From the very beginning, Crofts and Assinder has specialised in the design and manufacture of extraordinary cabinet handles and luxury fittings. In their 140 year history, they have had the privilege of dressing furniture at London’s Ritz and Waldorf hotels, the White House in Washington, Parliament House in Buenos Aires and ships of the Cunard and White Star Line. Design Insider is delighted to share a Q&A with Crofts & Assinder Head of Design, Zoran Matijevic.
Please introduce yourself and your role at Crofts & Assinder?
My name is Zoran Matijevic (pronounced ma-tier-vich) and I’m Head of Design at Crofts & Assinder. Crofts & Assinder design and manufacture beautiful architectural fittings. I design the majority of new concepts and am also responsible for overseeing product quality and ensuring that from design to final manufacture, we maintain the highest quality and stay as true to the original concept as possible.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Literally from everything that surrounds me; wherever I go and walk I see details, textures, patterns, shadows which I can utilise and incorporate into my designs – I also draw my influences from the major design movements of the last few centuries; merge and sculpt them into a new product which highlights the essence of my inspiration yet is its own thing entirely. Interestingly, I very rarely look at the competitions’ products/offerings as I am led by a desire to be as distinctive as possible; which can then be pared down if need be (and often is). Inspiration comes from seeing the beauty in often the most brutal or inanimate objects – the mechanics in an aeroplane seat for instance as well as the beauty in nature all around us.
What does British design look like to you?
For the most part British Design is now so vibrant and able to compete with Europe. I say this because in our industry particularly, Britain has lagged behind at times and still does to a degree; but it is creating its own dynamic. With globalisation and international travel being more readily accessible to all, we are blessed that British Design is able to take influences from virtually every part of the World and does. British design is modern, experimental, colourful, expressive and certainly not shy in showing what it is capable of, and for me it is also a feeling, one which expresses confidence at being design leaders in so many fields.
Do you incorporate a classic British style in your designs, if so, which ones?
Having grown up in Birmingham, I’m heavily influenced by modern industrialist looks and particularly enjoy the grittier work side of design as opposed to the flawless perfectionism of certain movements. Having studied design in great depth, I understand the movements but feel that true to life, often imperfect representations are more my style. Dependent upon which projects I’m working on I also prefer a rustic/farmhouse style and have leaned into the Georgian aesthetic quite heavily at times.
Are your designs influenced from other places in the world, if so, what places?
I take a lot of inspiration from Europe – Scandinavian countries have an aesthetic which is driven by function and yet fully embraces the beauty of form – it appears effortless how beauty can be created from the most basic form. In this vein, I’ve been particularly enjoying the Japandi trend which seems to have taken off in the last couple of years! Germany, Italy & France of course provide a heavy influence too, as does the American Shaker style.
What is your favourite collection, and why?
At the moment I am heavily invested in the Special Works area of our offering, a high-end range of Brass Hardware which offers quality and distinctive designs. The Stirling is my current favourite – the fluted effect is proving to be right on trend at the moment and so far we’ve achieved great sales with this product but I also specifically love the Cambridge: its Bauhaus inspired simplicity, which incorporates Georgian elements mean that it is simple in its execution yet exemplifying design, quality and luxury at the same time.
Contact Crofts & Assinder through the BCFA Product Finder.
The BCFA Product Finder is designed to find BCFA member companies and their products and services. There are four ways of searching either by product sector, market sector, company name by A-Z, or use the product search and enter the product or service name e.g. seating, to find companies offering seating and its variants.