Category Archives: UK

WIN Loves: May Design Series

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Liz

May Design Series returned to London’s ExCeL this year, with almost 400 brands on display plus countless wonderful guest speakers holding thought-provoking seminars. WIN had a great time this year, meeting with old friends, making new contacts and seeing the amazing products on show. We were also spoiled in the press room with tasty treats and drinks, air conditioning and general kindness from the amazing press and marketing team – thanks guys! The whole space looked awesome thanks to the design expertise of Ab Rogers, who gave a great talk on the use of colour while we were there (hint – he likes it bright). To add to the fun, we bid on one of the gorgeous chairs in the Out of the Dark silent auction. All were upholstered by some fantastic bloggers using salvaged materials, so here’s hoping we win! Here’s a few quick personal snaps before we move onto our product highlights.

Gorgeous space, curated by Ab Rogers

The animated and charming Ab Rogers himself, mid-speech

Beautiful ceramics from Flux, which we blogged on earlier this year

At the iGuzzini stand, winners of last year’s WIN Awards for best Lighting Product

The only chair you’ll ever need: the Flag Halyard by Hans J. Wegner at the PP Møbler stand

Onto our favourite products at May Design. We were particularly impressed by some of the incredible lighting on display, as well as some fantastic options for storage in the home that hide your clutter but also function as a gorgeous statement piece. Fun, quirky and colourful ruled this year and we were big fans!

Playful Circus Lighting by Corinna Warm for Innermost

Pops of colour on these Zazzeri taps, also an entry into the WIN Awards this year!

Side Coffee Table from Santarossa

Bold lamps from Enigma Lighting

Shabby chic cabinets from Bluebone

Beautiful up-cycled pieces by Out of the Dark

The perfect kitchen from The Myers Touch

Stunning glass lamps by Ebb & Flow

Innovative modular shelving by Made In Ratio

We can’t wait for next year, and hope that everyone else had a great few days at the show!

The Business of Art: Interview with acrylicize

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Liz

Hard work, positivity, believing in what you do – and a little more hard work on top – can definitely get you far. The proof is in the pudding with acrylicize, a boutique art and design studio headed up by James Burke and Paul Arad. Founded in 2003 as a result of Burke’s final year University show, the company have gone from strength to strength creating bespoke artwork and schemes for a whole host of companies, including big names like Heinz, The Office Group and Deloitte. Injecting personality into offices, stadiums, public spaces and even residential homes, the pair have created an innovative and inspiring business brand, unlike anything we at WIN have seen before.

We speak to James to find out more about acrylicize and its foundations and developments, how they approach new work, favourite projects and clients and business tips for aspiring entrepreneurs…

Paul and James, Founders of acrylicize

Firstly I’d like to say thank you for taking some time out to talk to WIN about acrylicize, it’s a pleasure to feature you on our blog. acrylicize has been described as a mix between design studio and art consultancy, how would you best describe the company to those first hearing about it?

We believe art should be accessible to as many people as possible so we are on a mission to make work that sits predominately outside the gallery space. We develop custom art works, from on-off pieces to entire art schemes. The key difference is that everything is by commission and is developed to respond to the person, company, brand or space we are working with. We call it ‘Customism’. We mix art, design, interior design, architectural features and graphics all together and what comes out is acrylicize. We’re proud that we can’t be pigeonholed – it means that we are doing things differently.

James, you first met Paul at Manchester Metropolitan University some years ago. Were you both studying on the same course? And have you always been friends?

I was at Manchester Metropolitan University studying contemporary arts while Paul was studying textile management. I had started experimenting with art on acrylic as an innovative canvas and decided to pursue this idea for my final year project.  Paul was also on the cusp of graduating; we were both very inspired by the idea of doing something for ourselves, and all that energy we had at university really inspired us to go for it.

Qubic Tax, acrylicize

I can only imagine! So where did the idea of acrylicize first come about? During University, or afterwards?

acrylicize started as my degree project. I was exploring the public’s perception of contemporary and conceptual art. I wanted to develop something that could be appreciated by a wide spectrum of people who weren’t involved in the art establishment so looked at doing something new with the simple ‘picture on the wall’ concept. The idea of acrylicize was to update the traditional canvas and develop a contemporary alternative using modern materials and technology. That’s where the use of acrylic came in and with it the name acrylicize.

