Emerging Brands Spotlight: Helen Middleton Studio
The UK’s strongest platform for newly established design talent. Packed with innovative ideas, Emerging Brands follows the tradition of 100% Design's original ethos; launching new talent. Find out more about Helen Middleton Studio, who will be exhibiting for the 25th edition of 100% Design, as they answer all of our questions below.
HELEN MIDDLETON STUDIO is a British Designer creating furniture, lighting and accessories. Helen's designs are playful and intriguing, combining beauty and a cause. All of her designs are manufactured in Britain, using metal which is 100% recyclable to champion the declining steel industry. The designs are to make you smile and to make you think, as Helen believes design should embody a message and engage and empower us to make a difference in the world. Above all, it should be fun.
Talk us through your latest products
My latest products are The Fold Clock and Side Table inspired by paper torn from my sketchbook and folding it to create simple symmetrical forms. Manufactured in steel to resemble the visual lightness of paper with the strength of steel.
The Jackpot fruit bowl was inspired by the classic fruit machine. The design gives the impression of fruit spinning around to eventually land on the jackpot.
Finally my Flutter light highlights the decline in British butterflies and their importance to humanity.
What goals would you like to achieve for your company in the future?
To continue to support and champion the declining steel industry
For my designs and packaging to continue to be 100% recyclable or biodegradable
For my designs to highlight important causes
To be recognised as a leading British designer
For my designs to create positive emotions every time you experience them
To create work with a lasting longevity to end our throw away culture.
Why did you choose to exhibit at 100% Design?
I haven't exhibited for over two years due to raising my little boy so what better time to start again than at 100% Design 25th Anniversary. There is a lovely mix of emerging designers with established brands creating a positive, fun and professional atmosphere. When I visited Milan Design Week exhibitors spoke of London and 100% Design as the place to visit, confirming the exhibition's great reputation at home and abroad. Extremely well organised event with amazing press coverage and I cannot wait to showcase my work to a wider audience.
In a contemporary society an online presence is key in order to grow your design firm- How do you utilise the internet to increase your customer base?
I have a wide social media presence with links to my website to attract customers to my site. My website is user friendly and draws traffic in with keywords and page SEO's
What made you become a designer?
I love to design – To make you smile- To make a difference
To create pieces that combine beauty with a cause
Leave you richer for seeing it,
Be more emotionally experienced and more empowered to make small changes that make a big difference.
To create work with a timeless, playful quality,
Champion the declining steel industry
Establishing networks is important for an emerging design firm- How did you go about growing yours?
Contacting and working with interior designers and architects to create great relationships. Introducing my company to businesses and important contacts via LinkedIn and other social media networks. I do love simply ringing people up and chatting with them directly about my work giving that personal touch.
Who's your inspiration?
Karim Rashid and Nendo. I love the colourful curves from Karim Rashid and the simplistic lines of Nendo. I visited Nendo's exhibition in Milan Design Week last year and was just in awe of their work. I loved seeing their prototypes and thought processes of the finished object.
NHOW Hotel in Milan. I stumbled across this hotel by chance wandering the streets at Milan Design Week. As I sat at the bar I thought that chair looks familiar, oohh I love the lights and table until it dawned on me I was drinking at the hotel bar that my design idol Karim Rashid had restyled.
What 3 words sum up your brand?
Made you care....