Designer Lindsey Lang has been on my radar for some time but it wasn’t until she recently launched her new range of encaustic floor and wall tiles that I really felt compelled to interview her here on the blog. Granted I loved her colourful, geometric cushions and kitchenware collections but as you all know nothing sends my heart racing quicker than wallcoverings and flooring. I wanted to find out how Lindsey got to where she is today, what inspires her work and what we can expect to see from her next. Here is what she had to say….
Can you tell us about your background and how you first became interested in design?
My interest in design started at an early age. I crocheted blankets, hats or bags and I liked drawing and painting as a child. I often watched my mother sew in the evenings while she would make us crazy-looking Easter dresses and Halloween costumes every year. I’m American so Halloween is a really big deal back home.
I have always tried to work in a creative atmosphere. Since the age of 13, I’ve assisted in photographer’s studios, worked in a florist shop (for 5 years), and even worked as an elementary art teacher to pay for university. More recent experience in graphics and illustration is obviously inspiring, but the core of my creative interests has drawn through a range of influences that I discovered at university such as Joseph and Anni Albers, El Lissitzky and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. I went to the University of Kansas and then travelled abroad to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to finish my degree in Textiles. I loved London so much that I’ve lived here for over seven years, and the buzzing city vibe is still a constant inspiration.
Having trained as a fine artist, how do you translate this into your design work for interiors?
It’s really simple. I used to create abstract paintings on silk fabrics, and I studied a lot of Japanese art as well as colour theory during my university studies in Textile Design. Over the years, my experiences in illustration and graphic design grew and merged with my previous painterly aesthetic to create a language consisting of bold converging shapes of carefully selected colour. I like to think that each product is a work of art, bringing a bit of extra joy and splash of colour to the products that we surround ourselves with everyday.
Can you describe your approach to design? Take us through your process.
I need a clear workspace and mindset. I try to go to yoga twice a week, which helps me keep a clear headspace. I never really stop thinking about ideas and designs so I normally have an idea of what I want to develop. I usually begin a project by cracking out loads of ideas. It’s like painting numerous canvases at the same time.
During this development process new solutions are revealed. Once I hit that moment where I feel excited about a particular design, I will develop variations of that design to make sure that I have explored the options. Then, the most important thing for me to do is step away for a good nights sleep! Sometimes I can come back for refinements and everything will change but there is always a moment when it hits me and I think ‘Stop! That’s the one!’
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere. I try to avoid my phone or reading while I am on the bus because I never know what I might see outside. It’s important for me to keep my eyes open all of the time and remain inquisitive.
Geometrics are a huge trend in interiors right now. This must make you very happy?
Absolutely, it is always gratifying to get a positive response. However, the most important thing to me is to ensure that the quality of each product that we sell is the best that it can be. The considered design, printing, sewing, material choice and packaging etc. must be done with constant attention to detail. We put a lot of love into every product that leaves the studio, and I hope that our service and quality of product is what makes us special.
Why kitchenware and interior accessories?
The range started purely as a kitchenware collection and evolved from there. I have a true love affair with food, and often reminisce about cooking with my mother in the kitchen. My mother owns every kitchenware gadget known to mankind…So, I guess I thought she needed a few more!
As well as this, I am a very particular shopper and I could see where my design point-of-view could fill some gaps in the market. When I started over a year ago, I wanted the range to encompass different products for the home. Perhaps this is because my husband and I have been renovating my own home for over two years now? I could never really find what I wanted for my own home…Friends joke that when our home is complete it will be a Lindsey Lang showroom…I’m not so sure but we will have to wait and see.
You have recently ventured into wallcoverings and flooring with your new tiling range. How did this come about?
Well, I launched the Ellipse tiles with the first collection and they were hugely popular. I’ve had many people tell me that they have looked everywhere for a pattern like mine as an encaustic tile, so I wanted to expand on the range to offer people more patterns along the same aesthetic. I am really proud to offer a product that will last a lifetime, and our new collection is something that is really special to the brand.
Can you explain the traditional process which has been used to create your new tiling range?
The process in which they are made is also sometimes referred to as encaustic cement or inlaid. There are many different names for the process. As each tile is handmade, there is an equal amount of work that goes into every tile. They are created with a cement base and a hydraulically compressed mixture of granite and marble which makes the top layer of pattern.
Our newest Granito patterned tiles are reinforced with specially selected marble chips which gives the pattern a speckled-marble effect. They are particularly good for large retail, hotel and restaurant environments. Our tiles are very special because they will last a lifetime. If you don’t like their lovely natural patina after 5-10 years, then simply buff them up and they are completely restored.
What reaction has the new range had since it launched at Design Junction in September?
It was honestly the best show that we have ever had! The press and public have been really supportive and sales have soared! It has been a very pleasant surprise that the feedback has been so positive.
What is next on the agenda for Lindsey Lang? Any exciting projects we should know about?
Yes, well it has been a big big year so far! We launched 20 designs for our new wall and flooring collection at Design Junction last month. Also, we have recently launched our new ‘Arc’ Collection of rugs for MADE.com. We are also planning to show our Signature Collection of kitchenware at the Somerset House Christmas pop-up shops. There are quite a few ongoing projects that I am working on at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see how the new year unfolds. Very exciting times!