How did you initially set up the business? What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome these?

For my final show at university, I displayed my acrylic art pieces with ornamental price tags designed to make a comment on Art as commodity and unintentionally sold every piece. I was always interested in building a brand around the work and just because my course finished I wasn’t ready for the project to end – really it was just the beginning. Paul then jumped on board with his sales skills and we essentially worked our arses off! It was actually one of the most exciting times of the whole last 10 years as everything was so new and exciting; we believed that anything was possible and it’s on those beliefs that we moved forward.

One of the main obstacles when starting any business from scratch is not having any previous work to show for ourselves. Looking back I think it was actually one of our biggest assets as we weren’t in any way conditioned by industry practices and as such just did whatever felt right, using our instinct and intuition to help make decisions. This freedom is one of the main factors in us staying true to ourselves and creating something genuinely unique.

In terms of a challenge, one of the most important things has always been to challenge ourselves to keep creating and evolving. This is how the idea of ‘Customism’ came about, creating completely unique, narrative-driven art concepts and installations for interior spaces, be it offices, hospitals or stadia. These projects took on different forms and utilised a whole host of materials and techniques.

Interiors Group, acrylicize

You began producing unique acrylic art, and now offer bespoke art installations, commissions, architectural features, interior graphics and exhibitions for businesses. What is your process when approaching a new project and seeing it through to completion?

With each project we take on, we put a huge amount of effort into the initial research. We focus on embracing the personality of a space and try to find a story to tell. Once we have this we have the essence of the work and we can then think about execution and how the story can be brought to life. These initial idea phases are done as a group in-house with everyone pitching in ideas, thoughts and suggestions etc. We have internal ‘stretch sessions’ where we challenge each other creatively, with individual and team tasks. This can involve everything from collecting train tickets for an afternoon at Paddington Station, to each going out to the supermarket to buy Heinz beans and experimenting at home.

We operate as artists, looking for the opportunity to try something new with every new commission. From the client’s perspective, they know never to expect the same thing twice.

Do you have specific creative individuals in the industry you go to for design ideas? Or is the work mostly done in-house?

Most of the work is done in-house at our Shoreditch studio. However, one thing we’re big advocates of at acrylicize is collaboration. We have a strong theme of collaboration and love working with other people to realise ideas.

On a recent project for long-term collaborators The Office Group, we teamed up with graphic designer Alex Fowkes. We had been admiring his work for Sony Music so dropped him a line and asked him to join us for The Office Group project at 7 Stratford Place, a Georgian townhouse that had a lot of cool history that we wanted to convey through our art. Alex was up for the project so we worked together on what is one of our favourite pieces to date.

The Office Group, 7 Stratford Place, acrylicize

How do you feel your work affects office spaces? Are there better levels of productivity for example?

Art has often been confined to the gallery space and we’re really interested in the opportunity to engage with artwork in any walk of life. The workspace is one of the places you spend the longest at, so why shouldn’t you have the ability to engage with art there? We live in such a visual society and we believe art can help to stimulate people. People also appreciate the idea that who they work for has invested in the space, creating an environment that makes you happy, a bit more vibrant and a bit more energetic. That goes a long way.

Research by Dr Craig Knight, from the psychology department at the University of Exeter, has shown that staff work 15 per cent more efficiently in an office decorated with art and plants. When staff decorated their own office space, productivity increased by 30 per cent.

You also work on residential, public and healthcare projects. Is the process very similar? And which do you prefer working on?

Sometimes more professional research is required, especially when working within healthcare. It’s always really rewarding working in this sphere as you know that work is doing something to help people who are in need of feeling better.

Heinz R&D HQ, Wall 57, acrylicize

You’ve worked with a variety of brands, including some huge names – Hilton, Emirates, Harrods, BBC to name just a few. Which has been the most enjoyable for you so far?

All have been great projects. Heinz was particular awesome it was a glorious story to bring to life and a huge project for us as a company. We got to travel to the Netherlands to create a feature wall that stands in the reception of their European Innovation Centre, where all the R&D happens. It was an honour to be a part of Heinz history.

And the most challenging?

