“We were introduced by a mutual friend at a house party in Ladbroke Grove, London in 2010,” says Chaudhuri. “At the time we were both living in Barcelona and happened to be in London the same weekend. We soon realised we had, up to this point, led parallel lives, having studied at Manchester University at the same time, with both of us ending up in Barcelona. Sean took my number and we met up a month later, five months afterwards Sean proposed and 18 months later we were married. Nine months after that our youngest daughter arrived. It was all fast track!”
Originally from Co Antrim, Sean Hill started RISE Design Studio in Queen’s Park, London in 2011, shortly after they met. Chaudhuri worked as a fashion designer for Inditex for many years before taking on the role of Head of Fabric and Trend development, prior to setting up Kensal Studio in 2014 and Indoi, her eco fashion brand, which celebrates dying Eastern crafts and features versatile garments that can be worn in different ways, in 2018.
“We brought our skills together for the renovation of our house in Harlesden, north-west London. Our second daughter had just been born, so it was a highly stressful, sleep-deprived time. Through the process we really saw each other’s strengths – we are both extremely driven and stubborn which can be both positive and negative.” The end result is a marriage of both their aesthetics and shows their love of “honest”, raw materials with plywood, tadelakt and clay plaster as surface finishes.
Chaudhuri uses their Garden Studio as her workspace, painted in Indoi’s signature Yves Klein blue. “We pride ourselves on making our processes as responsible as possible. It’s important for me that every garment is adaptable and versatile, so that it can be worn in many different ways for many different occasions.” Hill has just completed RISE Design Studio’s first new-build home in North London, featuring green roofs, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems, airtightness, high-performance glazing and solar panels to minimise its environmental impact and energy consumption.
Describe each other: Sean is focused and optimistic, he is a great listener and very nurturing. Mal is incredibly considerate and gregarious. I’ve never known anyone with so many close friends! She continually seeks out the extraordinary from the ordinary. The money-minded one? We are both quite carefree with money but have had to learn to how to reign it in. Mal (surprisingly) is the one to do this more. The here-and-nower, the Futurist? Sean is the futurist and Mal is the here-and-nower. Who’s the Instagrammmer? We both use it for work. Mal tends to get into a scroll hole. Which one of you is always right? We, unfortunately, both tend to think that we are always right! www.indoi.co.uk; www.risedesignstudio.co.uk
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