ALT STUDIOS is an independent design practice. We are meticulous and unconventional — continually challenging ourselves, collaborators and preconceptions across all aspects of our creative service. Our ethos is to passionately experiment and identify alternative approaches and outcomes which go beyond expectation in all our projects.
ALT STUDIOS was founded in 2020 by Paul Milner and Scott Savin, with a genuine desire to maintain a point of difference in a growing world of homogeneous approaches and soulless solutions by providing an alternative to the mainstream. We are a driven team specialising in, but not limited to, high quality, design-led architecture and bespoke interiors. We create experiences — influenced by a curiosity in context, lifestyle and culture. We help transform people’s lives and businesses through carefully crafted design, grounded in rigorous research and a devotion to detail.
Paul brings a high level of critical thinking and controlled spatial composition to the projects within the studio. He understands the power of narrative to create deep-seated, emotional engagement with people and places which stems from a focus in mapping studies and sensory design. His architecture and interior design experience is unique having worked across a number of sectors; from town centre masterplanning, adaptive reuse of listed buildings and commerce refurbishments to high-spec hospitality and workspace.
Paul studied architecture followed by urban design at Newcastle University — Blueprint journal acknowledged him in the top 50 design graduates of 2009. Before establishing ALT STUDIOS, he spent eight years at Ryder Architecture, which culminated in the design and delivery of the multi-award winning headquarter building for Tombola on the River Wear, Sunderland.
For ten years alongside practice, Paul delivered a masters module and served as a visiting critic at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape within Newcastle University. Currently, he is a RIBA Future Architects mentor and a STEM ambassador supporting aspiring architects at university and secondary school pupils respectively.
Scott has a thorough understanding of the built environment having honed substantial skill in responding to complex briefs on sensitive sites. A highly rational thinker, with the ability to navigate constraints and work within a creative framework — he brings a holistic approach to the projects within the studio. His diverse and extensive experience ranges from bespoke residential properties, conversions of listed buildings, mixed-use commercial and residential schemes, hotels, high-spec residential care and high-rise towers.
Having studied architecture at Newcastle University in 2009, Scott decided to specialise in urban design by completing his masters degree. Prior to co-founding ALT STUDIOS, he worked for a number of practices across Northern England, delivering projects throughout the UK, with several been multi-award winning.
Scott combines practice with teaching and delivers a module at the University of Newcastle, educating future town planners, urban designers and architects the art of placemaking. He is a RIBA Future Architects mentor and serves on several design review and judging panels.
Our perspective sits somewhere between manifesto, accumulated professional life–learnings and the guidelines for which we conduct our practice. Expand a topic to learn more.
Questions and thoughtful answers foster smoother and more-effective interactions, they strengthen rapport and trust, and lead you and the design team toward discovery. We regard conversation as a dance that requires partners to be in sync — a mutual push-and-pull that unfolds over time.
We regard clients as collaborators and actively seek inspiration; we are interested in your identity. Personal creativity and organisational innovation rely on a willingness to seek out novel information; every angle of approach could be key — we undertake experiential engagement exercises; from participating in your daily activities and processes to camping on site!
We are not a design shop with off-the-shelf soulless solutions, therefore do not expect quick fixes; genuine design is a rich and often lengthy process. If a design has not been built up slowly, layered in thought and craft, it lacks weight and denies the ability to mark time, to deepen your experience.
We provide a dedicated project lead and design lead from inception to completion, regardless of project size. Due to our close-knit working environment your project will receive focused input from our driven team of unconventional thinkers during weekly internal design reviews.
We do not solely rely upon external design commissions to function — this allows us to be discerning with the projects we select in order to adhere to our ethos and practice what we preach for your benefit. This enables us to avoid operation with an overstretched team, whereby projects are passed between several designers without the care and attention your investment deserves.
We work to an open-minded practice ethos, not only from a design and technological perspective but culturally too. We are curious, craving wonder by engaging in passionate search. For us wonder underpins all imagination, empathy, and deep interest in anything beyond self.
We primarily support a return to craft for robust and refined heartfelt results from likeminded trades of the profession. We continue to expand our network of collaborators and recommended suppliers to ensure you receive the highest quality service and products appropriate for your project.