A few early experiences and personalities helped shape my design direction.
Punk came and went during my foundation course – the music wasn’t brilliant, but the attitude was inspirational. For me it represented renewal and energy. It seemed like anyone could challenge the establishment by starting a band or a small record label. Since then I have tried to keep this spirit alive in my work.
In the summer before joining the Royal College of Art I travelled through Europe on a Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers study tour. I was lucky to spend a whole day with Gijs Bakker, who later formed Droog. His enthusiasm, modesty and collaborative nature made a big impression.
Later on the journey I visited the Milan furniture fair and was amazed by the enormity and excitement of the event. I met Vico Magistretti for the first time in the Cassina showroom – he later taught me. I was stunned by the character and elegant simplicity of his Sinbad sofa.
Visiting the B&B Italia factory and seeing the rows of products I had idolised as a student convinced me that I should manufacture and market my own designs after leaving the RCA.