Author Archive

PearsonLloyd’s ‘A Better A&E’

May 20, 2014

This blog looked previously at The Design Council’s Designing Out Aggression in A&E project, and as a continuation of this,  PearsonLloyd’s A Better A&E book has been awarded Best In Book at the Creative Review Annual 2014.

A Better A&E came out of Design Council Challenge to develop a solution to reduce levels of violence and aggression towards frontline hospital staff.

Read the full post on the Design Council website.


C.P. Hart’s inspiring new Chelsea showroom

September 17, 2013

C.P. Hart’s new Chelsea bathroom showroom, launching during London Design Festival (14th – 22nd September), is a brand new concept for the company – a working studio that meets the needs of interior designers and architects and aims to be the perfect environment to create exceptional bathrooms.

The showroom will feature a groundbreaking light sculpture, designed and fabricated by Jason Bruges. The sculpture will form a dramatic centrepiece, and also works in partnership with a large media wall within the showroom.



C.P, Hart website

C. P. Hart Youtube

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Dementia-friendly design

August 27, 2013

I interviewed Diana Cellela of The Drawing Room Interiors as part of a case study I created for Karndean Designflooring, showcasing the use of their stone-effect Art Select luxury vinyl flooring at the EachStep dementia care centre in Manchester.

Karndean Art Select EachStep

Diana is a specialist in dementia-friendly design, and is the chairman of the SBID Healthcare Advisory Council, which is currently launching.

She explained a few of the tips and tricks when creating an environment for this particular user group.

There are many different views on what ‘Dementia Friendly’ design is but overall any area should be as comfortable and non-institutional in appearance as possible.  A home-like or cosy look will make the residents or patients feel more at ease.

Dementia-friendly design helps to prevent accidents amongst dementia sufferers, who can have difficulty distinguishing between, or can trip and fall over, surfaces or objects with a similar light reflectance value (LRV). Flooring and furniture, for example, is recommended to be specified with at least a 30% contrast in LRV.

Conversely, they can become confused when they see two adjoining floor surfaces that have a strong contrast in LRV. Two different floor materials or finishes may appear as a step, or the dementia sufferer may perceive a hole or hollow in the floor. Flecked patterns can appear as dirt on the floor and motifs may look like actual objects, and the person may bend down to wipe the surface or pick something up.

When selecting fabric for curtains, blinds or upholstery, try to avoid large busy patterns as these have been known to cause frustration.  Also avoid flowers as some suffers may try to pick the flowers, or bold stripes as may be seen as bars at the window.

Acoustics are extremely important; background noise can lead to extreme  frustrations, so minimize noise, by using soft fabrics or acoustic panels.

Furniture should have rounded edges and is good to have fronts which allow the patient to see what the furniture is used for, for example, scooped or Perspex frontage where some of the contents are visable, this can act as a prompt to the resident.

There are so many changes, some small, that can be made to an interior that can make a massive impact on the life of a dementia sufferer, from signage, to use of reminiscence rooms, rummage boxes, artwork and colours to name just a few.

EachStep Blackley is a dementia care centre run by the not-for-profit social and health care provider CIC Group. For the reception area flooring in this project, Diana specified a stone-effect finish, which would avoid the problems described above, and also had the necessary durability to withstand the high traffic levels expected.

Dementia friendly design can be studied at the Dementia Centre at Stirling University, and  the Centre Director Professor June Andrews is also on the Society of British Interior Design’s Healthcare Advisory Council.

Diana Celella runs The Drawing Room Interiors and is Director of the SBID’s Healthcare Advisory Council.

How Karndean use video to give technical advice and showcase a product

August 22, 2013

More and more manufacturers are using video to show the benefits of their products to their audience of architects, interior designers and other specifiers.

Here Karndean Designflooring show how 71 square metres of their LooseLay vinyl flooring product can be laid in 48 minutes.

There are technical tips too – if any subfloor shows a moisture reading of +75%, a damp proof membrane should be laid.

Karndean website

Karndean Youtube

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Bodleian Library Chair Competition

July 3, 2013

In September 2012 a UK-wide competition was launched to design a new chair for the refurbishment of the Weston Library, part of the historic Bodleian Libraries in Oxford. A call for entries resulted in a strong response of over 60 expressions of interest from designers and manufacturers.

