Straight out of Brixton Beach, South London, Satta is inspired by nature and captivated by the city. We paid a visit to the studio/workshop/home of Creative Director Joe Lauder to take a tour of the headquarters and find out more about what makes the brand tick, inspirations, and handling the balance between utilizing nature and living in the city.
How did Satta start?
I guess the seeds for Satta were planted in 2007 where I spent my first retreat in the Peruvian amazon staying with a shaman learning about the plant medicines of the jungle. I'd just left school and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and left with a deep love for the natural world. I knew whatever I did I wanted to be working with nature in whatever way possible, and spent the next few summers designing and building gardens around London as Studio Satta. Because of the seasonal nature of landscaping, the winters were really quiet so I often travelled through the winter months. The seeds for Satta in its current incarnation were sown whilst away on a yoga retreat I took through India and Indonesia in 2012.
I see the process of designing not separate from my yoga practice. Yoga in Sanskrit comes from the root verb Yuj, meaning union or, to join. Satta is a union, a bringing together, of all the aspects of my life, both the people, environments and cultures I experience and my personal passions for working with plants and natural materials, skateboarding and surfing, the output being my efforts to try to merge them together into a tangible and cohesive story, which I hope people can resonate with.
How did you get into design and more specifically producing hand made objects?
So starting off as a landscaper and garden designer I often got asked to produce bespoke outdoor furniture pieces for my clients, over time I developed a love for working with wood and decided to
further my skills by studying a fine furniture making course. Once I'd learnt what I wanted to know I left the course and started slowly getting a workshop together in my studio.
What are the key reference points for the brand?
Roots music, Zen buddhism, the trees, the moon, the stars, the seas, rastafarian livity, strictly roots and culture.
Anything inparticular that is heavily influencing you right at this moment?
I've been learning about gaia psychology and its opening up a lot of stuff for me at the moment. At its heart it's about finding ways to re-ignite the emotional connection between individuals and the natural world, in order to help develop sustainable lifestyles and to help support the feelings of separateness from nature. I can only hope that the story Satta tells points in the same direction, because for me that is what its all about, reconnecting.
How do you handle the delicate balance between utilizing nature and living in the city?
Working as a landscaper the balance was easily met, working with the land and constantly finding solutions for people in the city to best utilise their own personal plots of nature. I miss the groundedness which came from landscaping but it only feeds my hunger to integrate the natural world into as many aspects of the design process as possible, be it from the colour palettes, illustrations and graphics to the actual working with natural materials in the workshop.
What does living in London mean to you?
London is so intense, its a struggle to hold your space; for me living in London is about constantly finding balance. London is wild.
What are you listening to at Satta HQ at the moment?
Barrington Levy - Send a Moses
What does the future hold for Satta?
Only Jah know!