I can’t say that Phillip Johnson inspired me, but I did very much like his architecture, dying at such an old age and wearing those circle glasses no matter how sphere like it makes his head seem.

Phillips life doesn’t have too many twists and turns but the seemingly most interesting thing in his life would have to be that he was pro nazism and expressed antisemitic ideas, however later in his life he did admit “I have no excuse (for) such unbelievable stupidity… I don’t know how you expiate guilt.” 4 dem dat rnt 2 gud @ englsh Expiate means to atone for guilt.

Another interesting thing that happened to Phillip was during 1939 where Johnson was a correspondent observing the Nuremberg tallies which was where he covered the invasion of Poland. And that was it, the invasion was the breaking point in Johnsons interest in politics or journalism and he returned to the US to enlist in the US Army! After a few years Johnson the went to return to his education.

Johnson clearly had an obsession for glass as you can tell by all his designs such as the Crystal Cathedral, Chapel of St. Basil, and the Glass House. I am a huge fan of glass I find it looks really elegant and gives a sense of additional space or something like that, although Johnsons Glass House got the most attention I found that most of his other works were much more appealing.

Although Johnson didn’t seem to have too much going on, a man who lived to the age of 98 would have experienced a lot. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Inspired once inspired twice !

Two designers/artists that have inspired me are Sarah Hankinson (fashion illustrator) and Rachel Bending (fabric designer).

One of the main reasons Sarah Hankinson  inspired me is that I can relate to her more so than any other designer. She is an Australian, young and talks about her struggles for success as a fashion illustrator and relates to many of the same problems that I encounter whilst studying.

“It is easy to get disheartened but it takes time to get out there and get noticed. In the end it’s worth all the emails and phone calls ”~ Sarah Hankinson.

The fact that she is based in Melbourne and also studied at Tafe makes her journey me relate to me even more. I also love her drawings and when I first saw them it made me want to get out my sketch book again. Sarah inspired me to scan some hand-drawn pictures into the computer and encorporate them into my assignment designs.

Since researching Sarah’s work I have noticed  many of her drawings on products. One example is even on a colgate toothpaste stand. Whenever I see this it makes me appreciate the art even more knowing how much work and effort has gone into producing it.

Sarah also has a facebook page  which makes her work easy to view and even enables people to ask   questions and compliment her work, which I have done so myself.


                                                                       Rachel Bending

Rachel Bending is a local fabric designer who creates all of her fabrics and products using environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. I admire people who wish to create something beautiful for people to buy but also doing it in  a way to care for the environment which I am also passionate about. This is why Rachel Bending has inspired me.

“ We believe it is possible to create beautiful things in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, without compromising on quality.”~ Rachel Bending.

Rachel has made me so much more aware of the products, materials and resources that goes into creating art, fabrics, furniture ect. I hope in future I can create something that is not only physically pleasing but also says a message about the environment.

Rachel says “People don’t know the facts; and they don’t want to know. They don’t want to know about greenhouse warming, water availability, salinity, soil loss, decline in world oil and coal production. But these same people who are not aware as opposed to those who understand have one thing in common. They both want to buy beautiful things! This is why we wanted to create something beautiful using sustainable practices and when we sell one of those products we are educating people in a unique way.”

Thankyou Sarah Hankinson and Rachel Bending for inspiring me!

by Catherine Brooks

Marc Newson- What’s not to like? by Catherine Holliday

An insight into the way he thinks…

I find Marc extremely inspiring. It’s not just his rugged good looks and his sexy futuristic and sometimes downright bizarre designs; it’s his attitude; no nonsense, no pretence.

Marc’s is no elitist, he’s down to earth, Marc exudes confidence without any hint of arrogance.   His desire when designing is to make things simple, to look for the logic somewhere.  When asked about some of the large companies Marc does design work for like Nike and Ford he has this to say “I look for simple things—the straightforward parameters of a project—and once I’ve digested that and created the framework within which to work, it’s joining the dots, really. More often than not it’s a very straightforward and methodical process, so much so I find myself scratching my head, thinking, you know, that wasn’t that hard, was it? I wonder why you couldn’t have done it by yourselves.”1 I just love the way he thinks, to describe his design process as ‘just join the dots’, there’s no pretence there.  Another example of his non- pretentious nature is the name he gave the concept car he designed for Ford in 1999; Marc called it 021C, that’s it. Why did Marc call it 021C? Because that’s the name of his favourite orange pantone colour. 021C Pantone Orange, simple.  (Although, I have seen this concept car in green as well, that’s where I do get a little confused, but never mind that.)  Now where was I?  Oh that’s right, simple.

Marc just loves to make things, he always has; his advice to novice designers is this: “Always make things”2 Simple.

