In my last post I mentioned the trade show, Decorex. For you that are not familiar with it, it is essentially one of the foremost design shows in the UK, if not Europe, for the highest quality artisans in the world of interior design. Not only does it host the world’s best craftsmen and tastemakers, it also showcases lectures from design luminaries from around the world.
I was lucky to attend one such lecture by Michael Parry, of Morris & Co who so expertly spoke of the history of that magical company Morris & Co.
William Morris was a truly exceptional man, one who strove to break free from the binds of class structure and the expectation that comes with it. He was a true luminary – he designed fabrics, wallpapers, wrote extensively, started a printing press, created businesses….he was an entrepreneur before the concept was officially branded and bandied about.
A theme that wove throughout his work and his life was the idea that he wanted to create interiors and art for all, not just for the elite who could afford it. Sadly, due to the pricing of the highest quality items that his stringent standards demanded, the true manifestation of this reality eluded him to his death.
The design model employed by Morris & Co today works tightly to Morris’s rigorous standards and design aesthetics, based on a relatively restricted number of original designs. However, each design is executed with empathy, sympathy and an understanding of the provenance for each piece.
By never losing sight of this heritage combined with utilising modern technology, Morris & Co. are a prime example of how design can retain authenticity, yet adapt to the rigours of 21st Century business and the demands of the educated customer. This ethos directly parallels The Design Emporium’s values, and the combination of both is exciting and rewarding in equal measure.
What are your values and goals?