This Autumn, we present six new Barbican-inspired commissions from a range of designers and makers. In the weeks leading up to the opening of our new Shop, we’ll be paying a visit to the six designers to find out more about their practice, their products and their visions of the Barbican in a series of Designer Profiles.
Each profile will be accompanied with a product showcase on our Instagram account @barbicancentre.
This time, we visit print-maker and designer, Lindsey Lang at her studio to learn more about her Barbican commission.
I studied Textile Design as a Fine Art degree with an emphasis on Print and Weave at The University of Kansas (where I was born) and then finished my studies abroad here at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London. After graduating I worked in various design firms within the industry and then worked my way to the top before deciding to launch my own company in 2012.
I am an artist at heart, so I naturally gravitate towards the things that inspire my core interests. It sounds silly but inspiration is everywhere so I just make sure that I keep my eyes open! I am also a designer, so it is my job to find interesting and functional solutions. Each new project will begins with research and questions, then I work my way through exploring various solutions until I reach that moment when I know I found the right answer.
My days are varied which is something I have learned to appreciate. I never know when the next opportunity could arise and its one of the perks of owning a company. I get to travel to various parts of the world and uncover interesting factory innovations. I love that! Also, I try my best to include yoga practice at least every other day which especially helps on the days when I need to do a lot of design work. So, in between all of that I still manage the day to day tasks of running a business. Each day is a bit of a mix between client relations, planning, managing orders, production/manufacturing, finances, and the most important part…the design work.
I think that I naturally have an aesthetic that I am drawn to which then results in a design that feels like my style. I just always hope that the finished result will also appeals to others as much as it appeals to me. With that said, it has to be stylishly modern, and it has to come from something…I am interested in geometry and I have a background in illustration and graphic design so that is all a part of my thought process as well.
I was directly inspired by Lauderdale Tower on the Barbican estate. The balconies of this tower have a lovely rhythm and repetition, and I can even remember drawing it when I first moved to London ten years ago. Also, I think of Barbican’s uniquely special bush-hammered concrete texture. So, my aim was to create an all over repeat pattern that paid homage to my own vision of Barbican’s iconic architectural shapes and textures. I feel incredibly privileged that I had the opportunity to bring this vision to life!
It was important to me that the collection used materials that were fit for functional purpose. After all, that is a core rule within brutalist architecture. So, there are a few details within the collection that you may not notice at first glance. For example I have worked with 2 brilliant companies to create a suitable upholstery fabric on a limited edition vintage chair frame. The fabric used on the chair is from Camira’s Synergy range. It is a high-performance seating fabric made from premium New Zealand wool and just 5% polyamide. It has a smooth finish and amazing abrasion performance. The Frame of the chair is a collaboration between myself and Galapagos furniture. We worked hard to pick a chair frame the suited Barbican’s iconic aesthetic. As well as this I have chosen to use a granular textured paper in grey or the art prints. This is a nice added detail that reiterates my inspiration from Barbican’s bush-hammered texture. There are further details throughout the range but I will let you discover them along the way.
Do you have any advice for artists/designers looking to work in product design?
Yes, I would say never limit yourself and stay inquisitive.
View Lindsey Lang’s Barbican commission online in the Barbican Shop.
Follow Lindsey on Instagram @lindseylangdesign
Watch Lindsey Lang seeking inspiration around the Barbican with Nikon in Stylist magazine.
Photos: Lindsey Lang. Profile Photo: Jon Attenborough.