Linzi Cassels is a Principal, Design Director at our London office, and a member of Perkins+Will’s Design Leadership Council. She has been the creative force behind such notable projects as the award-winning Astellas Pharmaceuticals workplace, Allen & Overy and UniCredit in Milan. Outside the office, Linzi mentors young architects at the RIBA in speed dating sessions. Here she shares her design inspirations.
What are your workspace must-haves?
Thick black pens, Pantone markers, roll of tracing paper and/ or sheets of A4 paper for storyboarding. I’m happy to work anywhere and I do! But my favourite space is around any kitchen table, preferably with people. Wall space nearby is essential for pinning up, making collages and sharing.
George Nelson’s ‘Eye’ clock. I’d love a collection of all his clocks, although it has been said that many of the designers in his studio did not get credit for the pieces they had designed while working with him!In general, I love design from the 1950s and am fascinated by the Festival of Britain, which was a national exhibition of design, architecture, trade and commerce that took place in London’s South Bank in 1951. Designed to give the British a feeling of recovery after the war, it was the first time people in the UK had seen and experienced modern architecture and design. Fabrics, wallpaper, domestic objects and graphics were all specially commissioned by the Festival Pattern Group. It was a hugely successful post-war celebration where the futuristic design inspired people and gave hope that better times were ahead. The Royal Festival Hall was the centrepiece of the Exhibition and is one of my favourite buildings in London.
Which designer do you most admire–and why?
I admire Thomas Heatherwick for his unconventional approach and ability to bring architecture, design and sculpture together. His work like the atrium installation for the Wellcome Museum in London and his UK Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo have magical and ethereal qualities.
To design my own home – every architects dream.
If you weren’t in your position at Perkins+Will, what would you do instead?
I’d be an editor of fashion magazine or curator of an art gallery.
What lesson would you share with the next generation of designers, or what do you wish someone told you as you started your career?
Find your inner confidence, and believe you can do anything.
In ten words or less, why does design matter?