We continue our look into inspiring places with an interesting one from Matthew Hayes – Head of design for Muraspec.
A recent trip to Moscow really took Matthew by surprise – An underground space that has definetly made me add Moscow to my must-see list…
So Matthew, tell us about your recent creative space?
Being Head of Design for over 20 years at Muraspec, a leader in the global wallcoverings industry, has always been varied and creatively challenging. With ever changing market trends and the fast pace of customer demand, I have found inspiration can literally come from anywhere to help drive new creations and ideas – be it family, music, art or travel.
I have always felt there should be no restraints as to what a designer can draw inspiration from to turn a mere thought into reality. This was once again confirmed on a recent trip to Moscow where I was attending the Mosbuild Interior Design exhibition as part of the research process for new wallcovering collections we planned to launch in 2018. On my first day travelling to the show I used the Russian underground for the first time and was amazed how elaborate and beautiful some of the stations were. A truly unexpected design treat! More like museums and theatres, many of the stations were luxuriously designed and decorated by leading Soviet artists and sculptors in the Stalinist Empire style as a demonstration of the power and wealth of the Soviet Union. Affectionately called ‘Palaces of the People’ and totally unique, it seems they are not well known to the rest of the world, which is a real shame.The classical styling, empire damasks and florals painted with enamel and gilding all influenced the designs created for our new collections and added that extra authenticity, which I would not have known about unless travelling underground! Probably the best station I saw whilst commuting was Novoslobodskaya. This is one of the most ceremonial stations in the Moscow underground network and is best known for its 32 stained-glass panels, which were all designed by the famous Soviet artist, Pavel Korin. The colours and intricate designs strike an amazing contrast against the marble surroundings.
Moscow is an interesting visit and proved extremely worthwhile for the show and for the hidden gems to be found on the Metro.