Q&A with Giles Miller, Giles Miller Studio

Design Insider had the opportunity to sit down with the man behind the studio that everyone is talking about at the moment .. Giles Miller.

With two of their projects being shortlisted for the upcoming Surface Design Awards in the temporary structures and sustainable exterior surfaces categories and you can see why with the mesmerising textures made with complex  layering process. On Giles Miller’s website they say they are ‘composers of materials’ and I cannot think of a better way to summarise what they do than that.

Idea 3 Giles 800

Can you tell us what first attracted you to design?

I was first drawn to design through an interest in boats, and particularly the ingenious solutions used to squeeze beds and kitchens into small yachts.  I sailed as a child and spent summers on the south coast, and the internal spacial design in boats was intriguing to me.

“I was first drawn to design through an interest in boats, and particularly the ingenious solutions used to squeeze beds and kitchens into small yachts”

What was the inspiration behind your first textured wall covering?

I have to give full credit to Stella McCartney and her team – I had designed a range of furniture, bags, lighting and much more all out of corrugated cardboard, and they asked me to apply the same material concept to walls for their shop in Paris.  I realised then that the composition of materials was my real interest, and so furniture design became surface design, opening up my work to a host of new and exciting contexts.

How have you seen your designs evolve? And where do you see them going?

The work of my studio is very evolutionary, with the work developing in depth as opposed to coming about through drastic variety of concept.   Some of the biggest steps in our process are often catalysed by clients, and so whilst I try to drive the evolution of creative thinking within the studio, we are always looking for the next platform to show our ideas, and these can be the key moments in our development.  We have opened up dramatically in our use of materials and diversity of process, and we ave also seen a dramatic increase in scale in our work, with projects ranging from small framed artworks up to sculptural buildings.


Interior or exterior? What interests you most and why?

I have a genuine interest in both, and there can be as much to play with in terms of light and the impact of the surroundings on our work within an exterior or interior setting.  We love to consider and attempt to manipulate natural light and shadow when working outdoors, but equally an indoor setting enables us to work specifically with lighting designers to nurture those elements and create even more effect.  The only other thing to consider is scale, and I have to say that I am personally excited at the moment about work we are doing in the field of architectural sculpture – here the outdoor environment is rather somewhat intrinsic.


What material is really sparking your interest at the moment?

I am very much enjoying working with reflective materials at the moment, and continue to love the etching process as it lends perfectly finished miniature engineering to our artworks.   We are using a lot of reflective metals and ceramics and this means we must consider the relationship a piece of work has with its surrounds – a challenging but increasingly intriguing aspect of our work.



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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  • Lesley Osborne

    Hi, Sam. We are all very excited about the projects we are about to start on site such as The Russell in Bloomsbury. We are drapery specialists – a dying breed – and would like to share our traditional skills. We have been commissioned by Edinburgh Castle, work for Harrods, Principal Hayley and have completed many 5 star hotels across the UK. Would it be of interest? The design community love our consultancy approach with help in writing specifications for tricky, old buildings and we have lots of stories and photos to share. 07843 460777