Category Archives: Interviews

Wilkinsons comission rising textile design star

She’s fast becoming the hottest textile designer currently on the design scene. Laura Olivia’s vibrant colour palette and feminine prints have caught the eye of Guru’s such as Jethro Macey and now retail giants Wilkinson’s.Laura was spotted by Wilkinson’s at the popular New Designers event in London earlier this year, where she was chosen to feature in the “One Year On” exhibition. The brand was so impressed with her work, they asked Laura to cook up some fresh designs for new a stationary range.

Laura told The Design Hub, “they were clearly impressed with my work and we had a conversation about future opportunities. A while after the show they asked for some examples of work to figure out which projects they would like to work with me on and then came back to me with a brief to submit some initial ideas. They really liked my artwork and so I secured this amazing project!”

Orchid - Laura Olivia New Collection

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Home Acessories, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, Laura Olivia, Living room Interiors, New Designers 2011, News, Soft Furnishings, Success Stories

We catch up with the lovely Architect and Presenter George Clarke

In between getting ready for the début of his new show “Empty Homes” , filming the next two series of “Restoration Man” and launching his new business George Clarke + Partners,  he managed to squeeze half an hour out of his day today to speak to The Design Hub’s Editor and PR Executive for the National Design Academy, Kellie Hill!

Discover George’s top tips and advice when re-vamping your home, his golden rules for life and what qualities he looks for in an interview. Continue reading

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Filed under George Clarke, Grand Designs Live, Interviews, News

A treasure trove of design gems at New Designers 2011

Well I’ve made it back from the New Designers Show 2011 part 2 which is being held in London’s Business  Design Centre, feeling shattered after two whole days of intense interviews and general press duties – but well worth it! I’ve come away totally inspired and have huge admiration for design students everywhere.

The level of work was exceptional, from furniture to textiles and product designs to Interiors, if I was a robot I’d definitely have a design overload!

Firstly I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the New Designers 2011 winners, they’ve worked so hard to gain recognition from the UK’s freshest student design event and of course their peers.

Here are some of my favourites and the names of the other winners can be found on the New Designers Website.

Luke Diaz Habitat Innovation Winner - Bucks New University

Judges thoughts: “We admired his innovative construction and use of material. We enjoyed his overall charm, warmth and character. The low storage with woven sliding doors is a product with soul.”

Oksana Akishyna - Interior Design Association Winner AIU London

Judges thoughts: “Oksana’s portfolio showed refreshing clarity and at times mesmerising presentation that was refined and at a professional standard.”

Northumbria University - Best Stand Award

Judges thoughts: “Northumbria have a huge variety of inspirational products on display. The graduates have made clever use of recycled materials-creating a highly polished and professional presentation.”

Brinley Clark - Business Designer of the Year winner University of Hertfordshire

Judges thoughts: “Brinley has got design in his bones. Passionate, inspiring and intelligent, with a wicked  streak of humour. His pigeon project is ‘shit’ – go and find out more!”

The event was split into three floors and then sub divided into specific design sections so it was easy to make your way around. Although, it wasn’t easy walking around each section without stopping to look every few steps and swooning over another fantastic design.

The One Year On section, curated by award winning designer Jethro Macey, showcased 50 specially selected designers who’ve set up a business in the last 12 months. In this wonderful room, I came across Imogen Heath who launched her first ever collection at the show. Her mid-century patterned wallpaper and fabrics instantly dragged me in. Imogen was just as colourful and sweet as her designs which are inspired by her love of geometric composition, art deco and contemporary art.

If you’re just as head over heals in love with Imogen’s designs as I am, you can bag a cushion from £48 – £55 and wallpaper for £100

As I  was interviewing Imogen, just opposite us a group of talented artists and illustrators under the name of Secret Wars, were doing a live graffiti demonstration on their white stand. Their creative flair attracted the attention of lots of visitors who stared in amazement at how effortlessly they drew – I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After, finally pulling myself away from the One Year On section, I had a good gander on the first floor and came across a product which The Design Hub had already featured as a Design of the Day – the Tweetingseat. Created by Product Designer Chris McNicholl, who’s recently graduated from the University of Dundee in Product Design, the Tweetingseat has caused a huge stir.

The seat takes reality and combines it with the virtual world by taking pictures of anyone sat on the seat and uploading the image to a live Twitter feed. This is done by one camera in the shape of the blue Twitter bird which can be mounted above the seat and another camera inside the seat that takes an image of anyone standing in front. So in the end you get two images uploaded to Twitter – genius!

Chris McNicholl speaking to Kellie Hill

As well as the tweeting seat causing a buzz with social media lovers, some feel this idea of sharing images on Twitter of people unaware they have been papped is unethical. When asked, Chris told me he welcomes the debate and encourages it. Listen to Chris’ interview!

Innovative furniture makers

The level of talent and skill shown by the students at New Designers was breathtaking and one designer rom Plymouth University certainly took the biscuit. Michael Carroll had created a chair without using glue or nails.

Named “Tankard“, this chair is held together with…. well you’ll have to watch his interview to find out!

The young furniture maker also made a table using metal bars which resemble the shape of a mouse trap.

Another talented chap, Luke Diaz from Bucks New University, won the New Designers 2011 Habitat Innovation Award for his Eco cabinet that he bound together with hemp twine. Like Micheal Carroll above,  he didn’t use a single nail or drop of glue. I see a trend developing here!

