Xander noori says getting lost and discovering a totally new place is the ultimate inspiration
As a designer there’s really nothing quite like finding yourself in a totally new place, perhaps even a bit disoriented. Looking around to make sense of your surroundings and realizing everything is new. In this sense, I feel getting lost and discovering new things is the ultimate inspiration.
Many of our furniture, product designs and interiors are inspired by historic cultures and the stories, architecture, lifestyles, cuisine and palettes that have lived and thrived for generations. Through photography and sketching we capture nuances and moments that speak to us. Then, translate them into designs that are modern and relevant; always looking to the past to what has come before and learning from classic concepts with an eye to the future.
I admire contemporaries’ who have mastered this such as I. M. Pei with his reimagined Parisian glass pyramids or Rem Koolhaas’s futuristic Birds Nest Coliseum in Beijing. The pyramid is one of the World’s oldest architectural forms and the Roman Coliseum is and iconic reference to classicism, however these ideas have been transformed creating something new altogether; cultural centric architecture with an eye to the future.
It’s all about following the rules and breaking them at the same time. Naturally, form follows function, and everything is designed for comfort and must be ergonomically precise, however once the general formula is understood, we look to break the rules. Exaggerating a line or minimizing it, playing with scale and editing all while maintaining ease of use.
With a global perspective and so much innovation it’s such an exciting time to be a designer. In the past year we have traveled the World taking in new cultures and trends from the Shanghai and Guangzhou Furniture Fair’s to High Point Market and just back from Salone del Mobile in Milan and the recent Deco Off and Maison & Objet in Paris; there really isn’t a better way to get inspired than to find yourself lost in these fabulous design exhibitions. A playground for designers, these cities come to life with high style and high fashion featuring new products and new ways to use them.
We are seeing a lot of new movements on the horizon. There is definitely a trend to freshen up palettes with uplifting sorbet colors like Creamsicle and soft Watermelon juxtapose rich jewel tones such as Emerald Green and Marlow. Everything soft paired with everything bold and elegant.
Color is just the beginning though, mixed materials, fringe and passementerie, mixed metals and pattern-on-pattern creating contemporary arrangements all offset by ultra-modern plush silhouettes. Overstated scale and a bit whimsy, a nod to postmodernism and the Memphis movement make way for a new fashion.
This season I am most inspired by the amazing talent of India Mahdavi with her high style boutique, textile and product designs and the ever-impressive up-and-coming Laura Gonzalez with her stunning 86 Champs L’Occitane & Pierre Herme shoppe in Paris. From the moment you walk in, it is clear you are about to experience something new and exciting. What could possibly be better than wonderful design paired with French macaroons and fragrances? A few of my favorite things.
Both creators seem to have their thumb on pop culture and the design curve with their thoughtful use of color, shape, pattern, materials, lighting and space. Collected and assembled, something old and something new, these original styles feel fresh and timeless.
Other French and Italian taste makers that spoke to us are Etro’s all new home collection where more is decidedly more, Pierre Fray’s Native American take and Dedar’s playful seductive new textile offerings.
We are ever inspired; I cannot wait to see where these trends take us next!