Design Links: Freya Douglas Morris, Lydia Hardwick & Assemble


Editor’s Note: This is part 17 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the sixteenth part in the series, featuring Lara Hawthorne, Sophie Bass, and Sophie Glover.

Sophie Glover is inspired by …

Freya Douglas Morris

Freya inspires me because of the sentiment behind her work rather as opposed to an aesthetic influence. Her work seems lighthearted and mysterious both in content and execution.

Leaving to begin


Seeing her RCA MA show project including paintings such as Leaving to Begin and accompanying ceramics is what first inspired me about her work. The juxtaposition of ceramics and painting moved decorative tropes (that can often be repetitive in current visual culture) from the 2D plane to something so satisfying tangible.



In her later projects including paintings such as The Trumpeters it is the considered use of color that inspires me. The sumptuous and often surprising palette begs you to re-examine the paintings over and over.

Freya Douglas Morris is inspired by …

Lydia Hardwick

I love Lydia’s work for its sheer simplicity and balance. Everything she makes has a purity to it. And her colors and sense of design are excellent.


For the Turner Prize (product commissioned by winners Assemble), Lydia designed and made a terracotta lampshade. I’ve not had the chance to see it in person, but the layering, colors, and style of it are so beautiful. It reminds me of autumn and everything I love about it.


I am also a big fan or her wall-based ceramic artwork, which can be held up on the wall or propped up on a shelf. The pieces are both complicated and economic, playful and unassuming. They remind me of so many things that they feel familiar, yet simple and fresh too. I love these contrasts in her work.

Lydia Hardwick is inspired by …


The creatives at Assemble are brilliantly sincere. This quality seeps into every aspect of their work. Whether they are collaborating with a community, deciding on the shape of a doorknob, or planning a full-blown architectural project, they treat all aspects of work and life with equal value, ingenuity, and vigor.

showroom-1Wall-1 Their Granby Four Streets project involves the refurbishment of a number of derelict terraced houses in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. This is an example of resourcefulness in the most absolute sense: They are training, employing, and collaborating with local residents in order to create beautiful environments using cheap and accessible materials. I love the way that you can physically feel the positive spirit of this project when you walk through the streets of Toxteth.


The Yardhouse is a large building in the yard behind Assemble’s studios. It houses affordable studio space for creatives. I’ve chosen this project because it really demonstrates their ability to create simple, yet handsome spaces using economical, everyday materials. The colorful concrete façade simultaneously blends with, and resists, the aesthetics of industrial estate that it sits within. This bunch of talented and modest people make the world a better place to live in.

Tune in next time to see who appears in Design Links!

Further reading…


Artistic Interiors is an extraordinary volume featuring the work of prestigious architectural interior designer Suzanne Lovell. Hundreds of full color photographs feature her unique approach toward designing couture environments that create an expressive home through the integration of architecture, sophisticated materials, and fine art.