Monthly Archives: September 2012

WAN Workspace Awards closing Sunday

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Megan

With only a few days left to enter the WAN Workspace Interiors Award this is the last chance to enter your project into this high calibre competition!

We spend half of our lives at work and so it’s no surprise that workspace interior design is big business in the corporate world and beyond. As designers strive to make workspaces more engaging and ergonomically sound, the office environment is changing. It could even be said that a revolution is occurring in the way we think and behave whilst at work. For a greater insight into this subject, take a look at our Workspace Special report on how attitudes are changing.

Back to the WAN Workspace Interiors Awards and the latest entry, submitted by Hassell for their George Patterson Y & R project, Melbourne, Australia. The brief called for a ‘studio’ office environment that would reflect the creative team at George Patterson Y&R (and its sub-brands) while still being a practical modern office.

George Patterson Y & R

Various working areas were required, from presentation spaces and informal lounges to collaboration areas and formal workstations. Stripping this building back to its early 1900s glory – when it was viewed by Melburnians as an iconic boutique department store – was at the core of Hassell’s approach to this project.

Retail and commercial spaces are located on the first two levels with the office space above. The building itself is characterised by large open spaces and heritage architectural features such as Victorian columns, a glazed atrium on level three and ceiling heights ranging from three to six metres.

The key challenges were spreading a modest budget over a large floor area and designing within a space that was not originally intended as a workplace. One of the challenges of the project were the high ceilings – beautiful from a design perspective but problematic for consistent heating, cooling and lighting. Overcoming these issues meant removing decades of additions that we felt impeded the building’s appeal and inserting elements that stood free of the building fabric or architecture. This approach minimised expensive building works while at the same time allowing the heritage character of the interior to stand proud on its own.

George Patterson Y & R

The ‘elements’ were delivered in the form of a furniture-based series of responses to the client’s needs. One such response was using bookcases and defined floor finishes instead of walls to define spaces.

The result is a functional yet creative design that allows daylight to permeate the space without being inhibited by walls or other divisions and the removable furniture systems allow long-term flexibility within the space, ensuring minimal lifecycle costs. In addition, the GPY&R team were able to use the space while the work was in progress.

The Workspace Interiors Awards will be judged by an impressive panel of industry experts including Alice Fung, co-founder of 00:/ (zero zero) and Neil Usher, Group Property at Rio Tinto.

The deadline for entries is 30 September 2012 so be sure to enter your project online now. For further details please follow this link or contact Sarah by the end of the week.
Best of luck!

TENT at the Old Truman Brewery

Posted on September 24, 2012 by Megan

London Design Week descended on Brick Lane in East London last weekend to showcase the best interior design products at Tent 2012.

With a focus on innovative furniture and home accessories, many of Britain’s promising young designers exhibited their work, alongside international pavilions that celebrated products from countries such as Korea, Tawain and Hungary.

Sussex based product and surface designer Alison Milner displayed her collection of hand-thrown porcelain tableware that uses photographs of common British weeds for decoration. The collection includes ragwort, elder and thistle leaves printed under the clear glazed mugs.

Alison Milner

Keeping on the ceramics theme we found a collection of fabulous oddities by Japanese potter IKUKO Iwamoto Ceramics. Her spiky or nodule covered bowls, mugs and wall framed sculptures are hand crafted from porcelain and glazed in azures and aquamarines, to evoke a sense of seascape.

IKUKO Iwamoto Ceramics

Natural yarns and materials played a big role in many of the products at Tent this year and we came across furniture pieces that were both practical and infused with luxurious comfort.

Studio 180’s Treasure Collection crafts living room furniture, such as sofa and day beds, tables and soft furnishings out of natural and organic materials. The furniture is woven from a myriad of fibres including strips of unwaxed leather, hemp cord and wool to form practical pieces in earthy tones. Adorned with cushions and blankets made from chunky un-dyed wool and natural horn buttons, Studio 180 succeeds in bringing the best of British natural products indoors.

Studio 180

Claire Anne O’Brien uses wool and a giant pair of knitting needles to produce her brightly coloured deconstructed seating. Her Olann collection, meaning wool in Irish, takes inspiration from traditional Ireland, where fishing and knitting were at the heart of village life. O’Brien studied a BA in Textiles at Central Saint Martins before continuing on to complete an MA in Knitted Textiles at the Royal College of Art.

Claire Anne O’Brien

The Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) presented Look – love – Keep in Mind: Here Comes Hungarian Design that introduced the best in Hungarian design to a London audience. Laszlo Tompa showcased his magical wooden sculptures that opened to reveal cubbyholes and secret trinket drawers.

Laszlo Tompa

As lovers of Japanese tableware it was a rare treat for us to see such an extensive collection of patterns and styles at the Mashiko Pottery stand. With ceramic pieces ranging from the practical to the ornamental, Mashiko remains an exquisite example of this traditional craft. Prices started from £19 for a humble mug up to £3,000 for more ornate pieces of pottery.


Tent certainly showcased many exciting new products and ideas and proved that British creativity remains at the forefront of design.

WIN at Design Junction – preview

Posted on September 20, 2012 by Megan

After a bustling day of preparations our booth is ready and opened last night for the press preview of this weekend’s Design Junction event. In line with its utilitarian appearance, the design expo is bursting with innovative products and inspiring designers, eager to discuss their latest work, it is well organised and easy to navigate. If you’re heading to Design Junction this weekend, here’s a quick round up of our favourite bits:

The ground floor is filled with home accessories ranging from glossy coffee table books at Phaidon (C1) to diptyque perfume (C5). We found many a hidden gem in the Midcentury Modern area (G10) including the earthy clay tones and hand-painted tops of Nanadobbie ceramics, an antique shop hailing from Brighton; the Disco Triangle Table and Ash Leaf Kidney Table, two modern interpretations of 50s and 60s contemporary prints atop Lucy Turner’s kidney shaped coffee tables; and Tabitha Bargh’s mood inspiring corrugated cardboard lamp shades which are made from 85% recycled materials.

