What transforms a space into a home, how do we enhance our way of living through design and how can the home environment play a significant role in providing inspiration for designers?

Creating for the home environment or creations which have been influenced by the home have evolved and shifted over the years as the residents needs and trends have changed, and even more so from a year of lockdowns.

ND recently caught up with ND 2020 alumni Gregor Wilson to discover how this creative produces designs which are harmonious, yet unique design experiences for clients and shared predictions for the future of designing with the home in mind. 

Why do you have an attraction to designing for the home environment?

Our home is the place that defines who we are as individuals, our nest, or our sanctuary. I am drawn to the challenge of designing a space that is both personal and practical.

When designing a Palliative Care Centre for my thesis, for example, I chose to study the relationship between healthcare design and home design by making a space that feels familiar to the patient yet meets their medical needs during their end-of-life care. It was critical that this space did not convey the usual clinical atmosphere associated with healthcare. Whilst designing this concept, it became apparent which parts of our home are most important to us.

Have you noticed any new influences to your design or creation process from a year like no other? Has spending more time in our home environments changed your approach at all?

I find myself doing more work with pen and paper.

As I am spending more time in front of a digital screen, I would argue that analogue design approaches (e.g hand drawn sketches) are much more flexible and along with this flexibility comes a sense of freedom and creative expression. Hand drawing also helps to convey a sense of effortlessness when designing, allowing us as designers to quickly illustrate our thought process. I have found this to be an increasingly helpful technique when working at home as it helps me to focus on the specific design challenge that I am working on.

What are your predictions on our home environments and designing for living spaces for the future?

I think that people are becoming much more aware of the spaces that they inhabit. Our homes, more than ever, need to be comfortable, soft, and with this in mind, throughout lockdown, I have developed a greater design appreciation for the natural world. I find myself using more natural/sustainable materials and products in my design proposals with the intention of creating a space that focuses on both physical and visual softness. I think that the tactility associated with the natural world has become more apparent in my design practice as a way of enhancing comfort and conviviality within the built environment.

Advice on anyone struggling to work from home or for breaking through a creative block?

If designing at home, I feel that it is imperative to establish boundaries. Where in your home environment do you feel most creative? Infront of the window or in a specific chair perhaps?

Use this as your studio space and allocate yourself time to be creative. I have personally found that when we are living in our work environments, it can be hard to turn off and we can become almost too creatively switched on. During this time, it is also important not to fear failure. With less visual stimulation in our daily lives, it can be hard to come up with new ideas. By eliminating the worry of failure and accepting that not all your ideas will be perfect, or final, you can enjoy the design process and become more expressive in your design approach.

For the next wave of emerging designers can you share your experience and feelings towards designing during lockdown?

My main piece of advice for designing during lockdown is to use what you have readily available.

The design process is becoming more personal in my eyes and lockdown is helping designers to become increasingly resourceful. I think we are also working more collaboratively with other makers and increasingly building personal/yet professional relations with clients. I feel that it is critical at this time to embrace this change and not to design in solitude.

Find more design from Gregor Wilson here: @gregorawilson


on the effects these changes which have formed within society. We have been fascinated  have been considering what impact this has had on designers who harness nature has their biggest influence. 

We caught up with jewellery designer and Class of ND19 alumni, Florence to find some answers to our questions. The  

In 2019 she founded her company, Object Cor ltd, inspired by nature and motivated by tactility. In 2020, Florence intrigued our selection panel and was chosen to be a OYI exhibitor as they were fascinated with this designer’s passion to capture the mundane interactions of the everyday and create a collection which is influenced by the sensory inputs which arise from spending time within nature. 

within the nostalgic elements of the outside world, creating a collection which holds the joys and brings a mindful presence to designing with the tactility of nature in mind.