When Newcastle-based accountants Qubic Tax came to us wanting to inspire their staff, we had a challenge on our hands. Lets face it Tax can be quite a dry subject and no one particularly loves the fact that they have to pay tax. Our solution was to create a canvas of over 1,200 LEGO figures, each one representing a tax-paying vocation. We were trying to make something that is genuinely quite hard and dislikeable into something that will put a smile on your face. We looked at tax and we really wanted to humanise it as much as we could. The use of Lego was used to soften that experience and tap into the child in you.

Heathrow T3, acrylicize

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt from setting up your own business? Any advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs?

We put endless effort into making contacts, picking up the Yellow Pages and calling everybody, absolutely anybody, who may have been remotely interested in what we were doing. It’s all about action and the very act of doing something as simple as speaking to people has a knock-on effect.

For young entrepreneurs who are finding their feet, starting their own businesses, two principal themes have been very successful to us personally. The first one is a positive step. Take a step somewhere even if you are not sure which direction you’re going in. Don’t worry about that. The important thing is to be proactive, get off the couch and just take the first step to start you on your path and journey.

The second theme is belief. Have belief in yourself. Have belief in what you are offering and have belief in the people you are working with. Positive energy and belief are the two key drivers that we embrace and push forward every day.

Wembley Stadium , acrylicize

You seem to be constantly evolving and developing, so what is next for acrylicize?

We are really interested in the idea of community and collaboration and bridging the gap between great creative talent and opportunities to make a living doing what you love. We have some big plans in the department. On top of this we are developing some great projects as part of acrylicize and are about to release two short films about our recent installations that have just been completed.

And when you’re not busy installing monsters into the Headquarters of Mind Candy or injecting some fun into a tax office with Lego pieces, what else do you enjoy doing? Where would we find you on a typical weekend?

Paul and I both have young children so we are spending a lot of time with all the amazing things that come with that. I am also a keen drummer and graffiti artist and like to indulge in both these areas regularly. It’s all about balance and doing lots of what you enjoy.

Final question – what is your own office space like – just curious!

We’ve got a great space in Shoreditch, just off Redchurch Street. It’s got relics of all our projects and is a really bright, open space with huge floor to ceiling windows. We moved east two years ago, from our original studio in Harrow. The team had grown and we were keen to soak up the creativity of the melting pot that is east London at the current time. The energy is great, it’s a vibrant part of town filled with artists, designers and people doing their thing, creating a constantly evolving landscape on an almost daily basis. It suits what we do very well and we wanted to leave our mark.

The Office Group, 7 Stratford Place, acrylicize

What’s on at The Saatchi

Posted on May 8, 2014 by Liz

We truly love The Saatchi Gallery here at WIN – it’s a spectacular venue that shares thought provoking and inspiring contemporary art with the world, a global meeting place for all who visit and accessible for anyone and everyone as all exhibitions are free! We are extremely lucky as it is also where we will be holding our World Interiors News Annual Awards Dinner later this year, following the success of last year’s event (we can’t wait!). So what’s been going on at The Saatchi so far this year?

Kostas Agiannitis – Lifestyle. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

Firstly, an exciting partnership with Google+ has allowed for motion photography to be introduced as an art form for everyone. As technology continues to develop, photographers from all backgrounds are embracing new ways to tell their stories. Motion photography is a new trend that used to require special tools and know-how, but Google+ have simplified the process, allowing users to effortlessly and automatically animate a series of still photographs and turn them in to motion photography.

Matthew Clarke – Night. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

In recognition of the exciting potential of this new technology came the Motion Photography Prize, inviting photographers all over the world to celebrate this new creative art form, the first global entry competition of its kind. This was judged by an amazing panel of forward-thinkers including film director Baz Luhrmann and artists Shezad Dawood and Cindy Sherman. The competition was tough, with over 4,000 entries from 52 countries, but an overall winner was recently announced. Christina Rinaldi, with her black and white motion photograph of a New York window cleaner, has won a once-in-a-lifetime trip with a photographer or film-maker as her mentor. Her entry, along with those of the five other finalists, plus the shortlist of 54 motion photographs is now on exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery until 24 May and will also be featured online at Saatchi Art.

Christina Rinaldi – Urban. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

Another fantastic exhibition that is currently on display until 31 August, is Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America. Taking its title from the prehistoric landmass that conjoined Africa and Latin America, this major survey reunites the two former sister continents by bringing together the work of 16 of their contemporary artists. The exhibition celebrates and explores the parallels between their distinctly diverse cultures and creative practices, as they begin to receive recognition in the increasingly globalised art world.

