During Clerkenwell Design Week, I squeezed myself into a room in the Farmiloe building to listen to a talk with an interesting panel, including Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin who chaired the panel, Patrizia Moroso of Italian brand Moroso, designer Nipa Doshi of duo Doshi Levien and Pip Prinsloo, Design Director of John Lewis. After the talk I wandered around the furniture, lighting and art. There were many different inspirational designs, some the same as last year (slightly disappointing) but quite a few new designers and pieces which was exciting. The images in this post are a selection of my favourites.
Michelle began by speaking with Patrizia about originality in design. Patrizia spoke a great deal about her team; she said that she treats designers as artists and acts as a curator of their work, she also give them total freedom with their design ideas, without restrictions. This enables her team to do a good job whilst also encouraging them to work together collaboratively.
Design Director, Pip spoke of their customers and the fact that John Lewis aim to appeal to a range of different styles and budgets. There may be customers who prefer a country style while others lean more towards industrial and these different styles need to be catered for.
Pip also spoke of how John Lewis’s stores are becoming more theatrical with moving images and home set ups which create context for the buyer. I have always found that when advertising a single product whether it be in a magazine or showroom, it must have context to be appreciated. If you try to imagine that object in your home it really helps to have an example of how it might fit into an overall scheme, that you can then relate back to your personal style.
Nipa went on to say that British society allows you to absorb outside influences and is influenced by world design, compared to possibly more restrictive areas of the world where design is only influenced by the surrounding culture.
A couple of key notes that I managed to jot down from Patrizia’s expertise are:
“It’s important that you read the past not make the past, there is no sense in making vintage, you must re-think instead”
“Design is something that comes from the designer’s life and culture. Make your thing, something that comes from the inside”
Something that I’ve been waiting to hear for a while now is that trends are irrelevant, which was mentioned. I do believe that design and habitat should be based on the individual, not trends. Original design is based on logical and creative thinking, an enthusiasm for life and living.
Overall from this collaborative talk I managed to appreciate the different angles from designer, seller, writer and from my point of view as an interior designer. Seeing how the process works from the initial light bulb moment to the presentation of the finished article on the shop floor, makes you realise the originality and creativity that is required at each point.