Design Agenda

My areas of research include…Design Agenda

Jetske Visser

Hue Blinds – In collaboration with Michiel Martens.

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While at Dutch Design week in Eindhoven I saw Jetske Visser’s Hue Blinds which I was intrigued by. I found the idea of using a reflective materials to construct blinds really fascinating. These plexiglass blinds have been produced to demonstrate the transient nature of light.

“Colour, radiance and diffraction of multiple layers become one entity. The semi-transparent layers divide spaces.”

Visser, J. 2015. Hue Blinds. [Online]. [Accessed 2nd November 2015]. Available from:


Not only do they function as conventional blinds and as a method of privacy, but, depending on the angle positioned at, they also create interesting and distorted images of their surroundings. As well as being of interesting to their user, this also aids in making them harder to see past. In addition to shutting out the sun the light refracting off their surface also gives the illusion of a brighter, larger space inside a room. I really like the simplicity of this product and the way in which a simple exchange of material can have such an exciting impact on such an everyday item.

Arnout Meijer

Every Cone’, ‘Every Torus’ and ‘Every Cylinder’ lights

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Another project I was really excited by was Arnout Meijer’s collection of ‘Every’ lamps. These curved plastic shades refract light creating an optical effect. The ‘shape’ of light created is changeable depending of where you are stood. This creates an interaction between the viewer and the object as we process the movement, examining what is virtual, and what is actual light.

Again I love the way in which a simple manipulation of material can have such a large impact on the illusion these lamps create. Simply made from LEDs and textured plastic.

Life is a Vector Projecting a Line

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This piece is part Meijer’s ongoing research into the way in which we perceive light. The way light behaves in an environment is how we are able to understand spaciousness and recognise the shape and texture of a surface. In this project he challenges our awareness of light as we move around it.

I am interested in the idea of challenging our senses by simply modifying a material.

Kim Thome

Works on Reflection II

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In this instillation Kim Thome placed 3 two way mirrors in a room he decorated in bold stripes (both colourful and monochrome). While the mirrors retain their transparency, they also reflect creating geometric patterns from their decorated surrounding, using the gallery itself as a canvas. This illusion reveals a different reality only seen through reflection. The simple pattern has a powerful impact when reacting to it’s environment.

“The graphic aesthetic becomes something of a relational experience with the viewer.” – Kim Thome 

Riberti, G. 2013. Color Inspiration: Works on Reflection II by Kim Thome. WGSN Insider. [Online]. July 18th [Accessed 5th November 2015]. Available from: 

Reflection Range

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In his MA graduation project, Thome developed a collection of brightly coloured furniture, again exploring geometric pattern and two way mirrors. New patterns are created as geometric shapes overlap on the shiny surfaces. As the viewer moves, so does the pattern enabling  the furniture to be choreographed through movement and interaction.

This idea has made me consider if illusion and reflection could be used to keep a product interesting. By having a different appearance every time it is viewed, would this add to an items longevity or appeal?

Layers Screen

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Finally I loved Thome’s colourful sun screens. Over lying lighting gels have been used to create a subtle range of colours. The delicate hues created when light passes through are stunning. Again this item has a duality as it not only acts as a privacy / light screen, but is also a piece of artwork, adding an interesting feature to a room.

Lex Pott and David Derksen

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The Transience Mirrors are something I was immediately drawn to in Eindhoven. They reveal varying states of oxidation, the acceleration and manipulation of the process was achieved using sulphur. The chemical reaction on the silver surface creates a spectrum of colour from gold through to purple. It celebrates the beauty of aging as the mirrors become more beautiful over time. Again this artful use of colour and geometric pattern, turns a conventional mirror into a striking piece of artwork.


Creating a superior object by giving it a dual purpose or ehanced aesthertic is an agenda I’d like to investigate. How can I add interest and purpose to an otherwise mundane object?

Claire Lavabre


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In Claire Lavabre’s work she has created a collection of partially reflective mirrors. Reflections are only visible when the frames are stood in front of dark matt background, creating ghostly images. Again I like the way in which these pieces interact with their surroundings, demonstrating a cohesive relationship with their environment.

“In this way the mirror can be appropriated – people can choose the colour they prefer and it can adapt to different places,” – Claire Lavabre

Griffiths, A. 2014. Reflect mirror by Claire Lavabre. Dezeen [Online]. June 24th [Accessed 3rd November 2015]. Available from: 

Inspired by reflections seen in everyday surfaces such as water or darkened windows. This ultra reflective glass explores both reflective and transparent materials and how they can distort perceptions.



Created in collaboration with Glas Italia, Fragment are double layered screens constructed of patterned mirrors. In a similar way to the Hue Blinds these screen allows reflections to be distorted as they are seen twice, from different angles. The reflections are shown randomly and change as you move around the item. I like the way in which this piece promotes privacy, while still allowing light to pass through.

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Mirror Chair

In this piece a mirror and chair have been merged into one object which gradually fades from a reflective to a frosted surface. Again this creates a doubly functioning product as well as encouraging user interaction.

We generally identify glass to be a fragile surface, however the frosted quality of the lower half of the surface suggests it is in fact sturdy.

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Pair is a furniture collection created using overlapping smoked glass. However in contrast to our usual perception, rather then get darker as items overlay, clear glass has been used. Tables, chair and shelves had all been made in this way.

These pieces not only demonstrates the the precise technique used in constructing the glass, but they also distort our view of the item, as the shadows we expect to see are missing.

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Another collection of pieces I like is Layers. These are glass cabinets with hanging panels in a variety of tones. Each piece is made in one colour, with the shades of that colour changing according to the way in which they’re layered. The intersecting pieces create a sense of depth as well as forming geometric patterns when light is shone through.

I love this exploration of colour and the creation of pattern through shadow. Again I like the simplicity of Nendo’s products, only changing small element to have an exciting result.

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Tijs Gilde

Fringe – Soft architecture

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Fringe was a project I saw at the Eindhoven MA degree show. These colourful screens are made from layered strips of plastic and are intended to add privacy and muffle noise within open plan working areas. Many modern offices now opt for an open plan layout, although this means privacy and sound levels can be an issue. This project began as exploration into colour and developed into an inexpensive room division solution.

Not only do they add colour and pattern to bland work places, they act as a partition while still retaining a sense of transparency. Again I was interested in the multi function of this item as well as it’s visual qualities. A very simple yet commercial product.


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The last project I investigated was Litracon, a transparent concrete. This fascinating product is created by combining a mix of fine concrete and optical fibres. Like Nendo’s mirrored chairs this material questions our usual perceptions of  a substance. While it is a load bearing material of great strength, the passage of light suggests a fragility.

These blocks are handmade so the pattern of light seen through each one unique. Also this hard wearing, dreary material is given a beautiful quality. Within my own work I would like to explore the way light and illusion can influence the aesthetic qualities of a material 

Further Investigation

To further my research I will next explore…

Use of materials

  • Transpanancy
  • Shadow
  • Illusion
  • Reflection

Subtle use of colour


To see more of the designers who have inspired follow my Pinterest Board


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