Aboudia – Enfants dans la rue 2, 2013. © Aboudia, 2013. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

The artists in Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America, respond to present day complexities in diverse and innovative ways. Years of colonial rule, rapid urban expansion, migration and political and economic unrest remain subjects for many of the artists whose reflections on the richness of their environment translate into an intense visual experience. The full scope of work on display in this exhibition, which includes new painting, photography, installation and sculpture, encapsulates this sense of diversity – a bubbling energy surfacing in the two great continents that were once Pangaea.

Rafael Gómezbarros – Casa Tomada, 2013. © Sam Drake, 2014. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery.

Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America features work by Aboudia, Leonce Agbodjélou, Fredy Alzate, Antonio Malta Campos, Rafael Gómezbarros, David Koloane, José Lerma, Mário Macilau, Ibrahim Mahama, Dillon Marsh, Jose Carlos Martinat, Vincent Michea, Oscar Murillo, Alejandra Prieto Boris Nzebo, Christian Rosa. A stand out piece is definitely Gómezbarros’ Casa Tomada, with giant ants that address issues of diaspora and internal displacement suffered in Colombia for several decades due to the armed conflict wreaking havoc on the country. Aboudia’s vast canvases are also striking, occupied by a multitude of characters displaying menacing weapons, a record of the sudden escalation of violence following electoral chaos in the city of Abidjan in 2011.

Vincent Michea – Before the Bigger Splash, 2012. © Vincent Michea, 2012. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery.

With all this on and more, it’s quite simple really – get yourself down to The Saatchi as soon as you can to experience some amazing art!

An Artist’s Impression: Loukas Morley

Posted on March 28, 2014 by Liz

Loukas Morley is a Cambridge based artist and designer who studied at Cambridge and the Newport School of Art in South Wales.

Azure Pink, 90×90 (spirit based pigment on canvas)

Loukas is extremely adventurous in his work and, not being bound by any one medium, could be described as an artist, furniture maker and even landscape gardener.

His strongest designs can be distinctly seen within his paintings, which we love. These grand canvases, many of which are over 1m2, would make the perfect finishing touch for any interior design scheme and could be easily placed as a feature in any room of the house. What is obviously distinct is his incredible use of colour, he merges tones in swirling patterns with impressive effects; his paintings have a great presence in large open spaces.

Wild Flowers From My Balcony, 100×100 (spirit based pigment on canvas)

Diptych I, 70×70 (spirit based pigment on canvas)

Summer Reverie, 70×70 (spirit based pigment on aluminium)

Seeing great value and beauty in disregarded objects, Loukas also rescues and re-uses materials that would have been otherwise thrown away within his work. He offers a somewhat poetic response to human wastefulness. This upcycling is very evident in his furniture, most of which has been constructed from reclaimed wood and metal. Loukas has designed and made tables, chairs, stools, and even bespoke storage for private clients.

Protoype Side Table (in production)

Reversible cedar table top on trestle legs, 2006, 80x250cm

The team at WIN are now coveting a piece to hang on the wall in our office – and we can’t wait to see what’s next from this talented artist!

The Fabric Prints of the Present (and Past!)

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Liz

Heal’s has a long and prominent history of discovering and nurturing creative talent. Back in the 1950s, the company was responsible for championing fabric designs by emerging designers of the time including Lucienne Day, Zandra Rhodes and Barbara Brown. So it is extremely exciting to hear that they have just produced an exclusive own-brand fabric collection, the first since the 1970s. As expected, they have worked with both established designers, including Rhodes, and also those who are lesser known. Each designer has created a unique pattern for Heal’s, resulting in a striking collection that celebrates both colour and individuality, drawing inspiration from fabric archives, decorative arts, nature and even jewellery.

Paul Vogel, Milo’s Stripe

Pia Benham, Heal’s Head of Fabric & Design comments: “As part of the relaunch of Heal’s historic fabric department, we wanted to extend our current fabric offering. We hope the new collection will help further strengthen our fabric department’s position as the destination for unique and exciting designs, a place that can inspire our customers and enable them to make their homes a beautiful place to live in. We also wanted to inject fun and excitement into our Heal’s fabric design once again, by working with established as well as emerging designers – in the same way we did in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Heal’s Journal with Peacock Flower print, Malika Favre

Also coinciding with the fabric collection launch comes a coordinating home accessory line, Heal’s 1810 – named after the year in which they were first established. This series features selected patterns from the new fabric range giving the opportunity for them to be appreciated in multiple ways throughout their customers’ living spaces. The accessories include kitchen textiles such as aprons, oven gloves and tea towels, as well furnishings such as cushions. It also includes stationary, for example cute journals that can be flaunted with pride outside of the home!

