100% Norway in 60 Minutes (London Design Fair)

In September 2016, I was asked by The Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) to chair a panel event to coincide with 100% Norway, a showcase of the country’s design during the London Design Festival. The panel comprised exhibition curator Max Fraser and two of the design brands featured, Kim Thome and Vera & Kyte. We explored Norway’s design heritage, its role in the current trend for Scandinavian design, and what it means to be a Norwegian designer today.

(R)evolutionary Education (Design Prize Switzerland)

In September 2016 I was invited by the curator of Design Prize Switzerland, Michel Hueter, to moderate and chair (R)eveolutionary Education – a series of presentations from students studying in Switzerland, followed by a panel comprising lecturers and course leaders from Switzerland’s top design schools to explore the country’s design education system. “Thank you for your precious collaboration,” said Michel. “It was a pleasure to have your support and I was really pleased with how quickly we connected and you understood and also embodied the both questions we wanted to address and the insights we wanted to pass on. Everyone was really happy.”

Design for one and all (Norwegian Arts)

Photography by Ingvild Aarseth / DOGA

All copy as provided to the publication.

As the first London Design Biennale draws to a close, we take a look at Norway’s contribution, Reaching for Utopia – Inclusive Design in Practice, and find out why inclusive design is an idea the world needs to know about.

Throughout September, London’s Somerset House played host to 37 countries all responding to the theme of Utopia by Design. Contributions varied wildly from the conceptual (Albania’s Bliss – “a concentric arrangement of stainless steel columns and benches designed to encourage self-reflection and solidarity”) to the emotional (France’s Le Bruit des Bonbons — The Astounding Eyes of Syria shared memories of Syria through film) to the downright surreal (Cadavre Exquis: an Anatomy of Utopia was Poland’s 3D version of the children’s game ‘consequences’ first introduced by the Surrealist movement).

The country that seemed to have taken the brief most seriously was Norway. And perhaps that’s because the nation is taking the idea of using design to create a better world seriously. In 2005, 16 Norwegian ministries signed a binding action plan based on the government’s vision for Norway’s entire infrastructure to be created according to the principles of ‘inclusive design’ by 2025. “We have to keep the momentum now that we are halfway there,” says Åse Danbolt of property company Statsbygg – the government’s key advisor in construction. “This requires systematic work, clear governance and goals and projects that are well anchored at management level.” Reaching for Utopia – Inclusive Design in Practice showcased a number of such projects already delivering lasting social benefits.

You can also read this story online here.

The future of the home (Monocle x Kohler)

During the London Design Festival 2016, I was invited by Monocle to take part in a panel event about the future of the home, as part of Kohler’s Design Forum: Design in Everyday Life series. Led by Monocle’s Josh Fehnert, the panel, which comprised creative consultant Hugh McDonald, Kohler’s Mark Bickerstafffe, and me, engaged in a lively discussion about everything from the Danish concept of Hygge to the internet of things.

MOO LOOK (ONOFFICE)

Photography by Rob Wilson

Copy as provided to publication. 

Moving offices can be a daunting prospect, especially when your employees adore their previous home. Trifle Creative turned a drab, corporate shell into a warm and welcoming creative space that MOO’s London team couldn’t help but fall in love with.

How do you move 200 employees from a topsy-turvy Shoreditch office they love into a corporate-looking space the size of three Olympic swimming pools, while keeping everyone from the creative team to the coders happy? This was the challenge digital printing company MOO put to Emma Morley of interior design firm Trifle Creative. “I’m rarely daunted, she says, “but the first time I walked into this vast space, it was just grey: the carpets were grey; the walls were grey – even the ceilings were grey!” The office in Farringdon was going to need a complete overhaul if it was going to make anyone at MOO smile.