2-3 Min read.
Reimagining architecture through shape, colour and form, our recent collections have turned to the powerful Brutalist and Art Deco architecture seen within our city. In this first 'Design Short' I share a brief look at the origins of the design story and the inspirations behind our geometric prints.
Since our very first collection in 2012, I have looked at the man-made and constructed world as starting points for each design.
Our first full collection referenced ornamental jewels and hair accessories, and looked towards the Art Nouveau style that flourished between about 1890 and 1910. A movement that included architecture, interior design, jewellery and glass design, posters, and illustration. Although Art Nouveau itself was influenced by nature, it was the sinuous and graceful shapes that were chosen by the creator to represent nature, that I found interesting.
Pipét SS13 Development Board
Through my training in fine art, textiles and photography, form has always featured in my work. Applying the notion of looking beyond an object is where ideas start to appear - seeing a subject for its shapes, repetition and contrasting forms.
Early on, trips around the city and holidays further afield became architectural pilgrimages, turning my design eye towards some of the world’s most intriguing buildings. Buildings that have led me to delve deeper into their beginnings and creation story.
Leaning back into the manufactured geometry, I’ve have become fascinated by strong shapes seen within architecture – whether that be the Barbican’s fountains and barrel vaulted roof (pictured), the repeating glass structure in a Parisienne shopping mall, or the curvaceous footprint of Dusseldorf's parliamentary buildings discovered from above.
Inside the Oxo Tower, Photo by Tea Time in London
The recent project titled ‘Dream No Small Dreams’ was inspired by London’s Iconic Oxo Tower - a monumental building in the Art Deco style - that became a beacon for my late home on the South Bank. Commissioned by Coin Street Community Builders, it was important for me that the installation combined a social element, as it was designed to be viewed by the locals, visitors and community of creatives working at the Oxo Tower. My aim was to create something that would inspire and uplift. As well as reflect the iconic physical structure, positive messaging was incorporated through bright colours, aspirational scale and the optimistic titles given to each of the artworks. You can read more about that here.
Beautifully considered design means that even the simplest line or seemingly basic circle has a reason for being. In each of my subjects, there is an element of nostalgia, history and exploring its story. Finding this narrative really starts the driving force for each design, asking ‘Why do those shapes exist?’ Delving into what the architect might have been thinking and questioning if there is a social element behind this? ‘Why is that form important?’ and ‘What does it represent?’.
Taking something that has a special meaning and capturing it in a way that people can relate to is a real joy. Whether it’s a new scarf for our mainline collection or a completely bespoke commission the desire is to tell its story though our unique and graphic style.
Designer & Founder