Zandra Rhodes, Top Brass 2

Onto the prints, of which there are an extensive and fabulous amount. Zandra Rhodes’ Top Brass 2 makes a return, having originally been designed for Heal’s in 1963. A reminder of the Pop Art period of the time, it has the designer’s signature pink colour palette with a medal motif inspired by a David Hockney painting. Another return is the late Diana Bloomfield’s Tea Time, which truly reflects the 1950s period in which it was first designed. Introduced with the help of Bloomfield’s daughter Julia, Tea Time has a retro style but the playful print allows for a modern feel. It is thought to be inspired by the illustrated cakes and jellies of Isabella Beeton’s Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

Heal’s Tray with Tea Time Print, Diana Bloomfield

Cressida Bell’s Trees is heavily influenced by the 1930s and 1940s, taking inspiration from illustrators of the period such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Including rich colours and detailed pattern, it can clearly be seen that her design motto is ‘more is more’! Another bold print, Malika Favre’s geometric style Peacock Flower uses the form of the bird as the basis for her abstract pattern, having seen one wandering around her hotel on a recent trip to the French Riviera!

Cressida Bell, Trees

A simpler, but still extremely effective pattern is Paul Vogel’s Stripe series. This was inspired by Heal’s own archives but adapted using this Spring’s colour trends and by playing with proportions. Emily Patrick’s Cloud is based on one of her paintings, breaking down the barrier between outside and inside. Ottilie Stevenson looked to Art Deco jewellery to create the crisp geometrics of Zig Zag while Petra Börner’s Lady Jane is designed to resemble a scattered bouquet of rough cuts from the garden. Finally, a distinctively Scandinavian design from Hvass & Hannibal. Herbarium uses the forest as its main theme, with an illustrative and folkloristic style depicting plants, flowers and trees.

Hvass & Hannibal, Herbarium

The collection offers a style to suit every taste and is an amazing reflection of Heal’s, of its inspiring past and also of the current brand that we have grown to know and love. It really offers something for everyone, especially with the 1810 line and after thirty years, we at WIN believe the collection is a long-awaited triumph!

Tea Party Twist

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Liz

Willow Blues by Jenna Stanton, photographed by Catherine Dineley

Ceramics with a difference – in more ways than one. Introducing flux Stoke-on-Trent, a company that provide beautiful collections of chinaware with an edgy take on classic designs using traditional manufacturing processes. Not only are their pieces an innovative take on traditional English fine bone china, they are actually designed and made by students studying on the internationally renowned MA Ceramics programme at Staffordshire University. Guided by Creative Director Professor David Sanderson, the students are able to develop their professional design talent whilst creating unique pieces for the public. The success of this project has also led to utilising many wider skills and talents in the Arts, Media and Design Faculty of the University – including students from Branding, Film, Product and Graphic Design courses. This is a brand based around the promising skills of future generations.

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

There are 12 designs in three ranges available in the flux collection: flux Cobalt, flux Gold and flux Platinum. The Cobalt range is a contemporary classic of in-glaze cobalt blues and whites inspired by the rich traditions of Staffordshire, while the Gold range is quintessentially English, hand printed and using gilded gold. Platinum is an aspirational range, sophisticated with a contemporary twist of cool modernity. The collections are eclectic and ever-evolving and this is where the fun lies in owning their pieces. They seem to work best as a mix and match of designs, allowing for the consumer (us!) to curate their own collection that best suits their personality and homes.

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

flux is more than a ceramics company, it is a new template for craftsmanship and innovation with young design talent at the heart of its story. It is a call for the revitalisation of the traditional creative industry in Europe, not forgetting tradition but translating it for modern times. The company has seen great success so far and we can see why – gorgeous, versatile and functional pieces combined with great business tactics that utilise the developing and yet-to-be-discovered talents of the moment. It’s a combination that simply can’t go wrong, and also one that will definitely be in my kitchen cupboards and be proudly used and displayed at tea parties – soon!  

