Design Insights Interview: Pop Kitchen Designer Dominic Marshall

Pop Kitchen by Brabantia

It’s such a joy to see the winning designs of our ‘Design Your Bin’ competition now readily available to buy as part of our 2013 Retro Bin range.

Our ‘Design Your Bin’ competition received over 1,000 designs from all over the world.  Here at Brabantialife we managed to catch up with joint-winner Dominic Marshall from Staffordshire – the designer behind ‘Pop Kitchen’ – for an exclusive interview.  Let’s hear about his inspiration and what he loves so much about his industry:


Congratulations you won our 2012 Design Your Bin Competition, how does it feel?

It feels absolutely great. As a designer I have had a long and relatively successful career working for other people. It was really nice to get a bit of individual recognition, my 15 minutes of fame. I am now known as the “Bin Man’. Not sure if that’s a good thing!


How did your career in surface pattern design begin?

I was sat in a civil service office one day, colouring in a doodle I’d created, during my lunch break. My boss saw it and said you’re wasted here, you should go to art college so I did. I was 24 at the time so it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve made, but with the support of my fantastic mum & dad I gave up my car & my job, bought a trench coat from Oxfam and a load of Smiths albums and off to Stafford Art College I went.

This was followed by a first class honours degree in Surface Pattern at Staffordshire University, then an MA in Ceramics, five years working in the design studio at Wedgwood, then freelancing for all and sundry, and here I am 24 years later still doing it.


You lecture at Staffordshire University on the Surface Pattern degree course – what trends are you focusing on with your students?

Trends are obviously an important part of being a designer, but I’m not a big fan to be honest. The students need to be aware of them, but I would much rather they were inspired by an artist’s work, or a food label, or an illustration from a magazine, or a colour story based on some photos they had taken or a visit to a museum. In that way they create their own trends and themes.


What design projects are you working on at the moment?

It’s all top secret!  Seriously though, because I work for people like Denby, Next and M&S, the work I am doing now won’t see the light of day until AW13 or SS14. I have been working on the Monsoon range for Denby for a couple of years, this is a really big ongoing project which involves styling, creating and reworking existing pattern for tableware, textiles & associated products, and has been a really great project to be involved with. At the same time I have worked on graphics for Brabantia, Mug designs for Wedgwood, Website ideas for Royal Doulton, Tableware for M&S, suitcases for Antler, and lots of smaller stuff like posters and logos for a couple of mates who DJ locally. I am a bit of an all rounder.


What sources do you take your inspiration from? 

To really know what inspires me you need to have a look at my Pinterest board. I recently visited the Bowie is exhibition at the V&A and William Scott at Tate St.Ives which were absolutely fantastic. I will be inspired by these, maybe not now, but at sometime in the future you might see a design with an Aladdin Sane zigzag on a spoon in a bowl on it, and you will know where I got the idea from.

I am also a huge fan of street artists like Pure Evil and Paul Insect, illustrator & painter Pete Fowler, Jamie Reid, Eric Ravillious and a friend Graeme Reed whose work you should check out. Our house is overflowing with prints by all of these fantastically creative people.

And lastly…(cheeky I know!) what’s your favourite Brabantia product and why? 

The Pop Kitchen bin of course.


If you’re interested in buying any Brabantia products online we have the full assortment here. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and we can answer any questions on Twitter too @Brabantialife.

Design Insights Interview: Pop Kitchen Designer Dominic Marshall was last modified: September 21st, 2015 by Aime
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