Marc just wants to improve the world, to rid the world of bad design. On the subject of what makes good design Marc has to this to say: “For me as a designer it is vitally important that I create objects that people form a bond with. Objects that you love to have around and you don’t really know why… objects that you keep with you for the rest of your life. I like the idea of high quality products that you never want to replace or need to replace. Objects that will be repaired and continue to work and be current and classic. An object like that is a successful design.”3 Totally Marc! and don’t you agree? We’d all probably love an original Marc Newson Design Art piece, a sculptural piece of furniture that is only one of a few but let’s face it, not many of us can afford such a piece. Luckily for us though, Marc has designed something for everyone.  Many of his smaller design pieces are completely accessible.  Marc has designed salt and pepper grinders and cutlery for Alessi.  Clothing for G-Star RAW, sunglasses, jewellery and watches, although at $39,000 for his Horizon model made for the company that Marc founded and owns, Ikepod, maybe it’s not so accessible.  Marc has designed jets, restaurant interiors, bicycles, telephones, ovens and suitcases, I’m sure I’ve left something out.  The man is a phenomenon.


I’ll finish with two more insights into the mind of Marc.

When asked which one of his designs he likes the most Marc’s reply is: “All of them – actually!”4

And the one I just looooove.

When asked what design he likes the most? Marc’s answer is, “the human being.”

Like I said, “What’s not to like?”

Bibliography quote 1 quote 2,3,4

Terence Conran- Product Designer

Terence Conran sitting in his Cone Chair in the 1950s. Photograph by Ray Williams/Design Museum

Terence Conran was born in Kingston , South West London. His father was a businessman who owned a rubber importation company in East London.

Conran was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where he studied textiles and other materials.

He left college to take up a job with Dennis Lennon’s architectural company, which had been commissioned to make a ¼ scale interior of a Princess Flying boat.

Conran started his own design practice in 1956 with the Summa furniture range and designing a shop for Mary Quant a welsh fashion designer. In 1964 he opened the first Habitat household furnishings shop in Chelsea with his third wife Caroline Herbert. This then grew into a large chain selling household goods and furniture in contemporary designs.  Conran has said the main reason for the shop’s initial success was that ‘Habitat was one of the few places that sold cheap pasta storage jars just as the market for dried pasta took off in the United Kingdom’.

The early days of Habitat.

In the mid 1980’s Conran expanded Habitat into the storehouse plc group of companies that included Mothercare and Heals but lost control of the company in 1990. His later retail companies include the Conran Shop and FSC-certified wood furniture maker Benchmark Furniture, which he co-founded with Sean Sutcliffe in 1983.

Some of Conrads innovations have included: the first flat-pack furniture in Britain, the second espresso machine, the promotion of open-plan living and the chicken-brick ideal for cooking family sized chickens, just to name a few.

The ‘Nice’ bowl is the first collaboration between Conran and Alessi.

Tchibo Designed by Conran
Conran have been working with German coffee and retail giant Tchibo since 2006, developing exclusive ranges in a variety of categories.

Conran product design now works with a number of companies and brands to produce modern, useful and practical furniture and home wares. Some partners include; Alessi, Marks and Spencer, Alphason, Conran Octopus, Content by Conran, Edge, Kokomo, Bliss Home, NTT Docomo, Tchibo, Inspecs, Dawson Home Group, Domtex and Armour Home.

Terence Conran at 80; Photograph: Neil Wilder/ John Parkinson Agency

By Catherine Brooks

Inspired ! By S Germann


I first thought Shephard Fairy’s story was interesting – a young guy who found fame from guerilla style street art – Shepherd would illegally post his artwork, mostly political, around the streets and suburbs in America.   Shephard says his real statement behind his work is to ‘question everything”, a statement i also admire.

He had moderate success prior, but his mammoth launch to fame was when he created the Obama poster at pre-election, and due to its success, was later used in the political campaign by the Obama party – I liked his style of artwork  but wasn’t particually inspired to go out at night and illegally post up artworks of mine –  I like the concept of street art,  similar to the Australian man who wrote Eternity everywhere…….I guess for me it brings life to a city, makes a statement that people live amongst the concrete jungles we have created… and also, street art can evoke a simple powerful thought or emotion as we travel along on our day to day lives.… but it wasn’t until I viewed Shepherd on you-tube creating one of his artworks – that I was really inspired… do something similar….

Be mesmerized and amazed at how he uses mixed media of stenciling, spray painting,

After viewing this video, I attempted something similar myself – using paper cut out doilies from another poster project and spray gold paint, I sprayed the stencil over a large black and white photo and loved the effect – and have been creating my own wrapping paper since….    I also accidentally sprayed onto my wooden deck outside, and liked the stencil effect so much, I almost went on to spray the whole balcony (at 11pm) – common sense prevailed and I decided to attempt it on another day, when I have a plan and design.


