Meet the Designer: Oz Lancaster
It is not unusual for a designer to promise to bring a ‘fresh take’ to the industry. Lateral thinking is par for the course in the ever-competitive world of design. But, every now and then, a new studio comes along; whose passion and talent is evidenced not just by a vast portfolio and glowing client testimonials. Whose chaotic energy might just be wild enough to break the mould of what has come before. Enter OS Designs & Partners.
Although they are young, this is not to say that Oz Lancaster and her talented team are newcomers to the scene. OS Designs & Partners’ portfolio of luxury residences and high-end projects doesn’t just speak for itself; Oz has also been commissioned on the interior design of various highly confidential superyacht projects over the years, steering clear of the headlines by virtue of several watertight NDAs.
It is the bane of every designer’s career, but few can claim to have been clamped down upon so harshly by confidential clients as Oz and her team.
Now, we lift the veil to give our readers a glimpse of the designer behind.
Asked to sum up her studio in five words, Oz chooses, ‘energetic, young, creative, chaotic, exciting.’ These just about hit the nail on the head.
Oz’s favourite project to date, of those she can talk about, is the Grade 2 Listed renovation project undertaken on a luxury residential property in London’s Hyde Park. ‘The project took about four years from start to finish,’ she says. ‘It was challenging, exciting, and a non-stop rollercoaster - endless hours of working and drawing.’
OS Designs & Partners has been commissioned around the world, with notable projects including regal residences in the Middle East. The Hyde Park residence in question however, pictured above, is perhaps one of the closest projects to Oz’s own signature style - which she characterises as ‘functional, clean lines and homely’. The devil was indeed in the details on this project; a cool and modern exterior belies an inviting atmosphere, characterised by rich materials, soft colour tones, gold highlights and geometric details.
‘I love the era that we are in now,’ Oz tells us. ‘New materials and technology make the design world more exciting than it has ever been. Having said that, I wouldn’t have minded being the assistant to Leonardo da Vinci!’
When it comes to the daily life of a sought-after designer, exciting is an understatement. The clients of a luxury designer are used to nothing but the best - once, Oz tells us, she was flown seven hours to Saudi Arabia to discuss a private residence project with a client for just 15 minutes. ‘It was crazy, but we got a lot sorted,’ she says.
Design being an expression of a clients’ vision, its manifestation can come in many forms. With this in mind, we were curious to know Oz’s pet peeves when it comes to the world of design.
‘Trends, accent colours, each room being designed in separate styles, too many materials in one project, clutter, dead spaces…’ The list goes on.
So what qualities are important, for example when looking to bring a new designer onboard?
Rather than placing undue value on apprenticeships and experience, Oz tells us, it is the personal qualities she will look for first in a new recruit.
‘Attitude towards work and creativity is paramount,’ she tells us. ‘We get a huge variety of projects in the studio, so adaptability and flexibility are super important. They need to be ready to jump in on any task!’
As we move out of isolation and towards reclaiming the social sphere, the energy and passion of studios like OS Designs & Partners will be more important than ever.
Oz has little time for formalities and corporate verbiage. All that matters to her is that she works with great people, and throws all of her energy into what she does.
As a studio, OS Designs & Partners is ‘future-ready’ in a different way. Watch this space.
"New materials and technology make the design world more exciting than it has ever been."