Design heroes and teamwork: a quick word with Studio Home's Julia Atkinson

Describe the past year in 3 words: Exciting, empowering, scary / Photograph: Evie Mackay (eviephotography.com)

Julia Atkinson is the creator, curator, photographer and writer of popular blog Studio Home, a place to discover the wonderful emerging talent from New Zealand and Australia's design industry.

Not content to do just the talking, Atkinson recently launched collaborative design series TEAM.WORK, which sees her team up with local designers to create good looking homewares, objects and this buttery leather tote. (Plus, help from young NZ photographers and stylists for each project's creative collateral.)

We chat to Atkinson about her design heroes, inspiration and what's in store for 2015.

What trends have excited you this year?

Not really a trend as such, but I was incredibly inspired by the collaborative, transparent business practice of expat designers and emerging brands based in Bali.

Their attitude to supporting, networking and sharing advice between themselves was not only massively productive but rung out as something really missing within the local industry in NZ – something that I want Studio Home to change.

Stand by....

Who are this year's design heroes? 

Pretty much impossible to pinpoint for me as I saw the launch and growth of so many terrific down under brands. 

A standout would be Terrarium, the collective of Auckland-based young designers banding together to man and run their own retail space.


Objects from Auckland store Terrarium

Also, watching the limitless rise of Australian creative dynamo Beci Orpin and the launch of her new homeware brand Arro Home (not to mention another book!).

And some new Trans-Tasman discoveries which I will continue to watch closely!
- Say Hola!
- Revie Shoes
- Monmouth Glass Studio
- Miss Glass Home
- Radical Yes

What projects are you most looking forward to next year? 

I'm super excited about the continuation of TEAM.WORK and the launch of my Online Media for Small Creative Business seminars.

Also, piloting some workshops in support of emerging creative talent; getting my next networking event off the ground; and, fingers crossed, establishing some rewarding partnerships with innovative, forward thinking brands.

How are you spending the Christmas/summer holidays?

I'm heading to the Marlborough Sounds with my family then back up for a northern New Year, of which the destination is yet to be confirmed. I definitely have plans for many adventures exploring north of Auckland which is pretty new to me! 


Julia's latest TEAM.WORK collaboration is with Kiwi designer Natalie Newlands, who have created a soft leather tote in two colourways.
Photograph: Emily Hlavac Green