The 5-minute Interview: Wayne Hemingway, Designer

'People think that designers are brilliant at drawing, but I'm not'
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The Independent Online

Hemingway, 47, co-founded the fashion label Red or Dead with his wife, later selling it in a multimillion-pound deal. He now runs Hemingway Design, their company, which specialises in affordable, well-designed housing and is helping to promote Sony's Giga Juke music system

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Cycling or sitting on a cycling machine in a room at home. I've got to do 150 miles a week to rehabilitate my new knee.

A phrase I use far too often...

Eco-towns. I'm on this eco-towns challenge panel and it's dominated the lives of everyone for a few weeks.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Other people. I think we're becoming a very selfish and aggressive society.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

Becoming a designer after growing up in Morecambe and Blackburn in the 1960s and 1970s.

A common misperception of me is...

Everybody says I'm from Red or Dead, when I sold it 10 years ago.

I am not a politician but...

I'd introduce a form of national service – where people would work for the good of the community – not with guns.

I'm good at...

Combining family and hard work. I don't need much sleep.

I'm very bad at...

Drawing. People think designers are brilliant at drawing, but I'm not.

The ideal night out is...

I get asked to do bits of DJ-ing with my collection of rare soul, so a night DJ-ing with some of my mates and my wife listening.

In moments of weakness I...

Think, let's just pack it all in. Like when all these barriers are thrown at you when you're trying to deliver good housing. But we have to see the housing crusade through.

You know me as a designer but in truer life I'd have been...

While at university I was in a band and my first job was with EMI, so I would probably be working in the music industry.

The best age to be is...

Eleven. My youngest lad is 11 and is walking around with a grin and a sense of pride and happiness because he's excelled in three cricket matches.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

You only get three score and ten so make the most of it.

Hannah Kuchler

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