so that we can fill them. There’s no point in us as designers trying to solve something that doesn’t need to be solved.
With our company Spared, we are focused on reducing waste going to landfills. This is something we felt very passionate about. At SDS, it will be interesting to learn how others are tackling waste reduction and see what their approach is. It’s a small aspect but it has a huge impact. I think particularly when you’re looking at waste-based materials and furniture, where we need to be going is in not creating any more waste. We already have large amounts of historical waste at our fingertips that can be transformed into beautiful objects, finishes and interiors. Instead, we should focus on that.
Sustainable Design Summit unites the aviation, cruise, and hotel design sectors for a series of talks, roundtable discussions and a sustainable product showcase. Find out about the next event here.