Our BCFA Open event will showcase new designs and creative interiors from BCFA member companies; we have been speaking with our exhibitor’s talented designers to learn more about their history, new designs and design ethos. In this post you can find a taster from our first four Q&A sessions, click on the links to read our full posts on our BCFA Open website.

The BCFA is holding the first ever BCFA Open contract furniture and furnishings exhibition in October at the iconic Bridgewater Hall in central Manchester. BCFA Open will take place at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on the 26th & 27th October, register here.

Iona Crawford, Newmor Wallcoverings

Iona-crawfordDuring the BCFA OPEN we are going to be hosting a panel discussion to discuss the longevity of design, in your opinion what is the optimum time a design can stay “within trend”?

I create with a vision of timelessness in mind, although enjoy the subjectivity of what constitutes the lifespan of a particular design concept. There can be no optimum time. True, certain aesthetics can be considered cyclical, and some to hold more longevity, although basically, I tend to think it comes down to a matter of taste and attention span. The lust for the new is what keeps designers creating.

Read Iona’s full Q&A here

Beth Callan, Senior Textile Print Designer at Evens Textiles

beth-CallanWhat is the most challenging aspect of designing a new product?

Being an artist is largely focused on creating your own unique style that is personal to you and your experiences; take Jackson Pollock and his drip paintings which portrayed his unconscious mind. Being a designer you have to somewhat reject your own style to accommodate your clients vision and make it personal to them. Working from someone else’s inspiration was challenging and quite daunting for me as my background had mostly been in fine art, however this is now one of my favourite aspects of the job. It allows me to be diverse and work on a variety of completely different designs day to day which keeps the job exciting.

Read Beth’s full Q&A here

Sue Watkins, Head of Design at Chad Lighting

Chad-Lighting-sue-Watkins-webCould you tell us a little bit about the latest collection that Chad will be presenting at the BCFA OPEN?

I have been exploring processes that offer an element of craftsmanship, whilst still being within the remit of quality batch production. One such example would be the use of clays and hand pressing processes, offering differences in colour and texture and a character only achieved through craft skills that cannot be replicated by mass production means.

I’ve also been developing designs exploiting a range of casting processes in pursuit of creating stone-like surfaces in contrast with the industrial surface offered by polished steel. One design in current development explores the possibility of making switches, bendable arm, and duck neck components an integral aesthetic element of the design, so that components can be celebrated as part of the products visual appeal.

Read Sue’s full Q&A here

Lise Watins, Edmund Bell

Lise WatinsWhat advice would give to young designers hoping to break into the industry?

Be prepared to work hard and be diligent in your commitment to succeed! It will be worth it because textiles is an exciting world to belong to!

Read Lise’s full Q&A here

Whilst you visit our BCFA Open website please be sure to register for the event. We would love to hear your opinions, please tweet us at @DesignInsider1 using the hashtag #BCFAOpen


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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