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Guest Blog: Designers unite to share dreams

Pictured: Fashion Designer Susi Henson, Architect Dr Valeria Passetti and me at the first ever Designer Resolutions Event.

Years ago I didn’t collaborate very much outside the team at our fine furniture design and cabinetmaking company and our private client base. I was working here my little box in the city following design activity in places such as London, Eindhoven, Miami and Milan from a distance until we undertook a study with the Nottingham Trent University and they encouraged me to get out there and begin talking to others. Through one chance meeting that led to another, I was suddenly jettisoned into the International Design Industry energy-pool. I began to visit festivals and events and found magic in meeting like-minded people and experiencing astonishing concepts. I would return to Nottingham with heaps of passion, but then shortly after I would begin again to hunger for the next opportunity. I was like a person being fed a feast one moment and then starved the next, and as I watched designers abroad working together and creating beauty, I dreamt of being part of their World.

I wasn’t on my own, but I didn’t know it. On my doorstep were many others finding refreshment, travelling far and working wide and creating amazing objects and ideas. At an event run by the Nottingham Creative Network I discovered established businesses and individuals whose names I had heard mention of well away from Nottingham and they were there in the flesh, inspiring and passionate and all singing the same tune of a need for sharing creativity and collaboration.

We began to work together, and once we started, we loved it so much we just couldn’t stop. We held events to share the qualities we had found and launched new work, relishing expressing ourselves through the creation of new concepts. As we got to know each other we found kindred spirits and supported, championed and inspired each other until we became a strong family of designers from lots of different areas working both individually and together. Each opportunity grasped led to another bigger one, and after years of merging our different specialisms out of a simple joy of doing so, we found we were in demand. It was great to know that our collaboration not only felt good but made sense too.

The next happening we have in store is at the Nottingham Council House Ballroom next Thursday which was inspired by a meeting Susi Henson of Eternal Spirits and I have had each January to discuss our hopes and dreams for the year ahead. For the first time in February this year we opened the tradition to people who inspired us and filmed their resolutions to begin recording a story of today. The first was pronounced a ‘Revolution not Resolution’ and whilst presentations varied immensely in content and style, they carried a united message of embracing change, being fearless and working together. A short video of the event was taken to Terrassa near Barcelona by the Nottingham City Council to represent to over 30 European Cities the creative voice of Nottingham.

For the ‘Designer Resolutions Midsummer Nights Dreams Picnic’ we have challenged contributors and ourselves to communicate Dreams through creativity, and guests will be invited to bring picnics to enjoy whilst watching the night unfold. We are preparing an atmosphere to allow all involved to escape for a moment from the challenges of daily life and experience real dreams from real people in an atmosphere of theatre and magic. As Susi says… “we want to give people hope that through working together we can embrace change for the best, and strength to be positive, inspiring and amazing.”

With a week to go, the phone lines are chattering, the RSVPs flying in, the press being prepared, plane tickets booked from as far afield as Jersey and Milan, the rocking piano is being polished and there is a buzz of anticipation in the air, with trips to the flower market, fittings, photoshoots performances and of course picnics being planned around the usual activity in the areas of fashion, furniture, architecture, writing, music, film, art and graphic design. I’ve been given a sneak peek into a couple of ‘Dreams’ and they promise to be epic. If only I knew what mine was going to be!!!

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you in the loop with preparations!! BestSx

Below – Piers Roberts of the renowned Designersblock launched the first ever Designer Resolutions with a poignant story told through the eyes of the magical creatures in his house