The Business in May and June

News and pictures from the design sector for May and June

FX Design Awards: Entries now open!

Entries are now open for the 2020 edition of the FX Design Awards, with the deadline for entries of Friday 24 July.

We have recruited a brand new panel of 25 committed judges, all industry leaders, who are eagerly awaiting your submissions. Each year FX invites both UK and international design talent from all over the world to enter the very best of interior products and projects. We have a new category this year – Build to Rent and Private Rental Sector – and we invite architects, designers and developers to enter projects from the past two years for this category. The FX awards are a highlight of the design industry calendar, taking place on 25 November, subject to government advice on Covid-19 and social distancing. But because we have a magnificent judging panel awaiting your entries, we will definitely have a winner in each category this year even if the party has to be cancelled. So despite the lockdown, you can still be our winner for 2020!

Plus we have the all-important online voting open now for the most prestigious awards, that you, our readers, vote for online. Last year you voted for Sarah Wigglesworth as the most deserving candidate for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Design, so we trust your judgement! We have put together some magnificent names for Product Designer of the Year, Breakthrough Talent, Interior Design Practice of the Year, and Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Design. These are not voted by our judging panel, but by everyone around the world, so your vote counts and is most definitely needed! For more info and to enter online, or vote for the winners in our prestigious categories, visit

Eight architects create new design district for London

Image Credit: Taran Wilkhu

Greenwich Peninsula is set to open later this year as a new design district for London, providing permanent and affordable workspace to 1,800 people in the creative industries.

The developer is Knight Dragon, while architect Hannah Corlett of HNNA is in charge of the masterplan of the one-hectare plot.

Celebrating a multitude of creative voices, eight architects, including HNNA, were picked for the project. Each will design two buildings. The architects are 6a Architects, Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00, Barozzi Veiga, David Kohn Architects, HNNA (previously Assemblage), Mole Architects, and Selgas Cano.

To ensure a range of styles across the district, the architects were each asked to design a pair of buildings ‘blind’ from the others.

The practices designed independently, and were free from any restrictions such as a common materials palette or design code, with the only limitations being a strict budget and a commitment to affordability.

Arper bids farewell to founder Luigi Feltrin

Image Credit: Giovanni Gastel

Arper’s founder and honorary president Luigi Feltrin passed away at the age of 85 on 5 April 2020. He founded Arper in Monastier di Treviso, Italy, in 1989 with his sons Claudio, Arper’s president, and Mauro. Today, Arper is globally known, and has 260 staff and a turnover of €72m, yet ‘Mr. Luigi’ continued to visit the company daily, and was always passionate about its work. Claudio Feltrin commented: ‘My brother Mauro, my son Giulio, and particularly I were lucky enough to be able to work alongside my father at the company. The past 48 years have enriched me in a priceless way, because with a mentor like him, one can only get better and better.’

Architects Ackroyd Lowrie launches VR design service

Ackroyd Lowrie has launched a VR design service to enable planning processes to continue while observing Covid-19-related social distancing measures.

VR has been at the practice’s heart since its start, and it pioneered the use of VR in the planning process, using it in pre-applications with councils. The headsets allow clients, planners and council leaders to ‘meet’ in a virtual version of the new building and mark-up changes in real time in the virtual model.

This, says directors Oliver Lowrie and Jon Ackroyd, will allow stakeholders to ‘really understand the building they are commissioning, and as a result, create better cities filled with buildings that work for the people that use them.’

Architects warn UK could become ‘cultural wasteland’      

RIBA’s Alan Vallance and architects from Hawkins\ Brown joined over 400 creative workers in signing a letter to the government warning that the lack of financial support during the Covid-19 crisis could lead to the UK becoming a ‘cultural wasteland’. This follows a survey by the Creative Industries Federation that reports that one in seven creative organisations do not expect their financial resources to last into May.

Squire & Partners provides handmade scrubs and 3D-printed Visors

A team at Brixton-based architects and designers Squire & Partners are collaborating to produce free PPE for South London NHS hospitals as they face the increased pressure of dealing with Covid-19.

The project is part of a collective effort organised by the South London and Croydon branches of For the Love of Scrubs. The practice’s modelshop team, including in-house textile designer Isabel Fletcher, is creating weekly outputs of 120 visor headbands and sets of scrubs for frontline workers.

The two-piece sets are handmade to meet NHS standards, but feature a patterned breast pocket, using off-cuts of fabrics from The Department Store, while later versions will have a bespoke digitally printed fabric with a Squire & Partners-designed ‘One Love NHS’ pattern.

Another personal touch is the inclusion of messages of support to frontline workers – in the waistband of the trousers and on the plastic of the visor headband.

Tim Gledstone, partner at Squire & Partners, commented: ‘It goes beyond the necessary and the uniform to create warmth and appreciation of human care at a time when we’re all physically far apart.’

Squire & Partners is also providing a free print service for scrub patterns in various sizes, available also to local Brixton residents who might need scrub patterns for making at home. More information is available on the Facebook page of For the Love of Scrubs. |

Brintons and FX competition deadline extended

Due to the disruption and difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, British carpet manufacturer Brintons and FX have extended the deadline for their carpet design competition until midnight on 30 September 2020.

The competition asks you to design a carpet suitable for the hospitality market that’s based around the theme ‘ritual’, which can be interpreted in any way you like. There is still time to enter for the chance to have your design made by Brintons’ factory and win a cash prize.

The winner will be announced on 19 October 2020. For more information and to enter check out the page on Brintons’ website:

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