Although a lot of design studios cite individuality and authentic self-expression as the main inspiration behind their work, only a few actually manage to meet the expectations that claim gives rise to. One of those studios is definitely Buster+Punch, the new brainchild of London-based maverick designer Massimo Buster Minale, which specialises in lighting fixtures, furniture, customised motorcycles and interior design solutions with a very eclectic clientele in mind. Inspired by the lifestyle of custom-made motorcycle owners and 1980’s rock stars, Buster+Punch has developed a very strong aesthetic which shuns the lightness of Scandinavian minimalism for a darker, grittier (and even sexier) approach. What is impressive with the studio’s output so far is that it doesn’t merely copy the rock, bohemian aesthetic, but achieves an original interpretation of it, which in turn betrays a mature concept behind the overall project and the genuine passion and authenticity nestling in its core.
It all started in a small garage in East London, where Minale and his collaborators discovered a shared passion for making customised objects, which for them is a way of ''elevating the ordinary into the extraordinary'' (a statement which by itself has a rock’n’roll ring to it). Originally founded in 2012, by 2013 the studio then moved to the other side of town, to a railway arch in the very heart of Battersea. An amazing workshop manned by a team of experienced and dedicated artisans occupies the rear of the arch’s cavernous space, while the front functions as the brand’s London showroom and office. In addition to their London location, Buster+Punch also has a second bureau in Stockholm, Sweden, and a brand new shop is set to open there in February 2014.
Drawn from a world of custom motorcycles and rock star lifestyle, the studio’s debut collection HOOKED was conceived as an exploration of ''the darker side of life''. Here, the burnt rubber of a Harley, the knurled grip of the volume knob and sensual touch of quilted silk inspire solid brass light fittings, show-stopping whisky bars, luxurious wingback chairs, limited-edition customised motorcycles, even jewellery, for matter of fact. Minale is after an aesthetic result that is dramatic, beautiful and dark, whilst retaining a timeless elegance, and the studio’s debut 'HOOKED' collection of solid-brass lighting fixtures clearly reflects that intention. Centred around Buster+Punch’s signature ‘Hook,’ originally developed as a way to customise lighting placement, the collection deploys knurled precious metals (brass, gunmetal), dark wood, quilted silk and leather, and rubber, all used with an almost sensual rock’n’roll attitude. The same materials are used in the hand-crafted, customised motorcycles produced by the studio in collaboration with Birmingham-based manufacturer Boneshaker Choppers. Customising motorcycles came as a natural activity for Buster+Punch, since custom motorbikes embody craftsmanship, customisation and being individual – things that the entire team is passionate about.
Apart from its carefully crafted objects and customised two-wheelers, the studio also provides interior design services, with impressive residential and business projects already under its belt, such as a townhouse in London and the new London HQ for wig manufacturer Feme. Some of the projects are executed in collaboration with Buster+Punch’s sister company, Minale+Mann – the successful architecture and design studio founded by Minale and his brother in 2001, which came to be the first high-end design agency in London that also builds its own projects.
[YatzerTip] Heralding the salvation of all interiors from the ‘bad guys,’ Buster + Punch’s brand new HERO light is expected to arrive on the design scene in January 2014, along with a short promo video by Magnus Torsne.