DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
: While making creative made-to-measure lined curtains, stores and blinds (and other articles) for a varied clientele, I often find myself spontaneously making sketchy drawings of window dressing items as they come into my head, a little bit like a writer who may come up with ideas in his sleep and on awaking, hurriedly writes all his thoughts down on paper. These drawings do not necessarily correspond to a particular client’s needs, although I can find myself deliberately developing an item to suit a customer’s requirements. I'm constantly motivated by my own natural, instinctive desire to create and to do so on a continual basis which is how, in effect, I came about developing the “De-escalating Shades” design.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
: I wanted to create something as much aesthetically pleasing to the eye as practical for light and spatial purposes. I would add that I presently live in a country which adheres to basic or no window dressing and where the tendency is to want to keep as much light as possible and aesthetics at the same time. Undoubtedly and subconsciously, this also influenced the development of my design.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
: I hope for the moment, at a local level, to make more of this type of product for my clients, on a made-to-measure basis. I would ultimately like to have my product marketed at a national and/or international level and would be delighted at the prospect of some or other company contacting me to develop this project.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
: It took me a couple of months to follow the design through from A to Z, that is, from conception to drawing to making, with a trial and error process to go through, before finally producing and being satisfied with the finished product.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
: My design is not being produced by another company. I am, however, open to business proposals.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
: Although I developed this product without having any particular clients’ needs in mind, I will gladly admit that my design, while subsequently being endorsed by the public, does correspond to specific needs : customers adhering to basic or no window dressing, customers wanting light, aesthetics, little on their windows, no pulling of cords/curtains, but also those design lovers, people who are looking for something original, creative and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. These are the people who cocoon their interiors, appreciate art, sculptures etc.. and their homes illustrate this. Generally speaking, on what concerns most of my creative work these people are my customers.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
: Contrary to curtains and more particularly, blinds which are not static, this design is a fixed hanging decorative item attached literally to a window frame or hanging from a rail above a window and in this instance, ideally over a window that does not open (shop windows or a central piece in a bay/bow window system, for example). The combination of net, taffeta, and piping combined with descending graded panels make this design not only original but also a stylish, aesthetic, practical and mood setting alternative to net curtains or blinds. This design also protects in part from sunlight and dust, preserves minimum privacy and gently filters light, to create an instant elegance, neatness, warm glow and relaxed atmosphere. It can hide a lengthy wall above a window, occupy minimum space, increase wall space, leave space below for placing objects or window inscriptions and indeed there is no pulling of cords or curtains. Of course, this design may be adapted by integrating decorative pieces into the piping elements ; applying shapes to the net panels or different coloured ribbon to panel borders ; using different material or coloured net . It can also be multi-purpose, being a partial room divider suspended from a ceiling or a decorative element on a wall or furniture, hanging from the four sides of a four-poster bed for example or being used as a complementary element - a central piece with curtains.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
: I combined two essential ideas , one being the shape of this design which has descending graded panels, hence, “de-escalating” and the other being the gentle filtering of light, as if one were in the shade, hence the word “shades”. I might add that “shades” is another word for “Roman blinds”.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
: Essential elements in the making of this design were a sketchbook and pencil, my sewing machine, tools such as needles, scissors and of course the raw materials (fabric – net and taffeta, thread, beads, plastic piping normally used for plumbing purposes and wire).
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
: I would say the most unique aspect of my design is its aesthetic shape, which can be far more easily appreciated when seen in reality. A photograph doesn't always do justice to the beauty of a design.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
: I'm the sole creator of this design.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
: The only real technology involved in the making of this design was limited to the usage of a sewing machine combined with manual work.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
: No. The only research necessary was post creation in confirming that my design was original.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
: I came across difficulties like material loss, maintenance of net rigidity and panel irregularity which I finally overcame by adding 5 to 10mm when sewing seams ; stretching, pinning and tacking well, before machine sewing net and taffeta together with appropriate tension and thread ; constantly measuring and ensuring tightly fitting pipes.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
: I live in an area where people do not seem to be particularly susceptible to window treatment, unlike in my country of origin (Great Britain), and even after different promotional measures within the framework of my one-person business to attract potential clients, I felt that the results were rather mediocre. My final reaction was to go further afield to really discover if there were other people out there who could possibly appreciate my work. So, I decided that the best way of going about this was to try entering an international design competition, and in this instance, the “A Design Award”. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the encouraging results .
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
: Whether it be this particular design or any other design that I may have created, I always feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment on completing a product. Creation often involves countless hours of work, passion, hard thinking and labour as if going through the process of giving birth. Each time, I feel I better myself in sewing and design techniques, becoming more and more of a perfectionist, becoming more and more attentive to the smallest details.