British multi-disciplinary studio ilovedust has a wide range of projects under its belt, having worked with companies like Carhartt, Absolut Vodka and Wired. But among its latest projects is an unusual assignment; not creating designs for a brand, campaign or event, but for the hotel guests at the Andaz Liverpool Street London hotel. The Andaz chain has a reputation for stylish, unusual hotels that really dig into their surroundings—like the Tokyo and Costa Rica branches we visited last year. In London, the company has wisely decided to take advantage of the fact that its hotel is located in Shoreditch, with its many galleries and design studios, and invited artists to create the decorations in four of the rooms. The “Room with a View” project has seen rooms decorated by Chris Price, Patrick Vale & Paul Davis, and now ilovedust. We caught up with creative director Mark Graham to find out more about the studio’s street-smart design “East Loves Dust.”
Why were you were chosen to be part of “Room with a View,” and did you get a free hand to design whatever you wanted?
We were chosen because of our links to the area and our past work. We have done a fair amount of work in the area, and it was really nice to be asked to collocate with the guys at the Andaz. Helps that it’s a pretty cool hotel, too! Our brief was fairly open—we just had to avoid anything too violent, which, given some of the history of the area, was a little difficult. But we got there in the end and are very happy with how things look.
Tell us a bit about your design, and the inspiration behind it.
The design is firmly rooted in the area itself, which played a big part in its creation. We decided to include a variety of elements that are related to East London. From jellied eels to the bells of Bow, we chucked some rhyming slang in there too—you can’t have an East End mural without apples and pears, can you? East London has become a mecca for street art, so we wanted to create a piece that brought a bit of the street inside, too.
Is it a good representation of ilovedust’s general work?
It is in the sense that it was real studio effort with a team of people working on it, but our portfolio has become so widespread that I wouldn’t say any one design is a representation of what we do, to be honest. We like telling stories visually, and having a narrative of “cool shit” is always a bonus.
What else are you working on at the moment, and what are the future plans for the studio?
We are weeks away from opening up a Brighton studio, and starting to plan our new folio for the summer—exciting times ahead, we hope.
Images courtesy of ilovedust