Developing a piece for a historic location as significant as this must be a treat for designers. The context must afford great opportunities, but with it also considerable constraints.

Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s, the building is currently being remodelled by Wilkinson Eyre Architects to create a spacious, bright, state of the art facility, while retaining original features such as door frames, light fittings, desks, typography and clocks.

  • create high-quality storage for the valuable special collections, including the rare and unique manuscripts, books and maps
  • develop the Libraries’ space for the support of advanced research
  • expand public access to our great treasures through new exhibition galleries and other facilities

The competition’s stated aim is to create a chair that will join a historic range of bespoke furniture for the library, and be a future design classic – a seat for readers for decades to come. It will follow in the footsteps of the 1756 Curator’s Chair, one of the earliest custom-made chairs for the Bodleian Libraries (below), and a piece designed by architect Gilbert Scott in 1936.


Six designer/manufacturer partnerships were selected to proceed to the next stage of the competition, and finally three partnerships were chosen to go forward and create a working prototype to be displayed and judged in September 2013 at the V&A.

The three shortlisted designer/manufacturer partnerships are:

  • Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, & Isokon Plus
  • Matthew Hilton & SCP Ltd
  • AL_A (Amanda Levete Architects) & Herman Miller

The winning design will be announced during London Design Festival at the V&A and will proceed to production and installation in the new Weston library at Oxford University in 2014/2015.

Bodleian design competition

SBID International Design Awards 2013

July 2, 2013

As the SBID’s 2013 awards deadline nears, the video above has some interesting chats with the judges of the 2012 panel, as they explain why the awards are important to them.

The 2013 judges panel includes:

  • Nicholas Candy, CEO, Candy & Candy
  • Theo Williams, Head of Design, John Lewis
  • Azhar Azhar, Director, Conran & Partners
  • Tony Ash, MD for UK & Middle East, Vitra
  • David Lewis, MD, Sunseeker
  • Peter Biewirth, Presidend, European Hotel Management Association
  • Trevor Kruse, Interior Designers of Canada
  • Theresa Dowling, Editor, Progressive Market Intelligence (design titles FX, Blueprint, FMX, X2)
  • David Kester, Director, Thames & Hudson
  • Carolina Calzada, Marketing Manager, Global Color Research
  • Patrick Talyor, MD, Taylist Media
  • Inger Bartlett, President, Bartlett & Associates
  • Sarah Butterfield, Architect
  • Gem Barton, Lecturer in Interior Architecture, Brighton University

SBID 2013 awards wordle

See more news from the SBID on
News from the UK Interior Design industry

Fritz Hansen’s Ro™ – the new comfort zone

April 9, 2013

Fritz Hansen, manufacturers of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Egg and Swan chairs have worked with world-renowned Spanish designer Jaime Hayon to create Ro, a comfortable easy chair that creates a quiet space for reflection. The chair will be launched at Salone del Mobile 2013 in Milan.

A chair where you can find room for your inner space and take a break from the hectic bustle of everyday life.

Time for reflection is a luxury in today’s world. We are all busy and always short of time to create a moment for quiet contemplation. The new easy chair springs from a desire to create a piece of furniture that offers an opportunity for reflection in our busy lives.

High backed chairs for creating a quiet, private meeting space in busy open plan offices have been around for a while, and there is something of this idea in the design philosophy of the Ro chair I feel.

Ro by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen (2)

Time for reflection is a luxury in today’s world. We are all busy and always short of time to create a moment for quiet contemplation. The new easy chair springs from a desire to create a piece of furniture that offers an opportunity for reflection in our busy lives.

However, Ro is much more than an easy chair. It’s a one-and-a-half-seater where you can relax, change positions and have your newspaper, computer or child next to you and create a new comfort zone.

Minuscule chair by Cecilie Manz

March 19, 2013

Danish design brand The Republic of Fritz Hansen™ has announced that minuscule™ is now available after an in-depth development process.

Fritz Hansen_minuscule_068

Cecilie Manz is a Danish industrial designer whose work includes furniture, jewellery, lamps and sculptures. Her Micado table (below) for Frederica Furniture has been included in MOMA’s design collection and is an example of her functional approach – it has no screws or hinges, and the table top and legs lock together once the table is placed on the floor.



