Where I gain my inspiration from isn’t clear cut. I look at textiles, graphics, interiors, architecture. Each discipline gives me something to play with, a new dimension to look at.
I have recently finished watching Abstract – The Art of Design on Netflix. The series follows around eight designers representing different fields within the industry. Each designer has their own way of gaining inspiration that is then brought through into their pieces very thoughtfully. However they all took information from what was happening around them, placing great detail on the simple things.
I think its important not to over complicate design, design should be fluid and thought out.
One designer that particularly stood out to me was Es Devlin, a stage designer for concerts, operas and runway shows. She plays with light, shadow and perspective. Making sure that no matter where you are in the audience you are sucked into the set. When she is looking for new shapes to play with she rips a hole into a blank piece of paper, holds in up to a light and looks at how it shines through. Its such a simple task yet so effective. She taught me that your inspiration doesn’t have to be over complicated, you can be inspired by anything.
Devlin focused on light and how a positive shape and a negative shape can switch depending on where light is shinning. She made me think about my own work and how looking at the empty spaces a piece makes is is just as important as the physical design.
“My canvas tends to be devoid of light… do need to start without light to find it” – Es Devlin
The documentary highlighted to me that I shouldn’t contain my reseach to just 3D designers. There are so many other designers from other disciplines that could prompt me to take different directions within my work.
Wen Jing Lai has created a set of cutlery that fuses western and eastern traditions togeather to create hybrid eating utensils.
“I wanted to use something very typical to represent a culture, so instead of looking at clothes, I thought that cutlery and dining rituals are very distinctive between the west and the east,” Lai told Dezeen.
Lai has played on the idea of food and culture, a very fashionable idea at the moment with many fusion restaurants opening up all over the country. The restaurants combine flavours from all over the world. Lai has created the perfect set of cutlery to be used in these restaurants. Acknowledging that the cultures are combining not just through the food but also through dining rituals.
I like how she hasn’t just focused on the shapes of the cutlery but also looked at the materials used. She has combined bamboo and stainless steel both key materials from each culture.
“I hope that this range can promote to the others a better understanding of my own culture across the different aspects of our lives,”
Her cutlery doesn’t just enhance the dining experience it is also a great educational tool allowing people to acknowledge and understand both cultures.
Much like myself, Lai understands that it important for people to be educated on different cultures and learn how to respect traditions. Even though cultures are merging and combining, it is necessary that they are still kept alive. Even if they are adjusted to suit new generations the key traditions are still recognised.
Stella McCartney has partnered with Adidas to create trainers made out of recycled waste plastic from the sea. The process involves replacing the synthetic fibres within the fabric of the shoes, with yarns made from the plastic.
She describes her design style as ‘fundamental’ -“I strongly believe in making clothing that is ethically created and built to last, and this is an ideology I channel into every single piece I design,”
I was drawn to her designs as she is able to create a perfect balance between design and sustainability. Her products are competitive within the market with the added factor of sustainability, a bonus that doesn’t hinder the design. I enjoy how she is aware of her carbon footprint when designing.
She hasn’t just created a sustainable product, she has created excitement over sustainable products within the design world. This has helped educate people on the importance of looking after our planet and opened their eyes to be more aware of the products they are buying.
Her work inspires me as it highlights the fact that sustainability doesn’t have to make a product unfashionable or ugly. There are multiple ways of integrating sustainability into your designs you just have to be aware of it. Viewing her work has prompted me to be more aware of my works carbon footprint.
Cho has designed origami like floating shelves. He describes them as simple sculptural objects that function as furniture and beyond.
The shelf is composed of a series of birch plywood triangles, adhered with plastic zip ties. The width, length, and depth of the shelf can vary depending on how many you put together. Making the design very flexible as it can be built upon.
I like how structured his work is, the clean lines and geometric shapes reflect back to origami and its recognisable features.
I also enjoy the fact that he describes them as both sculptures and furniture, therefore adding to the room, rather then just blending in. I want my pieces to make a room feel special and personal.
The stools are composed of a thick cardboard like paper, and stabilised with a small amount of glue.
Inspired by origami, the paper is scored and bent into interlocking structural modules. She says that her designs are made to elevate humble materials.
I love the simplicity of her stools, they are very clean and well designed. She hasn’t created many folds, but the folds have a purpose and have been thought about.
Her design motives are very similar to mine, focusing on using an overlooked material and transforming it into something beautiful. However, I feel that although the stools are beautifully crafted they can’t be used, as the paper is not strong enough to sit on. Therefore they are more decorative than functional. I will be gaining inspiration from the visual aspects of her work.
The designers drew inspiration from paper and the way it folds and creases, I like how they translated these qualities into porcelain, showing off how delicate and elegant paper folds can be.
The porcelain has a slightly speckled appearance to give it an authentic likeness of coarse recycled paper.
These pieces emphasise to me that designs don’t need to be extravagant, and that small details can create strong and graceful designs. The delicate pleats create uniform, minimalistic and powerful pieces.
I want to translate this delicate way of working into my exploration of wood. Wood is commonly thought of as a tough robust building material used to make strong pieces of furniture. However, I believe that I can use it to create something delicate changing people’s perception of wood.