International Design & Architecture Awards Interview with Hannah Cockburn
Tell us a little about your background in design:
I have always been artistic spending hours as a child drawing, painting and generally trying to make things look pretty around my childhood home. I graduated with a BA (Hons) Textile Design from Central Saint Martins (CSM) College, University of the Arts London in 2006. Specialising in print design I gained a lot of knowledge relating to colour, structure and scale. Learning many technical abilities during my time at Saint Martins, I then went on to work for an Interior Design Studio in Chelsea, London where I furthered my design skills; from working daily on hand drawn floor plans and elevations, putting schemes together to client meetings and project management. I also have gained experience working on both commercial office interiors and residential projects during my career so far. I consider my knowledge of the industry to be very varied and enjoy being out on site with the trades.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I love many interior design styles, I believe it’s important to explore new ideas on each project, I listen to my client’s individual ideas and requirements then interpret them into a practical and creative design solution. Functionality is key to our design schemes. I don’t have one personal design style as I love so many different things I do tend to always go back to being inspired by nature and at times popular culture if there are new and exciting products on the market. My style grew from a childhood fascination with art and furniture design and my creative skills are underpinned by a fusion of clean lines with eclectic tones and unusual materials, inspired by travel experiences and the patterns and designs of other cultures.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from many sources I am constantly researching new ideas and materials. When travelling I always look for design inspiration in other cultures whether its textiles, architecture or the natural environment; the way in which people live in different ways is fascinating. In particular I take a lot of photography of the natural environment to inspire me when designing. Due to my background in textile design I love combining texture, colour and structures inspired by nature.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is constantly evolving, trends and colour palettes come and go but the way they are used together differs thus creating a ‘new’ trend.
Clients and designers alike are becoming more aware of environmental factors and using more products that are kinder on the environment whether it’s production processes or the origin of the material itself. We try to use artisans where possible and are keen to work with local trades when working around the country. Materials are being used in innovative ways to create beautiful yet durable finishes, I think this will continue.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
– Sustainability during the selection and installation of materials. Ecological factors are important and need more focus.
– Light; Glass is being used more and more in design where possible it can add another dimension to a space – the way in which natural light enters a space can add depth and structure to a design.
– Colour is back this year and I see this continuing, blue hues are very popular and moving into the autumn a palette of subtle earthy tones.
– Eclectic design styles, there are now so many ways to approach and deliver beautiful Interior Design.
– Natural textured materials combined with refined contemporary finishes.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Interior design schemes should be both practical and stylish. The interior has to suit the lifestyle of the client for it to be a success. It’s important to really listen to what the client wants and review the project as a whole so that the end result is both aesthetically pleasing and personal to them.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
It’s great to receive recognition from other industry professionals, we’re a small company in our infancy so it’s fantastic to know we’re doing something right! We hope to build on the exposure and attract exciting new projects.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a 5 bedroom residential project in Solihull, a 6 bedroom family home and Penthouse loft style apartment in Birmingham.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To launch my new website which should be ready in September! Develop the business and gain new projects. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve over the next year.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
A charm bracelet from the 1940’s that my Mum gave to me. It’s full of silver charms bought by my Mum when she was a girl.
Your favourite holiday destination?
It has to be Ibiza, I always feel like I’m landing home when I arrive at Eivissa, the island is beautiful which explains why I have returned at least once a year for the last 12 years!
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
I really like the Mondrian Hotel London – fun / artistic design
Your favourite book / film / song?
One of my favourite songs is Zero 7 – Destiny
Your favourite food and drink?
Italian or Thai cuisine – I don’t think I can choose! With a glass of a fresh white wine.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
It would be with my Fiancé and baby girl Azalea who is 14 months old playing outside in the sunshine.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
An architect or developer.