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Innovation is all around, and as the planet spins in perpetual motion, the design world too is in a constant state of flux. We furnished six top designers with four simple questions, with a view to finding out where we can all expect to be in the next year or so. Could it be time to invest in that silver jumpsuit?

GILES MILLER

Giles Miller Studio

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?
As a studio, we are inspired by the broadening of industry definitions, such as 'designer', 'sculptor' or 'architect'. Studios around the world are applying themselves to a variety of creative mediums without necessarily needing to specialise in specific sectors. So, at GMS we work in the fields of art, design, sculpture, textile design, surface design and architecture, and we relish the creative freedom that new technologies and tools have brought us.
How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?
I think the fluidity which has come about as a result of these new tools and technologies will inevitably enable the design world to become increasingly collaborative. Far from adhering to any kind of 'model', the cross-disciplinary approach adopted in recent years will continue to enable unexpected applications of creative thinking, and will lead to new typologies entirely. I find it inspiring to imagine how we could apply our creative thinking to any number of contexts, however unlikely.
What innovations would you love to see?
Perhaps un-interestingly, I would be very keen to see dramatic innovation in the area of material finishing. We create high-end projects, often for immaculate spaces, and the finishing is always something that hinders the potential diversity of our materials. Process is complicated, and when making things, especially at the smaller batch scale that we usually work with, it can be very difficult to achieve consistency. I would love to see more innovation in simple in-house production, so that we as a studio could continue to create truly one-off pieces of work with ease and efficiency.
What is your next big project?
Our biggest project at the moment is the design of a private residential house in the Kent countryside, which we hope will be completed this year. The building will represent an entirely new typology in architecture, and will again marry our interest in artistic sculpture with architectural functionality. We look forward to sharing that one soon!

CLAIRE POTTER
Claire Potter Designs

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?
As a circular economy design studio, we always take huge inspiration from how ‘waste’ can be reimagined for a new process or material. And with the Blue Planet effect from last year (when the final episode of Blue Planet II examined the effect of human activity on marine life – ED), we are seeing a huge public interest in how we can all live less impactful lives for our environment, and this certainly inspires our designs.
How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?
There has been a huge resurgence in the ‘zero waste’ and minimalism movements – so hopefully the design world will continue to respond to this with simple, beautifully crafted pieces that use traditional materials, and consumers will demand to know more about the sources of pieces. Transparency and ethics are becoming more important for both consumers and brands, so the design world will have to step up its game.

LOU CORIO RANDALL
Product and Furniture Designer

What innovations would you love to see?
There have been some brilliant recent examples of how design can help create social innovation and change. Bureo, who are based in California and Chile, purchase waste nylon fishing nets through their ‘Net Positiva’ scheme, and process the raw material into new products, such as skateboards and even toys. It’d be great to see more of this kind of thing.
What is your next big project?
We’re going to continue with the research project we’re showing at Platform (CDW) this year - our Project: Net-Worth, which uses end- of-life fishing nets from the South Coast and turns them into new products. We will be expanding the project into small scale remanufacturing hubs that can be located close to UK Ports - very much in the spirit of Bureo!

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?

I find myself drawn to exploring form, colour and pattern as a means to resolve a design problem. My Tube Line bench was designed around the idea of creating a striking and engaging visual appearance, whilst retaining the basic functions of a public bench.

How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?
I hope to see it continue to move further away from the throwaway culture that has been growing since the 50's. It seems that the tides are turning, as people become more aware of the vast amounts of waste we churn out. And as such designers are focusing more on creating things that last, and aren’t just intended to be discarded when a new trend comes in.
What innovations would you love to see?
I’m excited to see where all the forms of 3D printing go. At first it seemed cool, but not particularly useful, but now that people are getting to grips with it, I think some incredible things are in store. I’m especially keen to see how large-scale printing develops – already it’s been used to print ridiculously cheap houses.
Is there a dream project that you would love to work on?
I’ve always thought it would be fantastic to design one of the Serpentine Pavillions.

DAVID SHELDON- HICKS

Executive Creative Director, Territo Studio

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?
I get a lot of inspiration from music and dance. I love how the beauty of movement and connected movement can be used as such an expressive form of design language, especially in the field of motion design.
How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?
The real connection between physical and digital spaces has only just begun. Immersive installations and data flows within new buildings, spaces and public places will be an exciting growth area across all design disciplines. I'm very excited by the prospect of planners, architects, designers, technologists, and content creators coming together to really harness the potential of connected spaces and smart cities.
What innovations would you love to see?
A.I and machine learning is only just in its infancy. It’s a powerful tool that is going to enhance and impact all areas of life, and I can't wait to see how it amplifies all of our abilities. Also, our studio's fascination with holograms and volumetric filming has meant that I would love to see this come to reality one day. Our work in Ghost in the Shell, Ready Player One, Pacific Rim Uprising and Blade Runner 2049 is all fantasy at the moment, but it would be incredible to see entertainment and other content displays become fully 3D holographic.
What is your next big project?
I’m not sure I’m allowed to say! But we’re very excited about launching Clerkenwell 2049, a year- long collaborative initiative that will explore the future of the area as envisaged by the local community.

ANNA HAYMAN
Anna Hayman Designs

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?
I think a huge amount about trends, and try to feel into what naturally supersedes a current theme. So, to me it seems normal, after Botanical trends, to delve into Sea, Sky and Earth/Mud themes. I’ve been looking at Asia for inspiration for Winter 2019, particularly Chinese dragons and Japanese trees. After that I would expect hyper-feminine ideas for Spring 2020.
How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?
In terms of technology I see it being increasingly easy for interiors brands to start up. I also see design evolving in terms of engaging with the public and promoting work through video. More and more we are seeing brands using video clips instead of stills for product description. We’re certainly looking at ways to incorporate and expand
on that, almost looking toward video as the end point and the start point of an idea.
What innovations would you love to see?
I would love to see digital printing equipment become simpler and cheaper for the start-up designer. You can then sample your ideas quicker and ‘cut out the middle man’.
What is your next big project?
Fashion - we have just launched our first piece, a blouse. We’re looking to expand this into a whole range of pieces over the next year. The thought of making a video containing our dresses, jackets, and interiors products is all I can think about right now, just so exciting. We are also relaunching all of our lampshades at the beginning of May, which are our staple product - after all, who doesn’t love a fringed lampshade?

BENJAMIN CRAVEN
Designer

What are your main design inspirations at the moment?
They’re quite varied - I’m always looking to everyday things to shape my work, but I’d say that furniture design and still life photography are really important to me right now.
How do you see the design world evolving in the next few years?

Technically, we can expect VR headsets to be a lot more interactive. I can imagine walking around a gallery space, viewing works up close and in 3D, and even having the option to buy the work right there - but through VR.
What innovations would you love to see?
I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going on at Clerkenwell Design Week, and what other designers put out. It’s great to see new technologies constantly emerging and adapting - and seeing how people use them.
What is your next big project?
I’ve been working with the Hayward Gallery on two exclusive prints. I’ve also got work coming up with BBC’s DIY SOS, Red of Dead, and a wine brand so keep your eyes peeled- there’s lots to come. Ultimately, more than anything, I would love to design a whole house.

 

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