Multiple Ranges, photographed by Catherine Dineley

Blacksheep and Jamie’s Italian collaborate for exciting international expansion

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Liz

Autumn 2013 saw Blacksheep,  the hospitality design and branding agency, unveil their latest designs for three brand new Jamie’s Italians in overseas Dubai, Singapore and Istanbul. Blacksheep have worked with the brand for four years and thus understood that they had to reflect the traditional and classic Jamie’s Italian concept, whilst also considering the cultures and customs unique to those regions, ensuring that local guests and holiday makers alike, can enjoy the true Jamie’s experience. The team’s success came from their ability to build close partnerships with local craftsman and artisans to ensure each restaurant could relate to its locality, whilst also remaining true to the unique Jamie’s brand.

Emma Freed, Interior Designer at Blacksheep commented: “The best thing about working on Jamie’s Italian for the international market, is the fact that they represent something fresh and new to those regions. In Singapore for example, although they are familiar with the brand, it is many people’s first time experiencing a Jamie’s. There is something very rewarding and special about the excitement and anticipation which surrounds these projects.”

Main dining area and feature dividing screen, Dubai

Blacksheep’s launch of their very first international collaboration with the household name, in the form of Jamie’s Italian, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai, marks the strength in their relationship with Jamie’s as they move to expand the brand internationally. Situated within the Jumeirah Beach Resort, the prestigious location of the restaurant was to be key to the brief. With striking views to the iconic Burj Al Arab already framing the destination, the team enhanced this feature whilst embracing the existing architecture of the new build site. Blacksheep created a semi enclosed circular space within the centre of the restaurant to form an intimate dining experience, framed by metal screens with open and closed glass detail. The overall result provides the guest with privacy whilst also reminding them of the wider restaurant setting and beautiful views throughout.

Rear dining room with antipasti bar, Singapore

With Jamie’s Italian in Singapore, the key focus was on reclaimed and homely materials to contrast with the clean lines of the shopping centre environment of where it is situated in Vivo City, one of the region’s largest and busiest retail destinations. Blacksheep created a range of different dining spaces to fulfil the brief including an arbour, private dining area and outside terrace providing stunning views across the harbour. The entrance is key as it allows open views into the bar and deli area enticing passers-by, as well as drawing their eye to the central views of the terrace area beyond. Reclaimed timber beams and vintage reclaimed lighting are amongst the key materials used in this location.

Feature wine display, Instanbul

Jamie’s Italian in Zorlu shopping Centre Istanbul, undoubtedly challenged the Blacksheep team as it marks the biggest Jamie’s Italian the creative agency has designed to date. The team looked to create a different dining experience on each level. The ground level presents a daytime sanctuary and includes an antipasti bar and theatrical kitchen with an emphasis on colour and the building’s grand ceiling heights. The first level provides a more intimate dining experience whilst also remaining an accessible dining space for all. This area also includes a striking wine display, its very own antipasti bar as well as a pizza oven and private dining area for those wanting to experience the brand in the intimacy of their friends and family. The destination restaurant also offers two standalone terrace areas to enjoy the Jamie’s experience.

Arbour dining area with feature chandelier, Singapore

All three restaurants also include glazing which can be folded back at night-time allowing guests inside to enjoy the outside atmosphere, something which is popular amongst diners in such tropical climates. Blacksheep continue to work with the brand on developing new sites in 2014. The team at WIN look forward to seeing more translations of this UK favourite, both at home and in more exotic destinations!

WIN Awards now open!

Posted on January 10, 2014 by Liz

We’re delighted to announce that we have now opened the World Interiors News Annual Awards 2014, following phenomenal success in 2013. Recognising and promoting the designs that have made the biggest impact on the cultural landscape over the past year, the awards programme spans 13 categories covering a whole spectrum of interior design. Interior projects include Residential, Workspace, Retail, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Leisure or entertainment venues, Museum or exhibition spaces, Public sector, Workspace, and Lighting design. The Products section focuses on Lighting, Furniture and Interior Accessories.

Ranging from emerging designers to long-established ones, our Awards have attracted submissions from over 120 countries. Judged by some of the most distinguished figures in the design world – many of whom have gone on to collaborate with award recipients – this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase innovative designs and boost your commercial potential. Previous judges have included Sir Terence Conran, Lee Hallman (Foster & Partners), Mark Majors (Speirs & Major), Vanessa Brady (interiors Designer and President, SBID), and Rabih Hage (Architect & Interior Designer).

