Where is the most inspiring place you’ve travelled to?

We ask about finding creative inspiration in places far and near.

Tom Tobia

‘Tiny Nongriat in Meghalaya, India is justly famous for its root bridges; villagers weave living tree roots across ravines, with each bridge taking decades to grow. Nongriat, being the wettest place on earth, is prone to flooding. Concrete bridges are simply washed away, but as the root bridges are porous they can withstand long periods underwater without being damaged. In a part of the world riddled with hierarchies founded on caste or gender the Khasi villagers have neither. While men still dominate village ‘politics’ they are banned from owning property, meaning title deeds pass from wives to daughters thus creating, as they see it, a balanced society.  Additionally, costs and profits for any new building or business venture (including the only guest house) are split evenly across the village. My visit was a reminder that conventional structures, both architectural and societal, aren’t always the only option.’

Tom Tobia, service designer

Bethan Gray

‘I love Pietrasanta; a small town in Italy that’s the centre for the marble schools. I first visited several years ago and return regularly. As I’ve always wanted to work with marble, the schools and the nearby quarries were a real inspiration. It was there I first  started thinking about the Carve range for my G&T boutique collection which then also led to recent collaborations with Wallpaper (Wallpaper* Handmade 2013) and Lapicida (exhibited at Inside Design earlier this year), both featuring marble extensively. Pietrasanta is a wonderful town with a thriving creative community. There are contemporary art installations every summer and the design shops are a great source to add to my collection of vintage lights. Plus there’s a beach nearby where I can relax and re-charge the batteries. I loved it so much, I got married there a few years ago too!’

Bethan Gray, furniture/product designer

Radim Malinic

‘My current most recent and most inspiring place is Canggu in Bali. A small village in the middle of rice fields that has some of the best surfing beaches in the world. In the heart of it there’s Deus – The Temple of Enthusiasm, where custom motorbikes and surf boards meet art and culture, wrapped up in a friendly local atmosphere and exceptional food. As a keen surfer and designer, I fell in love with their handmade one-off custom surf boards and apparel. The level of detail in design is just amazing. Whether it is surfing, good food or just great local people, Canggu is the place to go.’

Radim Malinic, creative director, Brand Nu

Jamie Wieck
Jamie Wieck

‘A couple of years ago I started walking around London for fun. With every walk I would spot something new: the last sewer-powered street light (Embankment), the mysterious London Stone (locked in an on-street cage off Cannon Street), a post box with a vertical slot (Victoria). On foot, London suddenly gives up its oddities , it’s a city mobile search was made for!’

Jamie Wieck, founder and creative Director, ENSO

Spencer Buck

‘Nigeria ­ hands down. I had the privilege of going there this year and despite my reservations (and mild panic at the prospect of being kidnapped) I had a truly inspirational experience ­ my perception was thrown back in my face. While there, I took a walk around one of the country¹s largest slums and encountered some of the friendliest, happiest, people I’ve ever met. They have nothing by our materialistic standards, but they have everything. A cold-shower of a life lesson for me.’

Spencer Buck, creative director, Taxi Studio


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