Meet the Judges - Jim Biddulph


Jim Biddulph, Editor at Large, Material Lab

What role does colour play in your work?

No matter which hat I’m wearing, colour is always a part of my work. Whether it’s selecting and arranging samples in the studio at Material Lab or whilst organising an exhibition, putting an interior scheme together or talking to students I teach about their collections, colour is a constant theme. I think it’s really important that we all explore and really question colour, everything we come into contact with has its own shade and colour can affect us in some really profound ways.

What was it like to be a judge for the Colour in Design award?

It was a real privilege to be a judge on the Colour in Design Award. New Designers is such a wonderful exhibition of fresh design talent and one that can be almost overwhelming in terms of the vast array of disciplines and sheer volume of carefully considered and created work. Being able to use colour as a prism with which to look around the show was an absolute joy – and there was so many great uses of it to behold!

What are your next creative goals?

Essentially, Surface Design has been the bedrock of my career to date and I’d love for that to continue. I’m aiming to write a book about the subject in the near future but alongside that I hope to be able to continue to discover, make, apply, curate and teach about surface materials.

What makes you tick and get out of bed on the morning?

I love making new discoveries and the prospect of finding out about a new design projects, material developments and great spaces gets me going everyday day. That and a coffee. I enjoy finding out about and talking to designers to find out what makes them tick. I’m fascinated by the whole design process – design is about improving our lives, making things better or nicer and I’m really into that!

Highest creative point in the past 5 years?

I’m not sure I can pick out any one thing - I’m one of those designers that always have multiple things running concurrently, and they can all be very varied. I guess being able to run my own studio, designing and curating exhibitions and working on interior projects alongside creating content for Material Lab and various other publications as well as teaching at universities has been a creative high for the past 5 years.

Was there someone who influenced you or made a difference - who was it what did they do/say?

My dad always told me to not make the same mistakes as him and end up doing a job that I didn’t enjoy. I’ve never had a full-time 9-5 job in my life so I guess he had some impact! What I’ve learnt is that being able to do multiple jobs, whilst sometimes challenging, gives really rich variation, scope and perspective and that’s really satisfying.

What would you like to say to the winner?

Mhairi clearly has a passion for her process of knit so I’ve already recommended that she find the means to continue to make. It’s a problem that most graduates face once they leave the safe home of the university studios and workshops because such facilities can be hard to come by. I’m confident that she’ll find a way to continue her passion and she’s already shown that she has a great eye as well as a real talent when it comes the craft of making. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Favourite colour?

I’ve always been a fan of Blue. It goes so well with itself and I wear a number of different shades. But I also think it works well in interior spaces –I think it adds a sense of calm whether a deep navy or light sky Blue shade.


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