I was also very excited to discover the work of Stina Persson!  Born in Sweden in 1972 , Stina’s work has mainly been in the graphic design industry.  Here I have displayed some of her works.

For me her works are simple, yet strinkingly effective – it inspired me to do something similar – I love the use of ink, simplicity of the profiles and they way the ink runs off the page.  The colours she uses are beautiful, and I love the way Stina uses a mix of media, including digital imagery, watercolour, ink, gouache, and the use of Mexican cut out paper, of which I am a big fan.

The silhouetted female features and forms are simple with paint running down the page giving it an edgy effect.

The use of watercolour, paint and ink,  stenciling and digital imagery is something I would like to experiment with, particulary in portraits.   I am armed with my paper doilies, so move over Stina, i don’t think there’s enough room for both of us.

Spode Inspiration by Corinne Magarry

Spode is a Stoke-on-Trent based pottery company founded by Josiah Spode in 1770. Josiah Spode is renown for perfecting under-glaze blue transfer printing in 1783-1784, which led to the launch of his Blue Italian range in 1816, which is still in production today.


Josiah Spode was a pauper’s son and also a pauper’s orphan at the age of six. He was apprentice to potter Thomas Whieldon in November 1749, and remained with him until at least 1754.


His early products included creamwear and pearlware as well as a range of stonewares including black basalt, caneware, and jasper, which had been popularised by Josiah Wedgewood.

The Spode family worked in pottery in Staffordshire as early as 1762. Three generations of the Spode family operated the Stoke-on-Trent and the company continued on the same site for nearly 250 years.


In 1783 Spode was able to introduce high quality blue printed earthenware to the market when he employed skilled engraver Thomas Lucas and printer James Richard, both of the Caughley factory.


Many fine examples of Spode’s productions were destroyed in a fire at Alexandra Palace in London 1873. They were included in an exhibition of nearly 5000 specimens of English pottery and porcelain. Among the surviving documents are 2 shape books dated about 1820, which contain thumbnail sketches of bone china objects with instructions to throwers and turners about size requirements.

In 1806 the Prince of Wales visited the factory. Impressed by what he saw, asked Spode to produce the banqueting service for his coronation as George IV. The company has held Royal Warrants ever since, and has also received commissions from the East India Company, Charles Dickens and the Shah of Persia. White Star Line commissioned Spode to the make wares for RMS Titanic, although there is no record in the Spode business archive mentioning the ship.


Spode inspires me because the prints are detailed and intricate.



Ettore Sottsass

‪Ettore Sottsass born 14 September 1917 was an Italian architect and designer of the late 20th century. His designs included; furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting and office machines.

Sottsass was born in Austria, Innsbruck and grew up inMilan where his father was also an architect.

After studying at the Politecnico di Torino in Turin Sottsass graduated in 1939 with a degree in architecture. However his future was put on hold as he served in the Italian military and spent most of World War II in a concentration camp in Yugoslavia.

When he returned home in 1947 he set up his own architectural and design studio in Milan.

In 1959 Sottsass began working as a design consultant for Olivetti a company originally founded as a typewriter manufacturer. He was hired by Adriano Olivetti the founder of the company to work alongside hid son Roberto in designing office equipment. It was here that Sottsass made his name as a designer in his ability to bring ‘boring’ office equipment into popular and trendy design pieces.

Throughout the 1960’s Sottsass traveled in the United States and India designing more and more products for Olivetti. One of the most famous pieces was the bright red plastic portable Valentine typewriter in 1969 which became a fashion accessory. The Valentine was more of a design statement than an office machine.

After developing a range of Olivetti products Sottsass felt that his creativity was being limited by the bold and colorful simulated custom laminates that were used.  Sottsass said;”I didn’t want to do any more consumerist products, because it was clear that the consumerist attitude was quite dangerous”

In 1981 Sottsass and and international group of young architects came together and formed the group Memphis. The name came about after a night of drinking and listening to Bob Dylan’s song ‘Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”. Memphis was launched with a collection of 40 pieces of furniture, ceramics, lighting, glass and textiles featuring fluorescent colors, slick surfaces, lop sided shapes and squiggly laminate patterns.

Carlton designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1981 for Memphis Milano.

Tahiti lamp by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano, 1981.


The groups colorful pieces were known as one of the most characteristic examples of Post-modernism in design and the arts.

Sottsass described Memphis “is like a very strong drug. You cannot take too much. I don’t think anyone should put only Memphis around: It’s like eating only cake”.

Whilst the Memphis movement in the eighties attracted so much attention for it’s energy and vibrancy Sottsass was also working on assembling a major design consultancy which he named Sottsass Associati. The studio was established in 1980 and enabled the possibility to build architecture on a large scale and also to design for large industries.

The ACME House in Maui by Ettore Sottsass

by Catherine Brooks