I must have a set of genes that craves order. Symmetry, purity, mathematical order and crystalline perfection. There must be a mystical satisfaction in this level of calm I crave.

But, and this is a big but given the state of my desk, there is another innate instinct for the abstract, the complex and, particularly, for chance and the absurd.

There is a constant tug of war between these two forces, and I try to find inspiration for design in the synergy between.

A soap bubble seems to define these aims, when you consider its inherent structure, minimal use of material, movement, perfect/ imperfect nature, integrated use of colour, transparency, means of creation, transience, individuality and lack of a designer identity.

A similar desire permeated Gensler Studio 585’s design of the exhibition stand for Haworth at Orgatec [last month’s office furniture show in Cologne]. The fluidity of flocking birds creates movement and forms that have a randomness controlled by some indefinable logic.

Working with engineer James O’Callahan and using Haworth products, we tried to create something iconic but not static, with structure and surprise. And now it has flown away.

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