With Clerkenwell Design Week just coming we thought we would catch up with BCFA member Knightsbridge to find out a little more about the collections they will showcasing at the event and we were lucky enough to get an interview with their Director of Design – Jason Brown.
Can you tell us the story of how you got into design and ended up at Knightsbridge?
After leaving school I completed a full apprenticeship in cabinet making at Dalescraft Leeds which incorporated further study at Leeds College of Art and Design, eventually finishing up in the R and D department. I was asked to help out in the drawing office one day and never left, studying further at LCAD until Dalescraft were acquired by Flexiform in the late 80’s. I joined their Design Team very much as a technical designer until I had a brief spell at ESF (now British Thornton) until the offer of a Design Draughtsman role came from Knightsbridge.
What do you love about design?
I just like the challenge. You cannot work in creative services without enjoying the puzzles of form fit and function – that struggle you have with the “time-quality-cost” triangle on projects, working out which two elements are going to major the most but striving for all three.
I am also proud and grateful to have a role which oversees a project go from a blank piece of paper to being delivered to the customer – even in our industry that privilege is rare due to the amount of outsourced products and components. When you are developing a product its personal, all the team are putting a little of themselves into the product which makes for a great feeling when the finished item is one you are proud of – I love that.
What products are you going to be showcasing at CDW?
The main push is showcasing progressions of the Alfie range from Sean Dare and the Bebop range from David Fox – we always intended for both products to have cohesive family members with recognisable features and it will be a fab follow up to last year’s CDW introduction.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
For Bebop we wanted to step away from hard edged minimalism and create a more feminine and opulent shape. The main inspiration for this design came from organic soft forms such as sea anemones. The range is now complete and looks fabulous.
Alfie is very much an architectural clean line form with aggressive angles but incredibly comfortable and generous in size. It is definitely a statement piece and true to its name does reflect the charming well-dressed character in the film but with a cheeky edge.
Were there any design issues you had to overcome?
Technically the Bebop Modular was more complicated to work out just because of its curvaceous shape, but to be honest we have a very high knowledge/skill level in the Design and Development team at KFP and after 34 years I would hope to personally have an answer for any design challenges, so no big surprises. Credit must also go to David and Sean in this case – I enjoy a great working relationship with them both (and all our other design colleagues) because we all have the necessary expertise to follow the project through and this is respected mutually.
What do you find most interesting about CDW?
Just that it is an opportunity to take in the vibrancy of our industry and to see examples of why we are all so proud to be part of it.