Diaz taught himself how to weave the twine and create the doors of the cabinet, which I think make it look beautifully organic and earthly. He also designed two stools, a smaller cabinet and hanging stand to complete his sustainable furniture range.

Interiors

We’ve all had to live in a boxy apartment or a ground floor flat that resembles a dungeon (like myself) when starting out on the career ladder.  Having to cook, sleep and shower in the same room is something which the majority of yuppie’s (young professionals) put up with until the day comes and a promotion lands on the table.

And if you’re like me and LOVE to decorate but also rent, it’s fair to say that the landlord wouldn’t be too happy at the next inspection to find two walls knocked out and the living room changed into a bedroom. Renting makes it near impossible to flex those creative fingers.

Well, I met young innovative Interior Designer, Henry Parker at New Designers 2011 and he has come to the rescue with a city apartment perfect for the hard-working yuppie’s, that want to make their flat into a home.

Adaptaflat is an apartment which is flexible, moveable and totally brilliant! These living spaces are the same size as a two bedroom flat but have maneuverable walls. Yes, you heard right, you can move the walls  in the apartment to suit your needs, lifestyle or make space for Saturday night’s party. Somebody PLEASE commission this!

How does it work? There are a series of custom made tracks on the ceiling of the apartment which the walls are connected to and this allows them to be moved in the desired place and clamped down when positioned. Want one? Then listen to Henry Parker’s interview with The Design Hub and learn more about this clever design or click HERE to go to his website.

 
 
 
 
 
Images: New Designers 2011, Imogen Heath, Kellie Hill

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Filed under Chris McNicholl, courses, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, Home Acessories, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, modern design, new career, New Designers 2011, News, Quirky, sustainable interiors, upholstery

Nottigham Eco Artist and Designer turns heads with her plastic bottle designs

Nottingham based Artist and Designer Sarah Turner, is causing a storm in the interior design world with her eco-friendly lighting designs.  From her studio in the heart of Nottingham, Sarah uses old plastic bottles discarded from the city’s cafes and transforms them into eclectic pieces.

So far she’s been commissioned by the likes of SodaStream, London Fashion Week, Twitter, the Ideal Home Show and recently secured a place in the final of this years Philips lighting competition.

Read her exciting interview with The Design Hub and find out how Sarah’s made such an impact within the design world and what’s in store for her next! Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco Lamp, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, Interviews, lighting, Living room Interiors, News, Quirky, Sarah Turner, small businesses, sustainable interiors, The Designers Block

Hear first hand from interior design student Felicity what distance learning is really like

Good morning folks! I hope you are all well. I feel like I’ve been pulled away from blogging the last week or so because of a side project, so I’d like to post something today which I’m extremely happy to show you all.

I’ve had the pleasure of following bubbly and energetic student, Felicity Dainton from Wiltshire, through her Professional Interior Design Diploma studio course at the National Design Academy (NDA) in Nottingham. It was great to see first hand how she went from strength to strength and thoroughly enjoyed every task, every day.

The studio course is made up of one week at the NDA learning about colour theory, technical drawing, rendering, how to set up a business and lots more. Then the students have four weeks at home to complete their assignments and have a final week back in the studio to go over the course again and brush up on the skills learned.

Hear Felicity’s experience for yourself and how she progressed throughout the weeks. I’d also like to say thank you Felicity for letting me join her through this journey!

If you fancy flexing your creative talents, want to build on a hobby or make the first steps to changing careers like Felicity, you can visit the National Design Academy website www.nda.ac.uk, contact them by phone on 0115 91234 12 or visit their Facebook and Twitter page.

This course is also available to international students and can be done solely at home instead of in the studio, just contact them to find out more!

Take the leap of design! It could be the best thing you ever do!

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Filed under Careers in Interior Design, courses, diploma, distance learning, home study, Interviews, new career, News, Success Stories, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Award winning Interior Designer Kimberly Moore shares her top Exhibition Design tips!

As well as helping others develop their skills as an interior design tutor at the National Design Academy, Kimberly Moore has designed for some of the country’s biggest names including Lloyds TSB and Marks & Spencer. 

Her brand Bold Britannia, recently attracted the eye of label Powerhouse Fitness, who wanted Kim’s expert eye and opinion on how create the perfect exhibition stand for popular Body Power Expo event, at Birmingham’s NEC.

Find out what techniques Kim used to meet the needs of her client and create a super hot stand! Continue reading

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Filed under help & support, Interviews, modern design, News, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Isle of Wight designer brings interior design services bang up to date with 21st Centry living

The usual practices of being a freelance Interior Designer such as; meeting clients, understanding their lifestyle, presenting sample boards, working out a design scheme and project managing, can be a little difficult to say the least, if your client lives in Durham and you’re based in the Isle of Wight.

Well, Interior Designer Jo Acheson wasn’t fazed by this hurdle and set up a clever design service which meets her clients every need without having to leave the island!

The design bug first hit Jo when she re-decorated her first home, she then started a Professional Interior Design Diploma course at The National Design Academy in 2004. After the success of her interior design business based on the island, Jo aimed for new heights and is now re-designing homes all over the country.

We don’t want to give any more away, so to find out how Jo challenges the traditional practices of  interior design and brings it bang up to date with twenty-first century living – carry on reading and get stuck in!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, business, courses, diploma, distance learning, home study, Interviews, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, new career, News, small businesses, Success Stories, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk