Stirling-based design studio reveal Scottish Album of the Year Award

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s national music prize - reveal Stirling based design studio ART FUTURO were selected to create the bespoke prizes for The SAY Award Ceremony.

Stirling-based design studio reveal Scottish Album of the Year Award
Art Futuro's bespoke prizes will be presented to the artists celebrated at The SAY Award Ceremony at Stirling’s Albert Halls on 20 October.

Design duo ART FUTURO blend natural materials with cutting edge technology to create unique products, and their practice demonstrates a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability.

Their bespoke prizes will be presented to the artists celebrated at The SAY Award’s Stirling debut at the Albert Halls on 20 October.

The Design Commission is a unique feature of The SAY Award which has existed since its inception, and highlights the enduring links between music, art and design in Scotland.

This year, The SAY Award, Stirling Council and design curators Local Heroes invited local makers based in the Stirling area to submit an expression of interest and outline their vision of how the awards could be imagined.

The submissions were reviewed by design curator Dr. Stacey Hunter from Local Heroes, Caroline Mathers, Director of The Stirling Smith Museum and Art Gallery, and The SAY Award Event Manager Hilary Goodfellow.

Submissions were required to demonstrate how they would embed sustainability as a key pillar of the design and production process, in keeping with SAY Award’s environmental ethos.

Design Studio ART FUTURO – who are Swiss couple, and Stirling residents, Phil and Franziska – were selected by the panel for their response which fuses natural slate veneer with technology to create bespoke trophies that are both sculptural and useful.

The winner of The SAY Award 2022 will receive a natural slate veneer trophy, which also functions as a high-end Bluetooth speaker.

The nine remaining Shortlisted artists, as well as the winners of the Sound of Young Scotland Award and Modern Scottish Classic Award, also receive bespoke prizes handcrafted from ART FUTURO’s signature slate veneer sourced locally in Scotland.

New and unique

Phil and Franziska, from ART FUTURO, said: “The products we design are all centred around slate veneer, an amazing natural material which we fell in love with. Every sheet of stone veneer is unique and beautiful.

"The vast diversity of music written and performed here in Scotland made us realise that there is a strong parallel to the diversity found in the natural stone materials we work with.

"Each piece is made of the same base material, but every piece is unique, with different colours, patterns, and shapes. Music is similar. All songs are created from notes, but skilled musicians can arrange these into something new and unique.

"For the winner, we wanted to create an award that stands out and is directly linked to sound. The idea for a stylish Bluetooth speaker in our hallmark slate veneer was born. We were delighted to find that the SAY Award Selection Panel committee had chosen our proposal.

Art Futuro's bespoke prizes will be presented to the artists celebrated at The SAY Award Ceremony at Stirling’s Albert Halls on 20 October.
Art Futuro's bespoke prizes will be presented to the artists celebrated at The SAY Award Ceremony at Stirling’s Albert Halls on 20 October.

The couple design all their pieces as a duo and, until now, have manufactured everything in their home workshop.

As a result of their SAY Design Commission selection, ART FUTURO have been given one year of free studio space by Stirling Council, allowing them to move elements of their production to The Cowane Centre, a creative hub in Stirling City Centre.

This is part of the Council’s long-term commitment to invest in culture to power inclusion, economic growth and regeneration, improving the lives of people in all of its communities.

Incredible talent, diversity and breadth

Cllr Margaret Brisley, Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, said: “Huge congratulations to Phil and Franziska from ART FUTURO for being selected for the commission and creating such fantastic, innovative prizes for the ceremony.

"The high-quality entries showed the incredible talent, diversity and breadth of Stirling’s creative community, demonstrating again that Stirling is alive with culture.

"Stirling Council is committed to investing in culture and the arts to deliver growth, break down barriers and regenerate our communities.

"We are delighted Phil and Franziska will now have the opportunity to showcase their creative talents on the international stage and have the use of the studio space at the Cowane Centre to develop their business.”

Outstandingly beautiful

Hilary Goodfellow, Design Commission Producer & SAY Award Event Manager, said: “ART FUTURO’s practice combines traditional materials with technology to create outstandingly beautiful, unique objects, which are pieces of art in their own right, but also cleverly function in other ways.

"We’re delighted that they accepted our commission, and anticipate they’ll be approached to undertake many more creative collaborations when they take up their studio space in Stirling’s Cowane Centre.”

For the fourth year, The SAY Award is collaborating with Edinburgh-based design curators Local Heroes, who develop projects with partners in the cultural and commercial sectors.

Local Heroes, led by Stacey Hunter, create opportunities for high quality design from Scotland to be presented and promoted to the public and industries, at home and on the international stage.

Elegant and sophisticated designs

Stacey Hunter, Founder of Local Heroes, said: “Once again, it has been a pleasure to be included in the SAY celebrations.

"We love the designs that ART FUTURO have developed for this year's winners and particularly appreciate the unique qualities that their experiments with natural slate have produced.

"Phil and Franziska are pioneers of sustainable product design in Stirling and we are delighted that they agreed to create our awards for 2022.

"These elegant and sophisticated designs will be treasured by their recipients for many years to come and we can’t wait for the ceremony on 20 October to raise a glass to all of the creatives involved in bringing the SAY award to life.”

SAY Award Shortlist

On Thursday 20 October, Stirling’s Albert Halls will host the prestigious SAY Award Ceremony.

The recently revealed Shortlist names the ten albums still in the running for the £20K prize fund – one of the most lucrative in the UK – while the nine-runners up are also rewarded £1,000.

The winners of The Sound of Young Scotland Award (offering a young and emerging artist a funding package worth up to £5,000 to create their debut album) and Modern Scottish Classic Award (recognising an outstanding album from Scotland’s past that still inspires today, chosen by The SAY Award 2022 Longlist) will also be recognised.

In alphabetical order, The SAY Award Shortlist for 2022 is:

AiiTee – ‘Better Days’
Constant Follower – ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’
Fergus McCreadie – ‘Forest Floor’
Hamish Hawk – ‘Heavy Elevator’
Hen Hoose – ‘Equaliser’
Kathryn Joseph – ‘for you who are the wronged’
Kobi Onyame – ‘Don’t Drink The Poison’
Niteworks – ‘A’Ghrian’
Proc Fiskal – ‘Siren Spine Sysex’
Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’

To keep up to date with SAY Award 2022 news, follow the award on social media across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook