Curve trip to Belgium : October 2018

At the beginning of this week Lucy and Ben were lucky enough to be invited by Orac Decor on a two day trip to Belgium, to visit the design show Biennale INTERIEUR in Kortrijk and visit Orac HQ.

After an extremely early start we arrived at the Expo in the morning in time for a strong coffee and a good look around. It was our first visit to the event and the show was really impressive, not too big but with plenty of quality design to inspire us! The halls were beautifully curated and lit and we really enjoyed walking round the stands. There were some of our favourites there such as Utopia and Utility, Flos, De Sede, Fritz Hansen. Also lots of new ideas for bathrooms, lighting, furniture and accessories.

We spent some time at the impressive Orac stand which was themed as a spacecraft, with a story theme of designers looking to the future. The show launched the new MODERN collection so we caught up on all the new products. The company is very forward thinking and we love how they push boundaries away from traditional covings to modern designs and innovative technology. With a little imagination the sky is the limit .. they also served very nice Belgian beer!


We took the train into Bruges with Rachel from Orac who had kindly invited us on the trip, and newly made friends Paula and Jen from Fusion over in Leeds. In the evening Orac hosted dinner overlooking the main square, it was beautiful and great to meet everyone who all made us very welcome. It was good to have the opportunity to wander around Bruges as it is a really gorgeous city.

After the party we were up early again! And off to Ostend to visit the factory! To be honest I surprised myself as to how interested I was in the process of making coving!! It was a fascinating morning. It was cool to find out more about Orac’s product, ethos and branding. In the House of Personality there were plenty of photo opportunities!

After the tour we were treated to a buffet lunch, books, Belgian chocolates – amazing hospitality by Orac, lovely people and a great trip.

Curve will certainly be specifying lots of these products going forward so look out for it in our projects! Thank you Orac 🙂

DM18 Conference : D(isrupt)M

On Friday our design team attended the Design Manchester 2018 Conference: D(isrupt)M at the Bridgewater Hall.

The Design Manchester Festival has grown in recent years and is now a firm highlight of the City’s cultural calendar. The Conference is the main event in a festival programme offering a wide range of exhibitions, events and discussion throughout October. This year’s theme of DISRUPT caught the mood of a city which is constantly changing, as well as the current turbulent political climate .. The opening speech by Sir Richard Leese, making the announcement of a new Design Manifesto got the day off to an exciting start.

During the morning we heard extremely varied and inspirational speakers, kicking off with the designer and type-setter Anthony Burrill, which had us all googling where to buy his legendary ‘Work hard and be nice to people’ poster which is an ethos we all agree with at Curve, as well as loving a bit of letter press 🙂

Next up was an amazing talk by Kate Dawkins whose amazing ‘can do’ attitude had led to the completion of some jaw dropping projects including the LED lighting at the London Olympics ceremonies, and the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Ypres .. watch this video, it is amazing!

What I loved about the day was the variety of the speakers, and Kaye Dunnings the creative director of Shangri-La at Glastonbury gave a fascinating insight into both the inspiration, the practicalities and the politics behind this awesome annual spectacle.

Before we broke for lunch we heard from Ben Wright at DesignStudio, whose words particularly resonated with me, as my background is in graphic design, and much of what he said applies to the way we work at Curve, the whole team involvement with the client and keeping design at the heart of the project. Also, lots to think about regarding marketing our business and creating stories and human connections!

Phew, it was about time for wine and pizza!!!


After lunch design hero Michael Wolff took to the stage with super hero Madeleina Kay who along with a sense of humour also gave an important political message and reinforced that however small we think we are, our opinions count and we should not be afraid to speak up for what we believe in.

During the afternoon we heard from Liza Enebeis, a partner at the extremely cool Studio Dunbar in the Netherlands. Her talk was warm and humorous and her work inspiring, the presentation showcased works from projects for Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Netherlands police and demonstrated how the company have produced some very iconic and important design.

If anyone was dozing off towards the end of the day the final two speakers certainly woke us up – Morag Myerscough and her amazing public works of art, many community focused with huge bursts of colour and fantastic geometric design, we loved her!

Last up, another thought provoking ad man Matt Ipcar, gave his experience of working on the Obama campaigns in America, we considered what kind of clients we are happy to work with and how at the heart of a creative business we should feel happy and comfortable with our client base, and the message we are putting out there.

To sum up the day, we all came away feeling inspired. The Bridgewater Hall was a great venue for the event and Patrick Burgoyne from Creative Review was funny and engaging host, the satellite events around the building added to a great atmosphere and coming together of creative, interesting people.

Looking forward to next year 🙂

Moodboard Masterclass

On Friday, Ben and Lucy were invited as guests of our friends at Arighi Bianchi in Macclesfield to run a Moodboard Masterclass as part of their Autumn Edit interiors event. Working in the interiors department of the showroom we had a fantastic set up of paint samples, wallpapers and fabrics from some lovely suppliers – everything we needed to help people create their own moodboard – whether it was for a particular room in their house, or just for fun. The afternoon was a big success, we met some great people and really enjoyed the experience. Thanks for having us!