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[INTERVIEW] Dan Stockley of Hucklebones: Junior Design Awards 2014 Judge

We spoke to our expert panel at this year's Junior Design Awards to find out what floats their design boat and what they love the most about being a judge...

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Daniel Stockley

Name: Daniel Stockley

Day job: Director and business development manager, Hucklebones

Hobbies: Football, fishing, camping and, to be honest, a keen follower of many types of sports.

What is your favourite room in the house, and why?

That’s a hard one as each room sort of serves it's own purpose in a way I see valuable. I suppose the open-plan kitchen / lounge area is nice as there are no TV or other screens to absorb my attention. Many hours of my work involve me being on the computer and email, so any way I can get away from these technologies, the better. This ties in quite nicely with the serenity of camping and fishing that just helps to create a balanced lifestyle away from a busy office.

Why is good design important to you?

Good design is quite often timeless and should be functional (or that’s my view of good design). Something we try to apply at Hucklebones is a strong element of timelessness. This helps to ensure the design is considered good and acceptable for longer by those who buy our product. Good design also offers a viable sign of the times and it’s important a certain place in time has good design to identify the period for years to come. Something we see a lot of nowadays (especially in fashion) is disposable and often un-original product that unfortunately many consumers appear to accept as normal. I hope our era doesn’t become remembered for this type of lazy design.

What qualities do you look for when buying well-designed products for your home?

Functionality is key and quality is important. I prefer to buy and invest in considered and well-designed products rather then purchasing products I can’t build a relationship with over a reasonable period of time. This ensures better value at the end of the day and moves away from the fast-paced and disposable consumption society appears to be opting for.

Do you think having children would change your shopping habits?

I don’t have children myself, but I think the impact of having children in your life would impact buying habits. I definitely would not promote the habits of ‘easy-come, easy-go’, concepts now often promoted by so many disposable and short-lived products available in the modern day. I think I would try to promote an element of understanding about things and their values. Naturally buying functional products should really be a plus with children about, so in that sense, my habit wouldn’t have shifted much.

What or who is your favourite family homeware design label/designer and why?

To be honest I don’t really have a standout designer or brand here that I go for. If it’s functional, usable and of a good quality, then I will lean that way. An established brand with a good quality and well-constructed ethos will win me over too.

What or who is your favourite fashion design label/designer for kids and why?

For kids I think Hucklebones ticks many boxes that attract me. We try to tap in to classic elements as well as being trend led. This complex mix ensures Hucklebones is ‘with the times’ but also allows us to pick elements of tradition that we feel still have value and we ‘just like’. We are also completely original with our design and many parts of our technical and design processes influence the handwriting of the brand.

Do you have any treasured family heirlooms?

No, but I would love to think I could pass something down through the generations that could be cherished and appreciated for generations to come. I’m not sure what that could be though, but the idea that an object from my life could be remembered for years to come sounds quite nice.

What piece of great design do you wish you had invented?

Oh, this is a hard one! I do sometimes look at great historical bridges and value their function, connecting people and places. Joining communities and allowing industry to flourish. I perceive bridges as completely functional, and quite often elegant and beautiful, so I would like to have invented the bridge!

What were you most looking forward to about being a Junior Design Awards judge for the day?

Naturally, it was an honour to be asked to judge and to share views with the other judges. A good discussion is always healthy. It was exciting to see how designers have addressed the challenges of fashion, answered the demands of the customer while being able to instil their own handwriting and uniqueness. Quite often this sounds easy, but the formula for success is quite complex, and to sustain it over a period of time, a larger challenge.


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