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Monday, 22 March 2010

memories of a modern childhood


Before I began my degree in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins (back in 2003), I completed the first year of a BA in Textiles at the London Guildhall (now London Metropolitan University), and although I quickly realised that it was the wrong place for me, the weekly lectures on the History of Design were absolutely brilliant. 

Our education began with William Morris  absorbing Adolf Loos's Ornament and Crime in the very same week, before moving, chronologically, through the movements: Arts & Craft; Art Nouveau; until Modernism - the beginning of contemporary design as we know it, is where things became very interesting for me. It was a language that I understood on a historic level and one that I hadn't heard since I was 13, when my beloved architect grandfather, Patrick Dore and his wife Patricia, passed away.

The furniture in their apartment was mostly of the 1950's and 60's - clearly the peak of his career. The armchairs, elegant with almost feline-like limbs (much like the reupholstered version in the image), were constants; one, placed to receive the afternoon sun, the other, next to the bookshelf. I loved sitting in Grampa Pat's chair, it made me feel like a grown up and, being an accident prone tomboy, I can't say that was a state I was particularly familiar with. I can still remember now, how smooth the armrests felt to touch and the memories that invokes are filled with muted colours and and a dignified atmosphere. 

What style or era of design, furnishes your childhood? Is there a particular piece that stirs, or perhaps it's a colour that takes you back?
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