British Design

British Design is influenced by an appreciation for heritage without being defined by it, drawing inspiration from a rich tradition of craftsmanship whilst remaining curious and innovative. Ruth Phillips

Internationally, British design is most often associated with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. The dual emphases on โ€˜right makingโ€™ and โ€˜fitness for purposeโ€™ have remained evident in British mainstream design from the Design and Industries Association in the twenties to the Council of Industrial Design in the post-War period. Although these are worthy principles in themselves, the tradition of Morris and the consequential โ€˜Cotswold effectโ€™ (which is anti-urban and anti-industrial) has meant that Britain has not kept pace with the rest of the world when it comes to applying design to the industry.

Robert Yorke Goodden featured image

He was in private practice since 1932. Wallpapers, domestic machine-pressed glassware for Chance Bros., 1953 coronation hangings for Westminster Abbey, gold and silverwares, ceremonial metalwork, glassware for King’s College, Cambridge, 1961 metal-foil murals for the oceanliner Canberra, engraved and sandblasted glass murals for Pilkington. Read More →

Evelyn Wyld carpet designer

Evelyn Wyld (1882 – 1972) was a British designer who was born in 1882. She studied at the Royal College of Music, London. Read More →

A silver, gold and green jade bracelet from The Artificers Guild. Attributed to Edward Spencer.

Edward Spenser (1872 – 1938) was a British metalworker, silversmith, and jeweller. He was professionally active in London. Spencer was a junior designer at the Artificers’ Guild. When Montague Fordham took over the Guild in 1903, Spenser became chief designer. Read More →

Ernest Grimson (1864 – 1919) was a British architect and designer. He was born in Leicester.Read More →

Ross Lovegrove Chairs featured image

Lovegrove is a versatile designer who regularly draws inspiration from nature’s range of forms, as evidenced by his gently curved Lloyd Loom chaises longues, which combine sensuality and ergonomics.Read More →

Geoffrey Dunn featured image

He worked in the family retail store in Bromley, he encouraged and supported contemporary design and young designers. Dunn’s sold furniture by Marcel Breuer, Serge Chermayeff, and Alvar Aalto; fabric by Donald Bros., Edinburgh Weavers, and Warners; ceramics by Wedgwood and Michael Cardew. Read More →

Drawing-Room Cabinet, 1871-1872, designed by Bruce James Talbert

Bruce J. Talbert (1838-1881) was a British architect and designer. He was born in Dundee, Scotland. He was apprenticed to cabinet-carver Millar and subsequently to Charles Edwards, an architect in Dundee, who worked on the Corn Exchange Hall. Read More →

Chritian Barman electric fan heater featured image

Christian Barman was a key first-generation British industrial designer during the interwar years. He is best known for his 1936 electric iron for HMV, which he started designing in 1933. He studied architecture at Liverpool University and ran his practice until Frank Pick invited him to join London Transport as a Publicity Officer in 1935.Read More →

Nigel Coates featured image

He co-founded Branson Coates Architecture with Doug Branson in 1985 before opening his architecture and design studio in 2006. He was a partner in the Branson Coates architecture and design studio and the founder of the radical NATO (Narrative Architecture Today, established in London in 1983) design group (established in 1985).Read More →

John Makepeace featured image

He started designing furniture in 1961. In 1964, he set up a workshop in Farnsborough Barn, Banbury, moving in 1976 to Parnham House in Dorset. He established the Parnham Trust and School for Craftsmen in Wood in 1977.Read More →

DA Chair and Sofa Featured Image

Ernest Race (1913 – 1964) was a British furniture and industrial designer. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Between 1932-35, he studied interior design at the Bartlett School of Architecture of London University and 1937-39, weaving in India. Read More →

Alison Milner featured image

Her aesthetic is clean and clear โ€“ reducing, simplifying and uncovering underlying patterns. She prefers to inject gentle humour, visual poetry, narrative and a sense of place into her work.Read More →

Cecil Beaton featured image

The house he occupied until 1945 at Ashcombe, Wiltshire, near friend Edith Olivier was decorated with limited funds using exaggerated baroque furniture. The walls of the ‘Circus Bedroom’ were painted by visiting artist friends, including Rex Whistler and Oliver Messel, in a kind of Surrealistic overstatement.Read More →

Susie Cooper ceramics featured image

Breakfast in an American middle-class home in the 1940s was often served on dishes designed by English designer Susie Cooper (1902-1995).Read More →

Claude Flight featured image

Flight is best known for establishing the linocut method of printmaking. He felt by promoting the use of cheap and easily obtained new material. He was making it possible for the masses to be exposed to art. He saw in it the potentiality of a truly democratic art form.Read More →

Concorde has a novel shape, consisting of a needle-shaped nose and a "delta wing"

Concorde was developed jointly by British Airways and Air France. Concorde was the first and remained the only supersonic civilian aircraft to be put into commercial service. Read More →

Michael Roberts, Fashion Editor and Renaissance Man

Michael Roberts, the writer, editor, stylist, and photographer best known for his influential tenures as the fashion and style director of Vanity Fair magazine and the fashion editor of the New Yorker, has died at the age of 75. His work shaped the course of fashion through words, images, and illustrations, and he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to fashion in 2022.Read More →

'Brownie' Camera

In the early 1960s, this camera was made. It was simple to load and hold and relatively light, and it was exceptionally well constructed for such a low-cost item. Read More →

Chermayeff featured image

Serge Ivan Chermayeff was a Russian architect and designer who was active in Britain and the US in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Serge Ivan Chermayeff was a Russian-born British architect, industrial designer and writer who pioneered Modern industrial design and collaborated with Erich Mendelsohn. Chermayeff designed textiles, interiors, and exhibitions and painted, collaborating with Christopher Alexander and Alexander Tzonis.Read More →

George Sheringham Portrait

He was born in London and had a brother, Hugh, an Angling Editor of The Field. He attended the King’s School, Gloucester, the Slade School of Fine Art (1899โ€“1901), and the Sorbonne, Paris (1904โ€“1906).Read More →