We catch up with the multiple award-winning designer of the moment.
It's been a busy few years for young Broom since the designer launched his first furniture collection in 2007. As well as winning the Elle Best Designer of the Year Award this year - and last - and launching the very successful Salon Collection during the most recent London Design Week, Broom has reformulated the interiors of over 40 bars, restaurants and clubs, as well as the personal shopping suite at Topman's Oxford street flagship store… and the list goes on. Surely the man must never sleep; still, we managed to get a sneaky interview with Broom who will no doubt be challenging himself further in the New Year to come.
Your designs often repurpose existing forms and materials - do you find it important to stimulate the user in this way?
I've always said I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, I just want to present things in a very different way and I like the familiarity of existing forms and materials. With certain pieces, people often say that they've seen certain elements before but not quite in that way and I like that. It makes us all question what we already know.
Some of your pieces challenge the viewer to understand if they are practical objects or purely decorative (the Club Chair for example). Where does your line between function and ornament lie?
For me, there are no strict rules and I try not to limit myself or my ideas. It all depends on how I'm feeling at the time, as to how functional or ornamental one of my designs will be. I do try to strike a balance between the two however. In the case of the Club Chair, I felt it was important that the piece could be used as a chair, and even with the lights, it is very comfortable to sit in. It has the appearance of an art piece but is still a functional piece of furniture. It would have been too easy to make it unusable.
Do you judge the success of your designs by how they are celebrated visually or purposefully?
The first thing you notice about my work is its visual aesthetic and my pieces will often command attention in a room; however, I do like to design with a particular purpose in mind. I hope my work will be judged on a combination of function and a strong design aesthetic.
Which of your contemporaries have impacted on your views and method of design?
I studied fashion at Central Saint Martins and the experience definitely helped shape and influence my views on design, so in that respect fashion design has impacted my product design. I was a big fan of Alexander McQueen and I also admire Maison Martin Margiela for the clothes and the interiors.
In just a few years you have built up an impressive back catalogue of collaborations, (Topman, Deadgood etc) who would you next like to work with next?
I'd love to work with a pop star on a concert tour. When I was younger, I went to theatre school and studied fashion before going into interiors and product design. I am a big fan of music so I feel that creating a tour would encompass all of those things.
Have us Brits learned any lessons when it comes to design? Where do you see the future of design and where would you like to take your own designs?
Britain is an extremely creative country and most people from overseas will tell you that the Brits are considered to be the most innovative in the field of design. I do think though that we struggle with caplitalising on that creativity. I also wish that we would look more to homegrown manufacturing as a option as there are so many talented craftsmen in this country; people not just in the UK but overseas too have a real thirst for British-made products. In terms of my own future, I don't want to restrict myself to only products and interiors. I feel that I can apply my design skills in other areas too, which will certainly make life more challenging, but I like a challenge!