How interior designers are innovating by reflecting on the past

To move forward, sometimes you have to look back. Anya Cooklin-Lofting shows how the top design companies rely on the history of interior design for inspiration

Friday 12 June 2020 12:15
John Booth X Floor_Story Technique hand knotted rug, £3500
John Booth X Floor_Story Technique hand knotted rug, £3500

I know I’m not the only one to have taken pleasure in the resourcefulness this strange time has required of us. Crawling into the darkest depths of the pantry to retrieve cans and spices from which to conjure something vaguely edible (a compliment, in my household) has brought with it such a thrill, all to save one less unnecessary trip to the supermarket. We are, in many aspects, looking back to move forward, and not just in the kitchen. We are using our resources upon which to reflect, innovate and adapt.

This resourcefulness is not limited to haphazardly combining red kidney beans and dusty stock cubes, however. Working with what’s in our cultural and visual archives to learn and progress, the design community shows us that the history of interior design can provide a wealth of inspiration for exciting new developments. Reaching back into the history of design, the proverbial kitchen pantry of visual reference, trends, and movements, we can derive a huge amount to suit contemporary tastes and excite the modern consumer.

This week, I pick out some of the top examples of design brands that have delved into their industry’s history to bring the best of interior design to the modern day. Whether that is through new product launches or the dissemination of educational content on the ancient canon of design on social media, the design industry has the ultimate privilege of a recorded history from which to borrow, and to which it can add.

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