James Stickley has been on our radar for quite some time, especially after spotting his Stühl Series at last year’s designjunction. The furniture designer, who splits his time between his Bethnal Green and Berlin studios, began his career in television where he focused on art direction and set design before switching gears to furniture. The change came about with his desire to create something with longevity through its uniqueness and its familiarity as far as design goes. His signature style, dubbed “graphic minimalism,” runs consistently through his bold and colorful collection of work. In this Friday Five, take a look at what visuals he gravitates towards.
1. Richard Rogers
A true hero of mine, perhaps my biggest inspiration. Ever since we had to pick an architect and do a project on them at school, I have been obsessed with him and his practice’s work (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners). I love the use of colour and the honesty and openness of his designs. You can certainly see his influence of color in my design. His initial buildings were groundbreaking and I still feel that he is offering some of the best and most unique architecture, where other established practices are now playing it safe. I also love the ethics and the way his company is run… He really is trying to improve the way everyone lives through his design process and it’s not just all about the money.
I love to travel, see the world, see new cultures. I visited Iceland for the first time last year. Before I went, I always wondered how such a small population could create so many amazingly creative people and then when you go there and see the scenery, you understand what an inspiration this magical country can be. It truely is crazy and breathtaking. When you travel round, you can feel like your are driving on the moon one minute and then turn a corner and you are in a colourful lush landscape. The natural forms of Iceland’s nature are so powerful and mesmerising but so far from the forms of my own work but it really does get your mind thinking. Reykjavik has a great vibe and nightlife too and the people are really inviting and good fun.
3. Efterklang – Piramida
This album is nearly four years old but a recent discovery for me and I have it on repeat at the moment. The album is inspired by an expedition to the ghost town if Pyramiden on the island of Spitsbergen, 1000km from the North Pole. They brought back more than 100 field recordings and used them in the making on the album. I also had no idea about this process but I think it is truely beautiful with sutble influences from many genres, they have created something truly special. I’d love to see it played live.
4. Peter Judson
I follow lots of graphic artists on Instagram. Peter Judson is my current favourite. He is a designer across several disciplines but I love his graphic art. The colours, the shapes, the lines. Taking the familiar subjects and making it unfamiliar in a graphical form. His nod to post modernism and Memphis, almost architectural drawings, are bold and really playful.
I loved playing with LEGO when I was younger and I like that it is still as popular with children and adults today. You can build anything with it really and it lasts forever, my neices still play with LEGOs their dad played with in the 1970s. What an amazing timeless product! I do set design and art direction for television too and I got a giant LEGO man from a set, a childhood dream come true, he is my prized possession.