Asif Khan at Dezeen Live

In this movie filmed during Dezeen Live at 100% Design, designer Asif Khan explains how soap bubbles, rubbish bins and a neighbour’s flower bed have all provided inspiration for his work. Khan begins by showing the first of five images, a composite of pictures including amusing signage at an east London market and a vapour trail from a u-turning plane, posted onto the blog he shares with designer and author David Knight. “It started as a place where we could post images for each other to look at,” Khan explains. “It’s a pot where I harvest ideas from quite often.”

As an example of using his vicinity as stimulus, he describes how while struggling to come up with an idea for his 2010 residency at London’s Design Museum he used a plant growing on the route to his studio as inspiration for his Harvest furniture collection. “It was staring me in the face, this thing, so I thought why don’t I ask the lady who owns the garden if I can take a bit of this and see what we can make from it.”

He proceeds to recount the instance he began to think of architectural applications for soap bubbles while bathing his children. “Why can’t we make a wall out of a material like this which you could sculpt? Why can’t it be a roof? What would it mean?” This lead to experiments with helium and soap to create floating cloud-like forms, as shown in his next pair of images.

Khan then shows the Coca-Cola Beatbox pavilion at the London 2012 Olympic park that he designed with Pernilla Ohrstedt, which has elements that play sounds of performing athletes recorded by music producer Mark Ronson.

He finishes by showing his design for this year’s Designers in Residence exhibition, inspired by fabrics used to keep flies away from rubbish in Tokyo. “You can see the impression that the cardboard boxes have left on the fabric; it’s got this memory. We used a fabric quite similar to this with electrical conductivity to form booths around each designer’s work.”

“I’m interested in new ways of doing things and the future of what the space around us might look like,” he concludes.



Categories: Interviews


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