Design Guild Mark

Kit Miles has been awarded the Design Guild Mark for his textile collections. The mark represents a much-coveted seal of outstanding quality in design and manufacture.

Awarded by the Furniture Makers Guild, one of the City of London’s prestigious livery companies, the eminent panel of Judges assess candidates’ works across criteria such as their creativity, uniqueness and sustainability.

Recently, Kit was interviewed by the Design Guild Mark team.

The interview

Design Guild Mark: Who is your design hero?

Kit Miles: Nature! While I find inspiration from a wealth of designers, it is the natural world that I feel most drawn to.

DGM: When did you first decide you were going to be a designer?

KM: I decided I wanted to become a designer when I was ten. I was, and still am, a bit of a dreamer with a healthy dose of geekiness and I have always loved expressing myself by creating design concepts. I once drew up a concept for a maglev train that would tour the arctic. I designed the train, the stations,  and all the cabins as well as the graphic identity. I think if you are a designer, you have the potential to turn your hand to anything.

DGM: What was your first big break in the industry?

KM: I have had many moments which I have felt are my next big breakthrough, and with each accomplishment, I set myself new challenges to push myself even further. When I graduated, one goal was to be featured in all the glossy publications. When I achieved that, it was about winning contracts and projects. Now I am very focused on the environment and feel energised by the thought that the next big break may give something back to the natural world that I find so inspirational.

DGM: What was the first product you ever designed?

KM: A series of carpets that an interiors scout bought from my final show at the Royal College of Art. I don’t know where those designs are now, but I have since gone on to work in partnership with Moooi to create a beautiful collection of broadloom carpets for the project market.

DGM: What do you enjoy about being a designer?

KM: Being able to spend time thinking up ideas and making them a reality. It truly is a dream come true.

DGM: Which design are you most proud of?

KM: The latest collections I am working on really are among my favourite work. I have a new design coming called Akira which I named after one of my favourite movies. It’s a series of blurred forms which suggest flowers that appear to be in motion, or a night-time cityscape. By printing onto a grasscloth the whole product is elevated. The effect is both abstract and evocative. I love it.

DGM: What is your creative process?

KM: Upon finding something that excites or preoccupies me, I immerse myself in images and ideas related to that subject.  I then go through my archive of images and drawings and the work begins to emerge. I like to render images in high detail, using pencils, paper, and anything else I need to create the effect I envision.

DGM: What influences you?

KM: Science, technology, films and, of course, the natural world. The world around us is endlessly inspiring but often, the most generative ideas and inspirations come in whispers. It is important for me to be attuned and sensitive to the quieter, but no less significant, details in culture and life that might fire my imagination and lead to exciting design journeys.

DGM: Is there a product you wish you’d designed?

KM: I don’t think in that way, I suppose if there was a dream project, it would be to turn my hand to the design of a boutique hotel where every detail is designed right down to the door handles. In that sense, it is not a single product but a fully, connected experience, should that be what design is all about?