Multi-sensory popcorn and a furniture-focused NHS: Designers’ dream brand collaborations

As Transport for London announces a new licensing deal which will see many of its most enduring collaborations – such as the recent Nike x Roundel trainers – made available globally, we ask designers which two brands they would like to see team up on a new product or design.

Franco Bonadio, chief creative officer, C Space

I’d love to see a collaboration between the NHS and Vitra, where our much-loved but struggling health service meets high-end Swiss furniture and environmental design. If we could get over the initial PR challenge, the results would give patients products and environments which would allow them to feel more human during what can often be very stressful hospital stays.

The collaboration would help transform the in-hospital functional and clinical environments and create a high quality experience. We’ve brought grand design to our homes, offices, hotels and schools. It would be great to see our hospitals moving in this direction.


Afroditi Krassa, founder, Afroditi Krassa

I would love to see chef Heston Blumenthal design a multi-sensory popcorn range for a cool cinema brand like Curzon Cinemas. It would be interesting to see the popcorn experience reinvented from a gastrophysics perspective – think sonic seasoning, a different crunch depending on the genre and flavour profiling that enhances the storytelling of each film. Movie magic!


Matt Baxter, Baxter and Bailey
Matt Baxter, creative director, Baxter and Bailey

Following the lead of the TfL and Nike collaboration, I’d like to suggest another transport brand. As a Brighton resident and regular train user, I’d like to see beleaguered operator Southern Rail (and its parent company Govia Thameslink Railway) hook up with 200-year-old plumbing overlord Armitage Shanks. Why? Because I suspect Armitage Shanks may be able to assist Southern Rail in the long-overdue task of sorting its shit out.


Bryan Edmondson, founder and creative director, SEA

Seeing the outcome of what two entities can create is always fascinating, such as the collaboration between Adidas and Porsche Design Sport.

I would like to see an art brand such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) collaborate with the iconic Palomino graphite pencil. Perhaps it would create something as inspiring and forever witty as Bob Gills’ 1962 book, What Colour is Your World? Let’s face it, art and the humble pencil are the ultimate match made in heaven.

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