CREATIVE LIVING - Joe Lauder of Satta
We step inside the Barcelona home of Satta Founder and Creative Director Joe Lauder to talk connection, Buddhism, and the art of making.
You grow up in South London and spent your last few years in the UK in Brixton, where you started Satta. What was that like?
I think the thing that defined my upbringing internally was the fact that I grew up mixed race – my dad from Grenada in the Caribbean and my mum from England. My dad wasn’t around and so I always felt that I was missing a part of my story. In retrospect, I think that’s led to a deep desire to know and explore the roots and origins of everything. I’ve carried that inquiry into everything I do and it’s definitely been a big influence on Satta as a brand.
Living in Brixton was the first time I was fully immersed in the Afro-Caribbean community and it felt like a homecoming in some ways, it allowed me to reconcile a part of myself which I hadn’t had the chance to before.
What made you relocate to Barcelona?
I was out in Bali working on an art exhibition and met my partner there. When I came back to London I was going back and forth every few weeks, then my landlord evicted everyone from our block of live/work studios. I knew I wouldn’t find another affordable space like it in London again so I took that as a hint.
We spent a few months in Barcelona and then moved out to Bali for a year to chill whilst she was pregnant. Our daughter was born there. After that, we came back to Europe and decided to give it a go again in Barcelona mostly down to the fact we could be outside pretty much every day with our daughter.
How’s life different there? What does the city offer that London doesn’t?
Everything moves at a much slower pace which, to be honest, took some getting used to. For me, the main difference is the weather and forgetting that rain is a thing.
Left to Right: Hung Satta garments | Skate deck, canvas pot cover by Puebco | Trinkets, treasures, and artwork.
What drives Satta? Why do you do what you do?
I guess Satta is ultimately driven by a deep sense of un-connectedness and not feeling represented in the overriding culture which is driving society. Our lives are becoming increasingly more cluttered, there’s a lack of a sense of connection with ourselves and the natural world, and the material aspects of life are quickly becoming meaningless.
More and more, we’re looking for the feeling of connectedness and balance in daily life and I hope that Satta can bring goods into being which help to facilitate that balance and reconnection.
Why are you drawn to making instead of simply curating your own aesthetic, especially when we’re so saturated with choice?
I think simply because I love the practice and process of making.
There are a fair few Buddhist and Hindu references throughout your home. How come?
Buddhism’s been a part of my life since I was about 16. When I was working as a garden designer and landscaper I used to spend the off-seasons travelling in Asia – Tibet, Nepal, India, all places with a rich Buddhist and Hindu culture and these are things I’ve picked up along the way.
Fabric Organiser by Puebco, Chopping boards made by Joe, homewares and Indonesian textiles from Merkabah.
You’ve also got a fair few unique pieces of art and collectables. How do you source these? Are they items and objects you come across whilst travelling? Is it art your friends have made?
It’s the same deal, all of it has been collected on my travels. I finally put together a collection of it a few months ago in a new side project I’ve been working on – Merkabah. Aside from that, there are a few artworks from swaps I’ve done with friends and even strangers that have become friends like that sick piece [pink collage above computer] in my studio.
Pink collage above computer by Shon Mahoney.
Left to right: Trinkets and treasures | Buddha and singing bowls from Nepal | Macrame by Abha.
Satta looks towards balance and doing away with the unnecessary. You're inspired by travel, amongst other things, an experience in which you get by with the bare minimum. Have you tried to keep your living space fairly minimal?
We try our best, although my daughter has a different idea! My partner and I both work from home and our work involves craft and lots of different materials/tools so it’s a balance between keeping it minimal and maintaining an ease of utility and function… a bit like Satta I guess.
Satta has evolved into a lifestyle brand covering a fair few different areas, from clothing to skate decks, to incense. Where’s the brand headed in the future?
Aside from just making the things which get me stoked, the thread which unites everything I try to do with Satta is one of connection. I can see that playing out in a bunch of different ways, from hard-goods for spending time outside with nature, to the goods which support us in introspective practices of union with ourselves, like yoga and meditation… there’s a couple of hints of where my mind is at.
Left to right: Collectables from travelling | Buddha and singing bowls from Nepal artwork from friends and travelling.