We collaborated with Carlowrie Castle and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society to design The Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection. Isobel was born at Carlowrie Castle in May 1889 and lived there for the next 93 years.

Craft Design House was tasked to integrate the story of Isobel Wylie Hutchison with Carlowrie Castle.

Isobel was born at the Castle in May 1889 and lived there for the next 93 years. Isobel’s life as an Arctic explorer, botanist, writer, artist, documentary filmmaker and polyglot is an incredible story but was relatively unknown.

Carlowrie Castle is a private hire luxury events venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh with easy national and international transport connections. The challenge was to integrate Isobel’s story into the contemporary nature of the interiors of Carlowrie Castle.

At the heart of the castle is an art installation comprising two Cabinets of Curiosities. The cabinets tell the story of Isobel’s expeditions through interactive and tactile displays in glass and porcelain. A luxury capsule collection of wearables, accessories, home and tableware complement the installations.


Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection

The foundation range consists of over 30 pieces by 16 designer makers from multiple disciplines. The range has been designed to travel and create ‘drop-in’ experiences including, talks, demonstrations, workshops and storytelling. The more accessible ‘Yours Isobel’ range has been devised to spread the story to a wider audience.  All pieces are produced with the same commitment to ethics and sustainability.

Every piece is designed and crafted by leading designers and makers who have been inspired by Isobel’s story. The collection has been rendered in the highest quality ethically-sourced materials.

“Craft Design House uncovered a fabulous opportunity for our business, creating a design IP, product collection and a new revenue channel. 

We can see the potential to grow our Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection globally, especially gearing up to the US market. Not only do we have a range of innovative, high-quality products with a unique story, but these are exclusive to Carlowrie Castle and Craft Design House. 

We not only engage new audiences and grow commercial partnerships outside the Castle, but more importantly, we are connecting people with Isobel’s story and to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society where she was a fellow and Vice President.”

-Andrew Marshall, Owner and CEO of Carlowrie Castle

The Launch: 

  • 250 people attended the launch event, including talks, demonstrations and storytelling.
  • An installation introducing guests to the story of Isobel Wylie Hutchison through glass and porcelain creations
  • Supporting the Royal Scottish Geographical Society with a percentage from sales
  • Designed exclusive multi-disciplined bespoke accessories, homeware and fashion items


  • Visitor enquires increased with a significant uptake in bookings and events
  • Social media jumped from 10k to 40k followers
  • TV coverage and multiple press articles including the FT How to Spend It.
  • Launched an annual ‘Tea Party’ event to celebrate Isobel’s birthday, marking 130 years since her birth.
  • Created an annual Isobel Award honouring a person who has defied the odds and achieved something extraordinary offering hope and inspiration to their wider community.