Below: Cecilie Manz’ Caravaggio lamp for Lightyears
Koolandkreativ: Caravaggio light by Cecilie Manz - Designspiration - Popular

Cecilie Manz recently received the prestigious American 2012 Good Design Award for minuscule™.

minuscule™ consists of a chair and a table and is designed for informal settings. The name minuscule represents the informal and understated style, for which the Scandinavians are so famous.


Designer Interview: Dan Ojari

March 14, 2013


Courtesy of Camira Fabrics, comes this interview with illustrator and animator Dan Ojari, originally featured on their own blog.

Camira has been working with Dan Ojari, a graduate from the prestigious Royal College of Art, since he produced the Hemp animation in 2012.

D Ojari blog banner

Here we learn more about award winning animator Dan:

Can you give us a little background about yourself and your work?

I grew up in Sheffield and was home educated up until the age of 15. I’ve always loved drawing, making and creating things, and ended up going to Wimbledon Art College in London. It was there that I got into making animations and I’m now working as an animator and director of short films. My most recent short film Slow Derek won several awards internationally and was selected for the Sundance Film Festival last year. I try to make films that create a visually exciting and thoughtful experience for the viewer. Hopefully that allows them to engage with the subject of the film in a subtle and personal way.

How would you describe your work in ten words?

A strange and subtle craft that hopefully inspires wonder and enjoyment. (Sorry that’s 11!)

List five things that have inspired you and your work

Neil Buchanan! Art Attack was such a fantastically creative programme that must have inspired a whole generation of children to draw, paint and sculpt and was most definitely one of them! Bring Neil back!

The Brothers Quay, they make dark, weird and surreal animated films and were a massive inspiration to me when I first started looking at what you can do with the medium of stop motion animation.

The amazing Bruce Bickford, his animations are completely insane in all senses of the word and look like nothing else. I really admire his absolute passion and dedication to his art.

Hollywood! I’ve cleverly condensed a lot of films into this one, but I love film of all kinds and take inspiration from Kubrick to Jean-Claude Van Damme!

My Peers, I find that most all it is the creative people around that inspire me the most. Friends, family and classmates, I think it is important to surround yourself with people who like making things.

How did you begin your career as an animator?

Whilst studying my degree in set design for film and theatre, I decided to make a short animated film, (which ended up being ‘Obscura’). Because animation wasn’t part of the course I had to teach myself most things and the project was a huge learning curve. However I found it an extremely exciting and expressive medium and quickly became obsessed with the wonderful world of animation! I then went on to study an MA in animation the Royal College of Art and since graduating have been working on a variety of projects, commissions and short films.

What’s next?

I’m planning to spend the next month making a very short film that I’ve been developing for a while. It’s going to be technically quite challenging as I plan to film it all outside mostly in a forest. I want to combine time-lapse photography with animated elements, which will hopefully create a surreal otherworldly quality to the film.

Please can you tell us a bit about your work for Camira

I really have enjoyed working with Camira, each project has been a real pleasure, with interesting briefs. The first film for ‘Hemp’ really interested me because it was about telling the story of how this sustainable and eco-friendly fabric is made.

The most recent film for ‘Blazer’ is again explaining the story behind where the wool comes from and how it helps protect the surrounding environment.

The thing I’ve liked most about these commissions is the challenge of making everything out of fabric! As the idea from the start was that everything you would see in the films had to be made from the fabric itself.

Camira Fabrics on
@Camira on twitter

A stopmotion lifecycle of Camira Hemp fabric

March 8, 2013


In 2012, Camira Fabrics commissioned an animation project to mark the launch of their new Hemp fabric.

Camira worked with RCA graduate and Sundance Film Festival nominee, Dan Ojari to produce a stop-motion animation demonstrating the sustainability of hemp.

The video engages the audience with detail of the yarn and lifecycle of the fabric. Starting and finishing with the hemp plant to represent the ecological sustainability of Hemp and our ongoing use of natural materials in contract fabrics.

Dan Ojari, commented on the project: “Making a film using only the Camira Hemp fabric was a challenging and really interesting project for me as an animator, and something I was very keen to experiment with. I found it refreshing making a film in response to the natural themes and ethical nature of the Hemp fabric range.”

Camira wanted to produce visually creative content to represent the natural production of Hemp and bring something completely new to commercial fabrics.

Camira Fabrics on
@Camira on twitter