Five ways to find new inspiration
24 April 2015

Five ways to find new inspiration

Designers get asked all the time, what inspires you? Inspiration can come from many different sources. In the words of the famous Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola: “Curiosity is one of the most important traits a young designer can have”. 

Here are 5 ways to tap in to your ‘inner curiosity’ and gain new inspiration for your design project:

1) Design blogs and magazines
Reading the top design blogs and magazines is a great way to collect new ideas, bring yourself up to date on news and events, and harvest cool imagery for your Pinterest “Design Inspiration” board.

2) Contemporary culture
Many designers gain inspiration from things like television shows, films, art galleries, inanimate objects, travel, foreign cultures, and so on. Jasper Morrison decided to become a designer “after seeing an exhibition of [furniture designer and architect] Eileen Gray's work at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.” So it just goes to show, that it could be anywhere, at any time that inspiration might hit you, you just have to be open to it.

yellowtrace Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades at Design Miami 2012 13 1000x600
Patricia Urquiola for Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades – a woven mesh ‘Swing Chair’ inspired by a handbag.

3) Nature and the elements
Nature is one of the driving forces behind design for the bathroom. Whether it is colour, material, texture – or even the intelligence of nature (that is biomimicry) – there are plenty of places to draw inspiration from. In his BIA 2012 Finalist entry, entitled ‘Fl’eau’, Joel Roberts drew inspiration from the very nature of water in motion. This freestanding bath is designed as a single surface CORIAN body which celebrates the beauty of fluidity.

Fleau page Joel Roberts 1000x600 
Fl’eau – 2012 Professional Finalist design by Joel Roberts

4) Having time out
New research by Hansgrohe shows that 72% of people have their ‘light bulb’ moments in the shower – this is where fresh thinking, problem solving and new ideas happen.
It just goes to show that taking yourself out of your work environment can lead to new revelation! Meditating, exercising, cooking, bathing – all those activities which take you away from the pesky worries and stresses of work and bring you into the present will help you gain new perspective.

5) Take it back to the people
The way we live and the objects we use are all geared towards improving some aspect of our everyday lives. Getting back in touch with the user is a great way to gain new inspiration for a design that has a strong user-oriented purpose. From studying the human condition to people watching, chatting with friends and family, or testing your ideas out on an impartial person.

In the end, finding inspiration comes down to being curious and adventurous. As Patricia Urquiola says: “You need to travel, to move, to listen to music, to immerse yourself in as much foreign culture as you can manage, but most importantly you need to open yourself up to any and all experiences, good and bad alike.”

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