Inspired, Jonathan Silver: Silver & co

‘Imagine … It’s easy if you try’. Could there ever be a better creed for a designer than this mesmerising phrase from John Lennon’s extraordinarily powerful and timeless plea for peace, written way back in 1971?

For me, great design results from the opportunity to imagine – with freedom from restrictions, from the constraints of everyday life, from regulations, from costs, from programme and from all the things that we face every day in the design industry. However complex the issues or daunting the tasks, imagination is always the only place to start.

From here, with a truly inspirational and creative solution, it is always so much easier to address the practical issues of the real world. Working the other way round rarely brings about imaginative or creative solutions to the challenges we face – rather, it results in the insipid solutions we see all around us every day.

How else would we have come up with the idea of rejuvenating a very tired early 1970s shopping centre on the south coast of England with a pair of 4m-high angled orange walls with curved tops and lines of stainless steel portholes? Daft maybe, but my goodness it works.

Thank you, John Lennon.

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