Inspirational Places

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We want your new spaces to be both truly innovative and truly unique. For us, this means that we must work with the people that use these places the most to design spaces that are exciting, functional, comfortable and are beautiful. We must also be aware of the project in its context and examine the latest thinking and design practice in Universities, Schools and Colleges so that we can learn from others and pass this on.

As designers we are inspired by many things, often these have very little to do with design itself. But there are a few places that we frequently return to for inspiration, and we thought we would share these with you to try to get some discussion started.

The top row features Unite d’habitition in Marseille by the Modernist architect LeCorbusier. Now we know it’s a bit stereotypical of us to feature LeCorbu, but the principles that underlie this work have had an influence on our people-centred approach to design. In particular the notion that a community can be formed in one building by including streets, shops, offices and homes just like any other community. The roof even has a creche. The building was a success and has been widely (if often poorly) imitated.

The next row features the shops of luxury skincare brand Aesop. Aesop places a great deal of value on design, and each one of their shops has a different design usually utilising found objects or unusual materials.

The centre row is rather an eclectic mix and from left to right features, the bedroom of Eileen Grey, one of the first well-known female designers and we love the juxtaposition of opulent objects such as the zebra skin rug with more modernist engineered items. In the middle is a classic piece of Glasgow architecture – we are Glaswegians after all, and then one of our favourite projects ANS Bank Centre in Melbourne.

The fourth row shows another two favourites, on the left is the Why Factory at Delft Universtiy of Technology where the livid orange staircase to nowhere serves as a place for students to meet each other, watch the world go or gather for events. The structure of the staircase also houses several collaborative s meeting rooms over different levels. Next to this is an image of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Study Club which our designers completed last year. We are so lucky to have such talented folk here at Nomad, and we are always inspired by their work.

The last line shows Google’s Engineering offices in Victoria London. We could show a whole page of images from this project which we visited a few years ago. During our visit, our guide told us that when the designers asked the engineers at Google what they wanted the space to look like they unanimously answered, ‘The Death Star!’ These offices are full of wonderful innovations including tiny ‘hangout’ rooms, writable surfaces everywhere and sleeping pods.

These are just some of the spaces that inspire us. Now we want to know what types of spaces and places inspire you. Leave your thoughts and comments here or, if you have a specific place in mind copy a link into the comments box or email it to, if it is in the UK we might even organise a site visit for the design team.



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