Collaborating with: Bespoke Atelier
July 20, 2021 \ Arts & Culture
by Bespoke Atelier
We're undertaking a series of conversations with past and present collaborators, to learn more about their histories, projects and processes.
Bespoke Atelier was founded by fellow textile graduates Marion Parola and Yvonne Elliott-Kellighan in 2010 and has been blending the worlds of architecture and art, inventing unique patterns to enhance interiors, products and buildings ever since.
Their specialist design team work across a variety of sustainable surfaces to transform any space into an uplifting escape.
We have had the pleasure of working with the Bespoke Atelier team on several of our projects. We recently caught up with Marion Parola to talk about the value of collaboration and our shared interest in creating designs rooted in their surroundings.
Describe what you make/do?
We create innovative surfaces for interiors, architecture projects and the public realm. Each design is tailor-made and always begins on paper, drawing shapes, details and textures we find inspiring. Inspiration can come from a dramatic landscape or a meaningful conversation. We explore composition, pattern and colour to create pieces rooted in the people and place they surround.
Tell us how you came to this point in your creative work/ career?
Yvonne and I first met in 2005 whilst studying textiles at The Glasgow School of Art. Straight after graduating we created Bespoke Atelier with a vaision to create custom-designed textiles, quickly expanding our practice to include printing on a variety of surfaces thanks to our large scale screen-printing facilities. One of the first large scale projects we worked on was for Page\Park where we created bespoke printed panels to line the aisle of Martyr’s Kirk which was being transformed into a postgraduate study space for the University of St Andrews. After a few commissions of a similar scale, we realised that Bespoke Atelier’s mission was to bridge the gap between architects, interior designers and artists by creating bespoke artwork embedded in buildings or spaces.
Where do you go to source new ideas and inspiration for project briefs?
When starting a new project we take inspiration in the history and culture of a place, reflecting the aspirations of our client team and the local communities. We combine this primary research with personal reflections and aim to translate the feeling of a place or a theme focusing on hidden details and undiscovered gems. These ideas are discussed during brainstorming sessions within the studio and with project partners where we filter down key inspiration and images that we decide to take forward in our design work.
How important is collaboration to you and your work?
Creating artworks together with other disciplines brings a lot of richness and depth to our design process. We are currently collaborating with a geographer designing integrated artworks for a large public building in Clydebank and have just completed a light show projected on Rothesay Castle working alongside a team of landscape architects. We also often collaborate with factories and craftsmen, utilising their skills to create the perfect surface, artwork or finish adapted to the context of the work.
Can you share a recent project or what you are working on now?
We are currently working on a new collection of modular wallpapers called Landform which will be launched this September at the London Design Festival. The collection is especially designed for contemporary interior spaces with linear artworks inspired by Scotland’s natural surroundings. The seven patterns come in a large palette of colours offering a multitude of atmospheric designs to choose from.
Which project have you worked on that you learned the most from?
We completed back in 2018 a project for Woodside Health Centre in Glasgow collaborating with Page\Park Architects. We designed a series of modular patterns which were cast into the concrete facades of the three storey building. The engineering of such a technical project whilst keeping our design integrity was a challenge and we learned a lot from this process and it resulted in a beautifully detailed facade that we are extremely happy with.
The designs are also carried through the interior of the building with bespoke wooden slatted partitions creating positive distraction when visiting the health centre.
How do you find a balance between the fields of art and design in your work?
Depending on the situation we are referred to as artists or designers. Whilst the drawing and creation of our work can be considered as art, the importance of its final application refers to the design sphere. We create artworks to enhance and embellish interior or exterior spaces and benefit the people who will be using the space.
Sparks for Renewal
June 29, 2021 \ Arts & Culture
by Eilidh Henderson
As we highlight the individual creative voices driving our projects, Director Eilidh Henderson considers how our social and cultural experience will be different post-pandemic. This piece was originally published in the RIAS Quarterly in Spring 2021.