Lucy Turner

The Artek Café forms the centre of the ground floor and is a great place to hang out and people watch. Meat lovers will drool at the sight of the smoked meat for sale on the bar, for others there are continental beers and snacks.

Floor One opens out into a large bright space that showcases lighting products, ceramics and homeware collections, smaller pieces of furniture and installation art / ornaments from collectives such as Ceramics Camberwell, a group of graduates from Camberwell College of Art.

Highlights for us included the Orla Kiely House range of homeware products (F18) that covets the Irish designer’s iconic prints on products such as ceramics, rugs, cottons and linens for bathrooms and kitchen, and furniture. We love the bath towels!

Orla Kiely Home

Vessel Gallery (F11) also caught our eye with their beautiful Angel Falls installation, designed by Nigel Coates, cascades from ceiling to floor. Dozens of little men, arms outstretched as if flying have been sculpted out of Italian crystal to form the chandelier. In comparison Blooming Spark, designed and hand sculpted by Tsai & Yoshikawa, sits high up in the roof space – a collection of linear light shards manipulated into flowers around low energy bulbs.

Vessel Gallery

Vitamin (F58) lights up one corner of the space with a cluster of its “monkey fist” knot lamps that come suspended or as desk top versions.


Just behind we found Content by Conran (F19), the new modular sofa range by Sir Terence Conran. Combined with luxurious fabric from Abraham Moon & Sons, a company that has been producing fabrics from British woollen mills since 1837, the sofas and armchairs come in traditional herringbone, tartans and dogtooth patterns, all perfect for winter.

Content by Conran

Upstairs on Floor Two big names such as Bocci (S25), Benchmark (S10) and Another Country (S24) take over the space with larger furniture and lighting collections. We love Gubi (S5) with their latest range of lights and furniture that bring classic contemporary designs into the 21st century. The Adnet Collection includes original designs from 1946 by Frenchman Jacques Adnet. The leather covered mirror pendants were originally designed in collaboration with fashion house Hermes.


Our booth (F60) is located on Floor One so come and visit us for a break on our Float Sofa by Sancal. We also have a range of lights by WAN Furniture and Accessories Award winner, Naomi Paul and oodles of information about World Interiors News.

We hope you enjoy Design Junction as much as we are!

Design Festival coming to London

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Megan

The London Design Festival (LDF) kicks off next week and we are gearing up for a jam packed week full of inspirational interior design events, seminars and parties!

World Interiors News will cover the event from our base at Design Junction, where we will host a booth showcasing products from the shortlisted designers of the WAN Interiors Furniture and Accessories Award 2012. We are thrilled to have products including Karim Rashid’s Sancal Float Sofa, Eric Parry Architect’s Vigilia Bench, Vitamin’s Knot Lamp and the winner Naomi Paul’s OMI pendants range, including her XL GLÜCK pendant which is being shown for the first time.

During the LDF we will also traverse the capital to bring you a roundup of the best exhibitions and products that the week has to offer, out in our next edition of INSIDE.

West London’s 100% Design show takes place at Earl’s Court from 19 – 22 September, highlights of which include the International Pavilions, which will feature over 200 designers from around the world.

The capital’s East End will be abuzz with open studios, pop-up exhibitions and shows all radiating out from the central hub of Brick Lane where, from 20 – 23 September, Tent London takes over The Old Truman Brewery. Tent will promote many young British designers, such as recent graduate Hugh Leader-Williams and his award winning Spun furniture range, and the latest contemporary interior products in ceramics, textiles, materials, lighting, furniture and accessories.

Central London will host Design Junction from 19 – 23 September at the former Royal Mail sorting office on New Oxford Street. The event will showcase over 100 lighting and furniture designers including Artek, Benchmark, Pinch and Thonet.

With so much to see and do this year at LDF it’s worth pencilling in the whole weekend to explore the festival, and make sure that you come along and meet us at booth F60 at the Design Junction, The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1BA.

The London Design Festival runs from 14 – 23 September at various venues across the city. See for full listings and events.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The future of the Workspace

Posted on September 7, 2012 by Megan

We have had a busy week preparing for the forthcoming edition of INSIDE, our monthly round-up of interior design news.

This month we focus on workspace interiors to coincide with the WAN Workspace Interiors Award. We uncover the secret behind the collaborative workspace ethos in a discussion with innovative architect and entrepreneur, Alice Fung. We have also visited “The Developing City” exhibition at the Walbrook Club in London, an exciting vision of the capital in 2050, to join the debate on the future of the office. To make sure you don’t miss out on these and many other stories, simply follow this link and subscribe to the INSIDE newsletter.

The WAN Workspace Interiors Awards are now open and we have already received many interesting entries. They range from corporate headquarters to shared workspaces that encourage a sense of community. The Microsoft offices in Santa Fe, Mexico covers an area of 7500m2 and combines vibrant colours with a variety of textures and materials to create an engaging office environment. The penthouse seventh floor of the building contains the general reception, dining area, meeting rooms, auditorium and waiting area in a warm open plan space. The use of colour is at the heart of the interior design and has been used to evoke emotions, express personalities and stimulate the association of architecture with the brand.

The WAN Workspace Interior Awards will be judged by a panel of major industry players including Neil Usher of Rio Tinto, Alice Fung from  00:/ (zero zero) and Hub Westminster and many others. If you have a project that you would like to enter you can do so on our website and also check out the competition on our Commercial projects page.

INSIDE that will land in your inbox next week, and shortly thereafter you will receive our report on “The Developing City.” Let us know what you think!