One of our member companies William Reed of Burnley have an Industrial textile apprentice weaver
Craig Clarkson, who appeared in BBC2’s ‘Great Interior Design Challenge’!
The 28yr old budding Designer made it through to the end of round two.
The programme hosted by English Architect Tom Dychoff, see’s 4xDesigners in each knock out section
compete to make it to the grand finale.
Each stage is set in a different real life housing Development or setting.
The four Designers are each set an Interior Design brief by one of the home owners,
then given a £1,000 budget and 3 days to come up with the results. Each Designer has a builder and
painter at their disposal.
Judges Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson judge on how well each Designer meets three criteria:
Presentation to the clients of their Design vision, Artistic flare and How well they deliver to the brief set.
Transforming lives through Design.
Stage 1 was in London’s SE timber framed community built in 1985 by a collective of home owners
using the Cost effective Design of Swiss architect Walter Segal.
Walter devised a system of self-build housing. The “Segal Method” eliminates the need for wet trades
such as bricklaying and plastering, using a modular, timber-frame system that allows for ease
of construction and low maintenance. The roofs tend to be flat, with many layers of roofing felt,
and foundations are minimal, the strength coming from the geometry of their construction.
Although all the components were the same each house has the potential to be unique as the
materials are designed to be interchangeable, each with the large X beam at the heart,
the integral part of the structure.
Craig’s brief set by a young couple with children was to redesign the couples bedroom to
‘Create a tranquil retreat for grownups’
Daringly Craig seemed to go off brief when he introduced a bold orange colour into his palette
and a strong Geo zig-zag design into the decoration. The clients and judges were a little
dubious at the presentation stage that such daring would pull off. However Craig cleverly teamed
the orange with steel grey and burnished checks, keeping ornamentation to a minimum.
He successfully exceeded expectations and as the clients praised ‘styled the room beautifully’
Stage 2 was in Birmingham’s Arts and Crafts style Bournville Village. Commissioned by Cadbury,
Architect William Alexander Harvey delivered a utopian housing community for the well to do
retired families and factory workers. A Victorian reimagining of a traditional village.
Carefully 10% of the countryside each time was unbuilt on to keep the greenery, each garden
even had a mini orchard to encourage home owners to grow their own.
These Tudor framed Art Nouveau houses with their floral venetian details were not uniform
but together created an harmonious estate.
Craig’s brief number two set by an imaginative professional couple was to transform their
reception room into a ‘multi-functional Parisian Bohemian inspired room’.
To succeed the judges believed that Craig needed to show versatility and perform out
of his comfort zone.
To encapsulate this look He needed to bring together high end clashing colours and furnishings
into one bold look. Once again Craig chose a strong bright colour at the core of his design,
this time a luminous green. At the presentation stage the clients requested that he knock
the colour back a little. Thus Craig softened it down by mixing in white paint.
There were some unique and well thought out pieces within his scheme such as the
branches of a tree upcycled into a lamp and one that missed the spot, a table utilising the
5xhouse hold bricks that the judges set as an extra challenge.
Throughout the whole competition Craig held fast to his design concept believing that it was his
job to give the customer something which he believed in. The home owners loved the final room
design and felt that he had met their brief well. However competition was stiff and Craig did not
make it through to the next stage. The judges felt that Craig has the makings of a great Interior
Designer once he has gained more knowledge and experience outside his usual style.
Whether it be Weaving or Interior Design We at TCoE wish him every success
whichever route he takes!!
You can watch Craig’s journey at: