Din break-up hatches start-ups

The demise of Din Associates is spawning a host of start-up consultancies, as former employees disperse to set up their own studios.

Design Week revealed on Wednesday that Din Associates will close at the end of its financial year in April (see Related Articles), following a failed attempt by the five-strong management team to agree an appropriate succession plan.

Former Din project directors Angela Drinkall and Paul Dean are in the early stages of setting up an interior design consultancy called Drinkall Dean. Dean says he hopes to eventually grow the studio to a team of 12, and that two locations in central London are currently being considered as a potential site for their studio.

‘The key is to keep things small and simple. Ideally we want to grow the business quite quickly. This is an opportunity to start something fresh,’ he says.

Din Associates co-founder John Harvey resigned from the group before Christmas. He has launched John Harvey Design Consultancy, securing clients including the fashion retail brands Fenwick, French Connection and Toast.

Philip Dolman and Lesley Batchelor, former directors at Din Associates, also left the group last year to launch Studio DB, a London consultancy working on retail, leisure and residential projects.

As more redundancies are made at Din, additional start-ups are anticipated.

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