Where I Work visits British product and interior designer Lee Broom in his London studio and freshly opened retail space next door called Electra House. Unveiling the new space during London Design Festival 2013 along with a host of new products means this leading designer has been and continues to stay busy. Having completed interiors for over 40 retail, restaurant and bar spaces, along with his ever-expanding collections of furniture and lighting, Broom continues his huge support of British manufacturing techniques, always working closely with traditional craftsmen throughout the design process. All paths led to Broom winning countless awards and being published internationally (including on Design Milk!) and today we’re excited to visit Lee Broom in his recently refurbished studio and newly opened retail space.
What is your typical work style?
I work best in the mornings, in the studio, and on a full stomach.
What’s your studio environment like?
Super organized with minimal clutter. Everything is considered and well-placed; I’m a designer, not an artist.
How is your office organized/arranged?
I have my own office, although I’m surrounded by reclaimed mill windows and doors so I can still see everything that’s happening in the studio, the rest of the team work open plan. We are also connected to my store which houses all our lighting and furniture pieces.
How long have you been in this space? Where did you work before that?
I’ve been here for three years, however the entire space has just been refurbished. Before this I had a studio in South London. East is best though.
If you could change something about your workspace, what would it be?
Air conditioning, not essential in London I agree, however for events and private views it is a must. No one likes to sweat at a private view!
Is there an office pet?
My Queen of Photoshop, Letitia, she is our office pet until she gets replaced by a dog in the Spring next year.
How do you record ideas?
On a Smythson notebook – so important to have nice stationery.
Do you have an inspiration board? What’s on it right now?
I generally use iPhoto which is full of images. I mainly have images of bell jars and display cases on there at the moment.
What kind of design objects might you have scattered about the space?
We have an area for books and ornaments, like an inspiration bookshelf and then we have an area for our interiors samples and our products samples.
Are there tools and/or machinery in your space?
We have an embossing tool to stamp our logo onto stationary and presentations.
What tool do you most enjoy using in the design process?
My retractable Mont Blanc pencil.
Let’s talk about how you’re wired. Tell us about your tech arsenal/devices.
Oh lord, we have computers, servers, and wires all over the place… Hence this is not my department!
What design software do you use, if any, and for what?
We use CAD, Archicad, 3D Studio Max, Solid Works, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. You need all of this when you are designing interiors and products.
Do you have a favorite piece or collection that you’ve designed?
My first and latest accessory range, a collection of candlesticks called Fulcrum.
When did you feel like you “made it”? With what piece or design? At what moment/circumstances?
When we launched the Crystal Bulb in Milan in 2012.
Tell us about a current project you’re working on. What was the inspiration behind it?
We have just launched my first store and retail space (see images below). It was a challenging project as its interiors and my products in one permanent space. It is a cross between a contemporary gallery space and an old curiosity shop; it’s a very engaging space which I’m very proud of.
What’s on your desk right now?
Illesteva sunglasses, my iPhone, a bottle of San Pellegrino, a brass calculator, my iMac, desk phone, and a wooden Crystal Bulb Table Lamp without the bulb which I have fashioned into a pen holder.
Do you use any of your pieces in your own home/life?
Yes, they are everywhere.
See images of Lee’s new Electra House retail space:
Want more Lee Broom? Here he discusses the new space and new collection:
Video courtesy of Crane.tv.