Monthly Archives: July 2012

A to Z of Interior Design: I is for…

Interi Magazine

Founded in 1954 in Italy, INTERI is a monthly magazine that specialises in architecture and design. It has become an indispensable tool for orientation in the world of interiors and product design and an indispensable work-tool for designers, architects, students, professionals in the world of interiors and product design.

INTERNI selects and presents the most important and influential aspects of Italian and international design, analysing trends and new projects. Each issue showcases important interior architecture projects (homes, offices, showrooms), interviews with leading personalities of the design world and thematic articles. The magazine also has exclusive access to Milan Design Week.

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New Designers 2012 – Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of my report on this year’s New Designers event. In my last post I highlighted the fresh-faced graduates whose work had grabbed my attention, so now it’s time to look at the not-so-fresh-faced graduates who have been promoting their designs and new business ventures for at least a year.

One Year On

This area is dedicated to graduates who have been plugging away at getting their designs, talent and new businesses noticed by the industry at large. As you can imagine, these designs and products are very well developed and for most of them, it is only a matter of time before they “hit the big time”.

Familiar face James Uren, winner of the Furniture Design prize at Interiors UK 2012, was here with his modular Chaise Longue, the Luso Lounger. Alongside his prototype was a new purple upholstered version, demonstrating the variety of colours and timber types that it can be made with. James is now approaching retailers and The Design Hub predicts we’ll be seeing more of the Luso very soon.

Another award winning designer previously mentioned here at the Hub is Louise Tiler. Her intricate hand-drawn and hand-painted designs are inspired by vintage patterns and historical textile design. Her product range has expanded to include greeting cards, art prints, lampshades, cushions and, exclusively launched at the show, her new wallpaper range.

Louise’s unique  style is fantastic and considering how certain trends are developing this year, I expect demand for her products will go through the roof at some point soon; so get in there before everyone else does! She is also looking for stockists.

Another impressive wallpaper collection launched at New Designers is from designer Rachel Powel. Inspired by mid century design and the Great British countryside, her designs create a perfect balance between the style and personality of retro print and the simplistic nature of rural living. Rachel also produces sustainable etched veneer retro lamps and tea towels that are well worth a look.

Kristel Erga of Erga design produces three dimensional wall treatments reuseing waste material from the fashion and textile industry. The Zero-Waste Land collection is a magnetic modular wall decoration which brings the exterior into the interior by using nature as inspiration. The hand-made, hand-painted products can be customised to any colour, size and overall design.

Marisa Sanvito is a textile and knit designer who hand knits beautiful cushions, vases, art and  anything else a commission may ask of her. One such request was to make sound proof knitted panels for a client’s private cinema. She believes in her craft and is not interested in mass manufacturing her items, so each one is incredibly labour intensive, but the finished items are worth the effort and the price tag.

Felicity Dessewffy exhibited her Taper furniture collection. Comfortable to use, they have an elegant sculptural quality, which at first made me wonder just what they were.

Felicity’s Sliding collection introduced a modular drawer and shelving system that can adapt to suit changing storage requirements. The units are designed to be free standing or wall hung. The Sliding collection also includes desks, bedside tables and credenzas.

For fresh ideas New Designers really is the show to go to. I’ve only had time to cover a small fraction of the amazing talent at the show, but there are only so many hours in a day!

Were you at New Designers 2012? What stood out for you? Leave a comment!

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New Designers 2012 – Part One

I’ve just had the most incredible time at New Designers 2012 at the impressive Business Design Centre in London. This year New Designers celebrates 27 years of promoting design graduates work to the industry at large.

My head is swimming with inspired designs, new products and expertly crafted furniture. It’s going to take me a while to reset  my eyes back into their sockets. To help me re-adjust to normal functioning I’ll share with you the highlights from the event as I saw them.

I didn’t have time to take in the entirety of the show, I would have needed a few more days and possibly a few clones of myself. So to preserve my time I focused on two main areas: Furniture and One Year On.


The first thing I noticed upon entering the furniture arena was the sheer quality of craftsmanship on display. The use of discarded and reclaimed materials was also a big focus for a lot of student’s work.

Vicky Gilbert from Plymouth University impressed me with her ‘Eternal’ Chair, made using discarded cow hide from the abattoir and 16 meters of steel tube. I also thought Vicky’s ‘Dizzy’ side table was well designed and wouldn’t look out of place in many retail outlets.

Here’s a little video of Vicky talking about them:

Hugh Leader-Williams from Loughborough University won the 100% Design award for hisSpun furniture’. Describing his furniture as clean and unfussy, they consist of powder coated discs of spun steel connected by magnets to an ash frame, making it easy to remove the tops and store away. The Judges commented: “Cool looking product, well presented with lots of commercial and development potential.”

Ella Hopps, also from Loughborough University, had created this rather lovely and aptly named modular ‘Storage unit’.

Whilst on the Loughborough University stand I also noticed Harris Chapman’s ‘Wayfarer’ shelf system which uses construction grade material, (Chipboard, as I like to call it) which is enjoying some popularity within Interior Design schemes currently.

Close to Loughborough, both geographically and stand-wise is Nottingham Trent University. Two pieces leapt out at me here; both chairs. The first chair is by Daniel Edwards. It would compliment any room it was placed in (especially my living room).

The other chair is by Oliver Hrubiak and actually won the John Lewis Award. I really liked this chair too, albeit for different reasons. Think functional, comfy waiting or reception room chair.

Jordan Cottee on the bucks new university (sic) stand received a lot of interest in his nesting tables featuring a reclaimed log in the centre of each. His table also used reclaimed wood that was regarded as unusable due to a large crack in it. Jordan simply ‘stapled’ the gap with steel rods to nice effect.

Ian Revely’s minimally constructed but very strong 636 stools are designed to fit together like a honeycomb.  Ian explains how he stumbled onto the design in the video below.

The Makahiya Chair / Footstool made by Assa Gonzalez from London Metropolitan University’s Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design is inspired by the closing leaves of the mimosa plant. The folding leaves of the chair allow it to be used in a variety of configurations.

Minnie Birchall from Leeds Met University had designed something quite different for her final year project. Noticing that more of her friends had taken to sitting on the floor or lying on a bed whilst studying, she developed a colourful, modular floor seating arrangement that targets schools as well as the home.

Stay tuned for part two when I’ll be reporting on One Year On.

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A – Z of Interior Design: H is for…


n. heritij

Valued objects and qualities such as cultural traditions, unspoiled countryside, and historic buildings that have been passed down from previous generations.

Heritage Interior Design is about helping historically significant buildings evolve with time while keeping the endearing characteristics that give everyone such pleasure.

It is important to define the qualities that give a building its ‘special architectural or historic interest’, then, when assessing the impact any proposals will have on this ‘special interest’ a Heritage Interior Designer must take account of three guiding principles:

a) Conserve and enhance – conserve what is significant but also enhance what is there.

b) Consider the long-term impact of changing opinion – It is important that changes are made reversible.  What we now believe to be
positive and not detrimental may change in the future according to opinion.

c) Don’t confuse the picture for future generations – Whatever changes are made it should be possible to understand how it was in the past before the changes were made.  E.g. If removing a partition wall, leave a nib of that wall as evidence of its existence.


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