It’s important not to confuse inspiration with admiration. In truth, I find much to admire – beauty, efficiency, sheer audacity – but a good deal less to be inspired by.
Yet still I find inspiration everywhere, both in the past and the everyday, from Michelangelo to William Morris (pictured), Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Steve Jobs. What has inspired me most I limit to two men, a place and a speech:
First, Don Seys, an unknown designer, who was my first boss. While introducing me to store design, he taught me to draw.
Then there is the work of William Morris, which showed me that art, design, craft and culture can combine in an industrial civil society.
Recently, I was inspired by a speech by Steve Jobs at Stanford University. Read it and you’ll see why.
But above all else, I choose the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the first and still the best design museum in the world. Set among other museums important to the designer – natural history, geography and science – it’s my constant inspiration, as it is, I hope, for all designers.