Entrants receive considerable media coverage to our global community of over 220,000 architects, designers, developers and clients. Plus, all winning and shortlisted entries will be published in a Special Winners issue of INSIDE, our monthly round-up of the latest news, views and issues from the world of interior design. Many of our past winners have testified that this exposure contributed significantly to their business success.

Entry is just £250, but register before 14 March and you’ll receive a generous 20% discount on your fee. The winner from each category will be announced later in the year at a ceremony – date to be confirmed.

So if your designs have advanced practice and helped push the boundaries of both beauty and ingenuity, enter our World Interiors News Annual Awards and see how we can transform your business.

For further information about the World Interiors News Annual Awards 2014 and full details on how to enter, contact Liz Naven or call +44 (0)1273 201 117.

Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Megan

Inaugural Award of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund announced at the World Interiors News Awards, Saatchi Gallery, London by John Roake, Chairman of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund. The Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund are pleased to announce that  award has been made to Alex Stewart, a second year Masters student from the School of Architecture at Parsons, The New School for Design, New York. Alex was selected from a strong field of candidates drawn from schools of architecture in the UK and US.  A detailed selection process ultimately determined that the combination of Alex’s architectural skills, his passion for light and the strong recommendation received from his university made him the worthy winner of the £10,000 scholarship. The funding will be used to support his ongoing education and investigation into the relationship between light and architecture.

Chairman of the JSSF John Roake spoke on behalf of the Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund: “I am delighted to have made this first award. Whilst the selection process was tough thanks to the very strong field of candidates, it was a unanimous decision to make Alex the first JSSF Scholar.  His love of architecture and light was transparent from the outset but it was his enthusiasm, professionalism and warmth that reminded us so much of the individual at whose behest this scholarship has been set up”.

Alex Stewart commented: ”It is an honour to be selected as the Jonathan Speirs scholarship winner, and to be the inaugural year makes it even more special. I see myself as a steward for the award and Jonathan’s memory moving forward.  He sounded like a truly wonderful man. I only wish I had had the opportunity to meet him. However, his legacy most certainly lives on. Thank you for this distinction”.

John Roake concluded with a plea for ongoing support: “This award was only made possible because of the incredible generosity of a number of companies and individuals who came forward with donations. It is our stated intention that we will make a minimum of one award each year until 2023.  To that end we still need further financial help. We would therefore like to use this opportunity to appeal to companies, professional practices and individuals who both knew Jonathan or benefitted from his incredible insight into light and architecture to give generously going into the future”.

Details of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund, including ways to donate, are available at

Celebrating at Saatchi

Posted on December 10, 2013 by Megan

Ten days on from the inaugural World Interiors News Annual Awards ceremony and dinner the winning designers are still basking in the glory of their successes. London’s Saatchi Gallery played host to the most distinguished figures in architecture and interior design, treating the attendees to an opportunity to view the latest exhibition entitled “Body Language” which explores the physicalities of human beings through photography, sculpture and painting.

Escaping the cold November night outside, over 300 guests from across the globe retreated into the gallery’s warmth for a cocktail reception, a 3-course meal and some all-important networking opportunities. Amongst the many well-known faces was judge and interior design guru Sir Terence Conran, who has been a keen supporter of the awards programme.

As petit-fours and coffee were served, the awards ceremony began with a speech from Annalisa Hammond, Editor of World Interiors News, welcoming the guests and introducing Art historian and BBC Culture Show host Andrew Graham-Dixon who proceeded to present the awards for the winning designs.

Whilst the shortlisted entries from each category were announced and the winners collected their trophies on stage, guests from all areas of architecture and interior design were reminded of the designs which have helped shape the material and cultural landscape over the past year.

When the ceremony came to a close, the elated winners and shortlisted designers were photographed with their trophies and certificates, and the champagne flowed as celebrations began.

After overwhelmingly positive feedback about the event, Annalisa Hammond reflects that “the intimacy and originality of the venue appealed to our sponsors and guests, many of whom have already enquired about next year’s event!”

With the 2014 Awards due to open in early January, it promises to be another exciting year ahead for World Interiors News.