House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Ilse Crawford

From the mass of papers spread across the apartment, a design concept emerges

Ilse Crawford

February 01 2011
Ilse Crawford

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Phew. A beautiful day and I am in London. I travel a lot, so I really appreciate my time at home. My studio is above my apartment at the top of a 19th-century building in Borough and has windows on three sides. The studio is not so big, but it feels huge once you factor in the sky. It makes a massive difference; so much more human. You can think more clearly, have lunch on the balcony, we even have a rowing machine on the roof. Not that I use it, of course. But it would be a good view of The Shard if I did.

Today is a productive day, planning, talking to clients, pinning down an exhibition for the Design Academy Eindhoven at Salone in Milan – I am head of department there (Man and Wellbeing) and brand curator. I had a thinking Sunday. I try not to work too much at weekends but it’s often unavoidable when I’ve had a travelling week. But since I am really interested by what I do, it’s not so bad, particularly this weekend as my husband is away so I have spread my stuff all over the apartment in a thin layer of paper, plans, photos and print-outs. Oh joy. I do not have the filing kind of mind, but when I can see things together I can make connections. And I had a breakthrough in defining the concept for the exhibition, which is a relief. There is no substitute for a clear concept at the beginning of a project when it comes to communicating to others. It’s amazing how a strong and resonant concept brings people together. Without one, you struggle to keep a team focused.

Went to supper with a friend to discuss her brand identity. I am fortunate that running a studio with a lot of overseas work, coupled with teaching international students, allows me to see and experience the global shifts “live”, not just read about them in the papers. Then got a bit tricky after a few glasses of wine when she asked my opinion on her husband’s paintings…

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