What inspires us?


28 August 2016

“You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; Design is made for people.” Dieter Rams

Listening to people

People are everywhere and bursting with stories to tell, and as we ever so rarely get to design anything for ourselves, the best way get inspiration in any new project is to listen to those around you. This may be listening to the person you are designing for, or even getting a fresh perspective on the challenge you are facing by bouncing ideas with another creative.

 When you are listening, you are learning and I am a firm believer of combining disciplines to generate new ideas and insights which forces designers to adopt a new way of thinking. Multidisciplinary teams create the most innovative outcomes by combining such a wide range of knowledge into one idea.

The question of “What makes good design?”

Personally, I believe a simple format with immense attention to detail is the key to a successful piece of design. Whether it be a subtle hint of colour, a hand stitched piece of fabric or a perfectly positioned logo, it is the smaller details that can really make a difference.

 Each individual has a different perception of what makes good design, but the best bit is… there is no one right answer! Good design to one individual could be considered bad design to another. There is no one right way to be creative which is what I find so fascinating about this industry, even those previously discarded ideas could spark imagination amongst the group that could develop into something pretty awesome further down the line.

The Steel City

I have lived in Sheffield for 23 years (and got the accent to prove it!). 

I see Sheffield as an inspirational city for many reasons, one of those reasons being the amount of talented craftsmen/women the city holds. I have been lucky enough to work alongside metal spinners, glass blowers and Pewter craftsmen during my time at University who make their job appear effortless.

 I always hear the phrase “Quality is dead, nothing gets made like it use too” and when I do, I think back to these moments and know it is still very much alive in the city of Sheffield.

Daniel Jackson – Local Glass blower 

Four legged friends!

I find animals truly inspirational, especially dogs. Not only do Dogs have the most loveable, joyful and infectious personalities, they can also teach us humans a thing or two about how to treat others! Whether your mood is low or you just need a creative boost, Dogs are the best therapy to help wipe away those Monday blues.

Not only are animal’s great for boosting our mood and creativity, but can have a dramatic impact on people’s daily lives. Guide, rescue, therapy or even simply companionship are all reasons why I find these animals so inspirational. Luckily, Mabel is always on hand to provide the Matter studio with a smile throughout the day.

Kevin & I – Volunteer work at the RSPCA, (cannot resist a few doggy cuddles! 

Shelby Cound Design Graduate

2012-2016 MDES Product Design Sheffield Hallam University.  Internships: Morphy Richards