When Opportunity Knocks... Reflections of the London Visit and that feature in Urbis!
Much to our delight, we’ve been profiled in urbis news.
From its fascinating muses, architectural wonders and stylish interiors - urbis magazine has captivated me since forever.
The article highlights our recent win at the Amara Interiors Awards and talks about an invite to London that stopped me in my tracks. A shiny bright summons to join the Amara winners at the Tom Dixon Studio at King’s Cross. Umm, okay (exuberant happy jig).
My whirlwind visit to London was like a little educational trip on steroids. It’s amazing what a few days away from the drill can provide. Inspiration, history, culture, blistered feet, full minds and a happy heart.
Here are my top three reflections:
Tom Dixon is an unqualified designer. This was a revelation to me. It almost feels disrespectful to say ‘unqualified’ and ‘Tom Dixon’ in the same sentence as I respect his body of work and business acumen too much. But I share his lack of qualifications and have finally realised just how beneficial ‘self-taught’ has been for me. Why? Because I’ve worked so hard to overcome that fact. If I’d got the certificate or official title, I may have stopped. Instead, I’m a lifelong learner - the one with the light on in the wee hours, always seeking more knowledge. Like TD, my learnings have come from trial and error, past colleagues and experts., from my architect husband, from family, clients and friends too. That’s what unqualified looks like.
The Tom Dixon Studio is a hub of creating, trading and imbibing. The industrial architecture of Coal Drops Yard makes for an ideal setting for the studio, shop and restaurant. We were privileged to enjoy a guided tour - here’s a very quick unraveling of my notes:
The layout is a series of caves (arches) each with their own collection of the senses. As you walk-through you can’t help but feel the brand - it’s ethos and ethics are everywhere in visual cues, smells and sights - it stays with you long after you leave.
The studio ‘reasons of thinking’ are to teach people. They want to encourage audience participation, leave you with an understanding of the Coal Yard architecture (like a cat with 9-lives). They share artifacts TD has collected from a life of design and travel.
The design team are collaborative. The entire team work across everything - products, places, buildings, use of land, retails and space design. Laid-out bare for you to watch, they’re creating away while interacting with customers. It’s quite unique.
The business is forever innovating. In the near future, people will have an opportunity to personalise their purchases - upholstery choices will extend, furniture can be customised and so on. It’s such an inspiring and courageous move.
Embrace Every Opportunity. That’s my final thought. There were so many reasons on my notepad as to why I shouldn’t take the trip to London last December (eek that Christmas timing alone was hell). But I can honestly say, my accountant encouraged me (do you want her name and number?). Sometimes the heart should win over the head. I’ve come home renewed, invigorated and feeling more creative than ever before.
The little girl from Havelock North has networked, jumped out of her comfort zone and rubbed shoulders with the best - now that’s got to be good for business.