A conversation with Graeme Ræburn
projects / February 14, 2019
It's been a busy (but highly exciting) few months at the RÆBURN Lab with the appointment of Christopher as Global Creative Director of Timberland, the re-brand announcement in celebration of ten years in business and of course the appointment of brother Graeme as Performance Director of RÆBURN. We thought we would take this opportunity now to sit down with Graeme and get to know him a little better.
How has it been working back alongside your brother again?
Fantastic. There could not have been a more exciting time to join my brother at RÆBURN. We have always worked together in one way or another and I like to think we have a complementary relationship, despite our contrasting approaches to design.
Is there anything from your 10 years at Rapha that you will you bring to your new role at RÆBURN?
There are definite learnings from Rapha that will be interesting to look at through a more sustainable lens at RÆBURN. One of the most interesting aspects to consider and enhance at RÆBURN is the durability of a product within a performance textiles sphere, but also on an emotionally durable level. Our repairs service is a way of establishing a further attachment to a product that a customer can love and wear for longer.
Could you tell us more about the work you are doing at RCA and the Sports As Identity platform you specialise in?
For me, given the opportunity to tutor the next generation of designers at RCA is something I am really passionate and excited about. One aspect we explore is designing for inclusivity while optimising product performance. I don’t see performance to be limited to a football pitch or an athletics track, it also applies for us in everyday situations, which is a large focus of the module.
What project do you feel most proud of that you have worked on in the past?
I always say the thing I am most proud of is initiating the Festive 500 at Rapha. It has become an annual cycling event, with up to 100,000 people attending last year. I think it made me realise the power and strength of a community to challenge themselves, learn new skills and make friends along the way, much like the workshops we run in the RÆBURN Lab.
Is there a particular place you go to gain inspiration?
I have a real passion for cycling and when I’m riding a bike, it can really clear my mind and help me gain clarity. The tricky part is remembering the ideas you have had once you get back home!
What exciting projects are you currently working on at RÆBURN?
We are just in the process of developing the SS20 collection and accelerating concepts which is great to be working on. With a focus, in particular, on designing for repair and rejuvenation. There are endless opportunities for what happens to products once they come to the end of their life, such as over-dying, reapplying labelling and essentially rejuvenating the product that completely disrupts the traditional model of apparel, which for me, is the really exciting thing and something we are looking at currently.
What words would you use to describe your design signature?
Performance and beauty.
What film/book would you recommend?
Anthropocene feature documentary film is pretty startling but one I would recommend, based on humanity’s re-engineering of the planet. Also, an amazing book, Radical Matter by Caroline Franklin and Kate Till is definitely worth a read.