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!

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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 🙂

https://www.oracdecor.com

https://www.facebook.com/OracDecor/

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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!

https://www.partizan.com/video/bbc-100th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-passchendaele

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!!!

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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 🙂

https://designmcr.com

Curve at Decorex 2018

This week is London Design Festival, and yesterday our design duo Laura and Maria spent the day at Syon Park for Decorex International, a coming together of the world’s most distinguished names in Interior Design.

Decorex is a great opportunity to catch up with some of our favourite suppliers and see new collections as they are launched. It’s also good to make new connections and discover exciting new brands which we can then bring back to the studio. We can then begin to specify them straight into projects, ensuring that Curve’s customers are always up to date with what’s on offer and what’s new!

For Autumn / Winter 2018 there are several trends which we love. Pink is still a key colour, in many different variations from blush to much darker shades of rose. There were lots of greens too, sage and alpine greens through to emeralds which look great with the metal of the moment, gold!

Bold, large scale florals feature on wallpapers and fabrics, and other ways of bringing the outside in, lots of greenery, plants and botanical prints.

There was lots of very nice lighting to discover, from some favourites such as the new launch of the ‘Fabio’ from Curiousa & Curiousa, Rothschild & Bickers and Heathfield.

Curve, being design geeks, are a little bit obsessed with the detail – so quite a lot of time was spent looking at handles and accessories, all finished off nicely with a glass of cold prosecco! A great day of design inspiration!

We have a couple more design events to visit over the Autumn so watch this space for updates ..

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The London Mastaba

This Summer, visitors to the Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park were treated to the magnificent sight of Christo’s London Mastaba, a project which had been the dream of the artist couple Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude for more than half a century.

The floating sculpture, inspired by the trapezoid shapes of the Mastaba, a type of flat roofed Egyptian tomb, is made from no less than 7506 painted barrels which are secured together and anchored into the lake.

As long time admirers of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work we were very excited to get the opportunity to visit the first large scale sculpture by the artist to be built in the UK.

This fascinating documentary follows the planning and making of the Mastaba as well as a history of the life and career of these amazing artists, well worth a watch!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bjj23v/christo-and-jeanneclaude-monumental-art

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Christmas 2015 by Steph

Christmas Day 2015 is nearly here and it’s time to plan your decorations for the festive season. Here are a few tips on the latest trends that will transform your home into a Winter Wonderland.

Precious Metallics
Think warm metallics this Christmas! Burnished copper, brass and bronze shades have been one of the biggest trends throughout 2015 alongside the softer copper tones that are rich in yellow and gold tones. It is so easy to bring metallic luxury to your Christmas tree, John Lewis have launched their collection of festive baubles that are coated in glitter and sparkles. All metallic shades can be paired with the classic and luxurious colour of black. Missoni Home offer the perfect range of metallic accessories, which make the most covetable gifts!!

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Keep it contemporary and opt for mixing textured and patterned metallics that are geometric-shaped or abstract. Ornaments offered on online stores such as ‘Not On The High Street’ take a creative approach to this seasons trend.
A stunning copper geometric candle holder lantern is a great way to bring softer metallic tones in to your home. The mixture of the golden candle glow and the copper finish will add festive warmth to your metallic scheme.

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Inspired from a Finnish tradition, POD’s handmade Christmas geometric copper tree decorations give are bold and give a modern twist to your Christmas tree. Ferm Living offer beautifully crafted Christmas tree stars and baubles with stripes of gold and wooden pearl tones.

Handcrafted Christmas
Go that step further and channel your DIY skills by making your own Christmas decorations this year. Maximise the home made effect with hanging card stars and flat-trees that can stand proud on your coffee table. Be unique, original and individual with your home made designs – keep it honest and passionate and people will notice your hard work. Hobbycraft’s blog offers some expert tips and advice on how to get going with your decorations and some great ideas for giving your wrapping a wonderful hand made touch.

http://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/fabulous-gift-wrapping-ideas/

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Winter’s Wildlife
We are mixing up the seasons this festive holiday. Introduce frosted spring items – snow coated trees, white acorns, adorable forest animal ornaments and blooming flowers. Whitestores.co.uk offer 7ft Christmas trees that have been coated in snow and will create a magical wintery scene in your window display. Photographic cushions and throws are everywhere this Christmas so snuggle up with a cute penguin or go for a more traditional stag, these also make great presents.

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Discover the perfect winter animal ornaments for your forest scenes at Anthropolgie.

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There is a colourful trend of shiny whites, deep greens and teal blues inspired by ‘birds of paradise’ this season. You can bring the spring spirit to your tree decorations by iridescent sequin baubles from tch.net. And don’t forget to visit Curve favourite Rockett St George for all your finishing touches!

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Yasmin’s blog from 100% Design

A massive thank you to our wonderful intern Yasmin for writing this piece about her visit to London Design Festival – a great insight not only into the experience of visiting the event, but Yasmin’s feelings about stepping from being a student into the real world of the design industry.

From the lecture theatre to an internship with a progressive agency like Curve can seem an enormous step.

The theory of design becomes so very practical that it’s possible to begin immersing oneself in an industry in which it is possible to have a long career. It is no longer a case of standing outside looking into the interior design business but gaining a direct and tantalising exposure to it.

Imagine, then, being asked by Curve to spend some time checking out London Design Week, one of most long-established and prestigious events of its kind anywhere in the world, while still coming to terms with the industry’s daily responsibilities.

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I had to remind myself not to be over-awed, even if everything about the exhibition space at Earl’s Court seems so vast that one can’t help feeling a small part in a global profession, from the size of the chandelier suspended over the entrance hall to the number of exhibitors taking part in the event.

It is tempting to want to absorb everything there – visit every stand and sit in on every seminar – but the exhibition layout makes clear that even if I had spent the full four days of the show there, I would still have left feeling as though I’d missed something out.

The event draws the very best practitioners from around the world, showcasing their ideas and products. As Curve’s person at the expo, it was satisfying that the practices which we use represent those adopted by those with even more international reputations than our own.

Many of the materials, fabrics and furniture which we recommend to our clients are regarded as cutting edge by the leading designers of today.

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As someone with a particular interest in furniture for residential use, it was particularly helpful to gain an insight into the new shapes and finishes for the coming season. Whatever the weather, I thought, Autumn/Winter is going to be cool.

Whilst I must confess that some of the designs were a little too radical for my developing tastes, it was great to hear their creators justifying their work and to be able to see – and touch – the kind of products which, being a student, I might ordinarily only see in a look-book or catalogue.

The sheer geographical span of input – from designers not only in the UK but from much further afield – provided a welcome broader perspective, helping to realise how what we do in the UK impacts on – and is influenced by – our counterparts in other countries.

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Even if the big names attracted big crowds, it was just as intriguing to see the space allocated to smaller companies, eager to have their own audience.

There was a significant volume of ‘new’ things with which to fill my notebook, my camera’s memory card and leave my head spinning – from new textiles to a huge range of environmentally-friendly products and, of course, many new agencies with whose work I had previously been unfamiliar.

It was, in short, the sort of complementary education which has given my imagination and ambition fresh impetus, as well as realising the unique and creative place which Curve takes up in constructing designs for life.