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Source of Inspiration: Travel


Written by Andrew Martin | July 31st 2020
I recently posted about a project we completed for beauty brand Blink Brow Bar in 2018, which was heavily inspired by a trip to India I’d taken that year. Our brief was to create a calm, spa-like environment within Westfield White City – a very busy shopping centre. The atmosphere I wanted to create reminded me of the relief you feel when finding a quiet café, escaping the chaotic streets of Deli for a moment…

Personally, I’ve always embraced the opportunity to immerse myself in new cultures and professionally, travel has played a huge role in terms of inspiration for AMD projects. With Blink Brow Bar in particular, I was able to draw direct experiences from a (well timed) trip and relay them back through bespoke interior design.
Like most of us, I’m reminded during lockdown what an absolute privilege travel is. It brings me back to when I was growing up and holidays were fairly limited. We’d either go up North to Grimsby to see my cousins or head South to Selsey, where some friends of my parents had a holiday chalet.


Then I met my wife, Lisa. At 16 we went to Greece together and wow – what an eye opener. We’ve been fortunate enough to make travel a priority since, taking trips all over the world; Venezuela, Mexico, Hong Kong, Caribbean, Middle East, Europe… I’ve learned a huge amount about design (and life!) from these trips.
Alongside adventures with Lisa, whilst I was working at The Conran Shop in the 90s, I was asked to move Tokyo to oversee a shop opening there. Working and living in this very different culture was an incredible creative influence on me. The typical Japanese aesthetic combines a respect for materials, a strong sense of heritage and refined simplicity. Those of you who have worked with AMD will know that raw materials, being true to a company’s heritage and simplicity are key principles in our projects – similar core values to the Japanese, but expressed in a different way.
Consciously or unconsciously, like most industries, design frequently borrows shapes, colours and textures from other places. At AMD, we’ve been inspired by everything from ancient Roman pillars through to industrial loft apartments in Soho, New York. To me, these approaches to design are more than what you see, they represent a way of life which becomes appealing to the masses. Think of Hygge, the well-known Scandinavian trend which goes beyond a neutral colour palette and encourages people to “enjoy the simple pleasures.”
I’m sure these times have made a lot of people miss their annual summer trip, but I’m interested to see how this forced pause will manifest itself in design moving forward. For me, I’ve become once again entranced with British landscape. In my next post I’ll be looking at how Covid-19 and lockdown might influence interior design moving forward.