'Westhill is a modern lifestyle brand creating jewellery for the conscious consumer. Influenced by the Australian lifestyle and commitment to the outdoors, Westhill pursues a meticulous approach to simplicity as a platform to showcase some of nature’s finest materials. Westhill is of the opinion that social responsibility need not be a barrier to aesthetics. All products are designed and made locally in Sydney, Australia, using traceable materials and low waste processes.'
That's where we start. A summary of the brand at it's inception. No doubt it will evolve over time but it's good to put a stake in the ground for us to reference as we progress.
Today, Westhill is a brand based on collaborations. A collaborative project bringing together local talent and suppliers. People with complementary or overlapping skills all creating with the same values. Believing that Made in Australia should be a badge of honour representing a lifestyle-focused, material driven and socially responsible approach to products. Helping to build purposeful relationships with an object's materials, it's source and it's lifecycle moving forward.
Inspired by Hella Jongerius’s design manifesto, ‘Beyond the New’, we have refined a few of her principles for our own work. We make no pretence of having perfected these ideals but they are what we aspire to;
// Design should start with a story or an ideology, not a blank piece of paper. Designing from nothing creates an empty shell, requiring overblown rhetoric to fill it with meaning. The story of a product should speak to the user, as an embodiment of a fond memory or a reminder of a worthy ideal.
// We do not enjoy new for the sake of new. Good design is timeless in nature, lasting through generations.
// Embracing new technologies, alongside traditional techniques, has the power to unlock new levels of creativity. Aesthetic value is a strong communication tool, with aesthetic refinement coming only through meticulous exploration of different techniques.
// Designers should address the circular economy that they are working within. Focus should not solely be on the expressive power of aesthetics, but the investigation into a products lifetime need also be extensive. How the product holds up through frequent wear, and what happens to the product should the user no longer have a want for it.
// Words such as ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ become meaningless in a world of over-use. A brands values must be present from the beginning of the design process, not added as an after-thought for empty marketing appeal.
// Design is continual improvement. Always learning. Design requires constant research into materials, processes and fundamental questions like ‘how can we create without meaninglessly contributing to a world full of noise?’